Kenya: Bullish Kipchoge Takes Sub Two-Hour Run Challenge Head On

5 September 2019

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge takes a stronger mindset and quality pacesetters to Vienna where he will be making a second attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier at the "INEOS 1:59 Challenge."

Kipchoge said that his training pattern ahead of the "race against the clock" on October 12 is more or less the same as when attempted to break the barrier during the Nike "Breaking2" project on May 6, 2017, at the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, Italy.

"I have just injected some little bit of exercises in my training, but what I can say is that I have richer experience going to Vienna," said the 34-year-old Kipchoge, who compared himself to a young boxer going into the ring not knowing what to expect.

"You don't know to expect a knock-out in the first round or you will go all the 12 rounds," said the reigning Olympic Marathon champion.

To get into the right frame of mind, he is currently reading 11 Life Lessons from Nelson Mandela book by Ndaba Mandela.

In his book, Ndaba, 36, who is the grandson of late Nelson Mandela, offers a rare and personal insight into the man behind the myth, sharing with his memories -- charming, intimate and sometimes surprising -- to illuminate Mandela's much-loved principles for how to become the people we want to be.

In Monza, Kipchoge came just short of beating the two-hour barrier by 26 seconds when he clocked 2:00:25.

Kipchoge was speaking at Isuzu East Africa offices in Nairobi on Wednesday where the vehicle manufacturing firm offered an Isuzu single cabin pick-up worth Sh 4.1 for Kipchoge to drive away if he breaks the two-hour marathon barrier at the "INEOS 1:59 Challenge". Isuzu East Africa lived up to their promise last year when they presented Kipchoge with an Isuzu double cabin worth Sh5.9million after he set a new world marathon record when winning in Berlin in 2:01:39 on September 16.

"Training has been normal but I now know what to do when in Vienna after the Monza experience.

"It's not just about training, but with the strong mind I have, I can do it," said Kipchoge adding that his Vienna mission isn't about winning or breaking the two hour barrier, but "to inspire a generation and tell the story that no human being is limited."

"I want to inspire journalists that you can't just write one earth breaking story and go home to sleep... .

"I want to inspire lawyers, teachers, doctors and engineers that they can do more the change this society," said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge noted that it will be a tough battle and test of endurance but took Isuzu's challenge head-on saying they can as well as prepare to take the car to Eldoret to present him after October 12.

"A life of an athlete is all about continuous improvement until you get to the destination," said Kipchoge, who had been covering between 200km to 220km weekly since he started preparations for Vienna race three months ago.

Kipchoge paid tribute to the 16 pacesetters who will be with him in Vienna saying there is no way an athlete can perform well without them.

"They are like kidneys, you can't survive without them and they are the best unlike cars. I have met them regularly and they are raring to go," said Kipchoge, who will be using the same Nike ZoomX Vaporfly shoe that he wore while breaking the world record at last year's Berlin Marathon.

Isuzu East Africa managing director Rita Kavasha said that they are confident Kipchoge, who is their Isuzu brand ambassador, will run under two hours.

"Not that we are not putting Kipchoge under pressure but we know and we are confident that he will achieve the feat and go down in history as the greatest achievement ever.

"We can only wish this great man best of luck since we have been part of his journey that has been marked with hard working disincline, humility and resilience," said Kavasha as they marked their two-year partnership with Kipchoge.

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