VIENNA (Dispatches) -- Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40.2 here on Saturday.
In a race designed for him, the "Ineos 1:59 Challenge", starting at 8:15 am local time on the Reichsbrucke, the 34-year-old Kenyan ran four laps on the Prater main avenue with the support of alternating teams of pacesetters, including five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat and the three extraordinary Ingebrigtsen brothers from Norway.
Kipchoge is arguably the greatest marathon runner of all-time, claiming victory in ten out of 11 marathons, racking up an unprecedented nine successive victories over the 42.195km distance.
With a stunning 2:01:39, he broke the world marathon record in Berlin last year by 78 seconds, which is the largest single improvement on the world record in more than 50 years.
Kipchoge failed in his first bid to complete the first sub-two hour marathon by an agonizing 25 seconds in Italy in 2017.
The achievement will not be recognized as a world record as it was not an open competition.
*******Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates at the finish line after the match of "1:59 challenge" in Vienna, Austria, on Oct. 12, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge completed the "1:59 challenge" successfully in 1h 59m 40.2s.