Runner makes history with miracle marathon

Champion: The historic moment when Kipchoge crossed the finishing line in Vienna. © Getty

Should the record really count? Last week, Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, but he had some help from technology.

What’s happening

Eliud Kipchoge is the first person ever to run a marathon in less than two hours.

He ran the 26.2 mile course in Vienna, the Austrian capital, in 1 hour 59 seconds and 40 minutes.

Inspired by Sir Roger Bannister, who broke the four-minute mile in Oxford in 1954, Kipchoge said, “It took me another 65 years [...] but I’ve done it!”

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Kipchope was greeted by his wife and three children at the finishing line.

“It’s like the first man to go to the Moon. It’s about telling people that the only limit is in their minds,” he said.

When someone breaks a marathon record, it is not usually called a “world record” because all marathon courses are different. Some are much steeper and harder than others.

The flat, smooth course in Vienna’s Prater Park was specially chosen for Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour attempt.

That wasn’t the only help he received. A team of weather experts chose when he should start running, while pacesetters ran ahead to keep him out of the wind. He was even guided by a laser to stay at the perfect pace.

Should his record still count?

Some say…

No. Kipchoge did not do it by himself. He was helped by a huge team of experts, funded by a billionaire. The technology gave him what he needed to break the historic barrier. It was not a fair competition against other runners.

Others think…

Yes. This does not take away from the amazing feat that will be remembered forever by everyone who saw it. Unlike other high-profile sportspeople, Kipchoge has never been accused of doping or cheating. People have always used technology to achieve new things.

You Decide

  1. Did Eliud Kipchoge cheat?

Activities

  1. Write a list of all the things that you would need to run a marathon.

Some People Say...

“I might live long enough to see a 2.06 [but] a two-hour marathon — definitely not.”

Derek Clayton, athlete who set the marathon record of 2:08:33 in 1969 (and is definitely still alive).

What do you think?

Word Watch

Marathon
Named after an ancient town in Greece, that was the site of a battle with the Persians in 490 BC.
Sub
Below.
Received
Was given.
Pacesetters
Athletes who run alongside you in order to keep you “up to speed”.
Pace
How fast you go.
Billionaire
Someone with more than 1 billion pounds or dollars.
Historic
Important in history.
Feat
Achievement require strength or courage.
Doping
In sport, this means using banned drugs to improve performance.

Subjects

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