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Kipchoge fields questions about INEOS 1:59

Eliud Kipchoge participated in a conference call with members of the international running media today, answering their questions about INEOS 1:59

Marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge was full of confidence today when talking about the INEOS 1:59 Challenge scheduled for October 12 in Vienna. (The project has an eight-day window until October 20, depending on weather conditions.) This will be the second time a major sponsor has put its resources and support behind creating the conditions believed necessary for Kipchoge to break the two-hour barrier–first Nike with Breaking2 in 2017, now INEOS with the 1:59 Challenge.

Canadian Running’s podcast producer and host, former Canadian indoor mile record-holder Kate Van Buskirk, was on the call with Kipchoge and about a dozen members of the international running media this morning. Here are a few of the questions he was asked, and his responses.

Photo: Alan Brookes

Q: What has changed in training since your first attempt at breaking two hours?

A: Not much has changed in the training… but what has changed is the mental preparation. I’m now enjoying a free mind. I’m really ready to go and run under two hours!

RELATED: WATCH: Eliud Kipchoge in Part 1 of INEOS 1:59 Challenge documentary

Q: Where do you think the limit is? Is it two hours? How fast do you think you can go?

A: I don’t know where the limit is. I don’t believe in limits.

Q: How would breaking the two-hour barrier compare in importance to things like winning the Olympics or setting the official world record?

A: It is more important. It’s like the first man to go to the moon!

Q: If you are able to run under two hours for the marathon, will that rank in human history as one of the greatest achievements of humankind?

A: It will be like going to the moon, stepping on the highest mountain, or going to the middle of the ocean. This is another historic moment in sport.

Q: You are training your body so hard for this attempt. But how do you train your mind?

A: My training is simple. I trust in my training, I trust in my coaching system, I trust in all my team. And that’s what makes my mind really strong and fierce.

Q: If you break the two-hour barrier, what’s next for you?

A: I treat every race as a challenge. For now, I’m really confident about the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, and after that I will decide.


Q: What did you learn from your previous attempt in Monza (Nike Breaking2), and how will this help you in your next attempt?

A: Monza was a big, big success for me. Now I am enjoying the experience from Monza and the different thing is that…Vienna is a flat and long course. That’s the difference, and I think personally I’ll deliver.

Q: What went wrong in your previous attempt that prevented you from breaking two hours?

A: Breaking2 was the most difficult event ever, and I just missed it by 26 seconds. I will say, nothing went wrong. But this time I think I will get the two-hour barrier.


Q: When Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile for the first time, someone else did it a month later after years of men trying to achieve that feat. Do you believe that if you break two hours, others will also break it soon after?

A: Absolutely, I think so… if I do this, many athletes will believe in themselves and know that this thing is possible. That’s why I say no man is limited.

Q: Do you experience nerves in the days and hours leading up to these events, and if so, how do you manage this?

A: Absolutely I get nervous. But I try to calm myself down. I don’t have a ritual, but I just have to keep my mind calm.


Q: Do you have any doubts about this challenge?

A: No doubts at all.

Q: How frustrating is it that the IAAF will not acknowledge this as an official world record if you break two hours in Vienna?

A: It’s about leaving a legacy. It’s not about the world record. It’s about making history and sharing the message of inspiration.