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Kenyan runs marathon in under two hours

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/14/19, 11:49 am

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a world record but it won’t appear in the record books. The 34-year-old Kenyan completed 26.2 miles Saturday in Vienna in 1 hour and 59 minutes—the first marathon ever run under two hours.

Why wasn’t his time official? The International Association of Athletics Federations did not ratify Kipchoge’s time because the event had tightly controlled conditions working in Kipchoge’s favor: Race organizers had a nine-day window to pick the best possible weather conditions, other athletes running ahead and behind him to help set the pace, a cyclist handing him drinks so he didn’t have to slow down, and a laser beam and painted stripes indicating the ideal running line to break the 2-hour mark. Meanwhile, Kenyan Brigid Kosgei broke the women’s world record in an official race on a record-eligible course on Sunday at the Chicago Marathon, finishing at 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read about one of the fastest Americans to run a marathon.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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