Sometime in the coming two weeks, Eliud Kipchoge will line up and attempt to become the first person to ever run under two hours for the marathon. The marathon world record holder has finalized his 41-person pacing team that has been enlisted to help him achieve the mark.
This pacing team is a compilation of some of the best runners in history. To make this squad you either need to be one of the fastest runners in 2019, a continental champion, World Championship or Olympic finalist, national record holder or some combination of the four.
Among the final set of pacers named to the team are ten athletes currently competing at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, including Ethiopian teenager Selemon Barega who won a silver medal in the 5,000m. Barega, who’s only 19, is also the fastest man in the world over 3,000m this year and the second fastest over 5,000m and 10,000m.
The pacing team
Thomas Ayeko – World cross-country medallist
Selemon Barega – World Championship silver medallist
Emmanuel Bett – Diamond League champion
Hillary Bor – American national champion
Mande Bushendich – 27:56 10K personal best
Matthew Centrowitz – Olympic gold medallist
Paul Chelimo – Olympic medallist
Augustine Choge – World indoor medallist
Victor Chumo – All-African finalist
Filip Ingebrigtsen – World Championship medallist
Henrik Ingebrigtsen – European champion
Jakob Ingebrigtsen – European champion
Victor Chumo – All African finalist
Stanley Kebenei – World Championship finalist
Justus Kimutai – 2:09 marathoner
Shadrack Kipchirchir – Pan Am Games finalist
Noah Kipkemboi – 1:00:52 half-marathoner
Gideon Kipketer – World Championship finalist
Jacob Kiplimo – World Cross-Country champion
Marius Kipserum – 2:04 marathoner
Eric Kiptanui – African championship finalist
Moses Koech – World Cross-Country top 15 finisher
Shadrack Koech – African Games finalist
Micah Kogo – Olympic medallist
Alex Korio – Kenyan Championship finalist
Jonathan Korir – Olympic finalist
Ronald Kwemoi – Diamond League champion
Bernard Lagat – World Champion
Lopez Lomong – five-time US national champion
Abdallah Mande – Ugandan national champion
Stewart McSweyn – Diamond League champion
Kota Murayama – Asian Games finalist
Ronald Musagala – Diamond League champion
Kaan Kigen – European Championships medallist
Jack Rayner – Australian national champion
Chala Regasa – African championships medallist
Brett Robinson – World Junior finalist
Nicholas Rotich – 2:11 marathoner
Patrick Tiernan – 1:01 half-marathoner
Timothy Toiroitich – World Championship finalist
Julien Wanders – European half-marathon record holder
The live stream
The INEOS 1:59 Challenge, will be broadcast live on YouTube from Vienna on October 12 or thereabouts. (The event is scheduled to take place on October 12, with the option to delay as long as necessary until October 20 depending on weather conditions.) Viewers can check for updates to the schedule here.
If you happen to be in Vienna, the event is free. More information can be found here.
It’s expected that this all-star team of pacers will drop in and out of the attempt, providing Kipchoge with company and shelter throughout the entire 42.2K. Some of these men selected to pace are middle-distance specialists while others prefer the longer events. Given the large range of skills, it’s likely that runners will do different amount of running, with some athletes pacing Kipchoge through faster sections, while the long-distance guys will help him pass the steady kilometres in the first half.