With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours in the Prater park with the course readied to make it as even as possible.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after a successful attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019.
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after a successful attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019. (Reuters)

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge on Saturday made history, busting the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon in the "best moment" of his life on a specially prepared course in a huge Vienna park.

With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first ever to run a marathon in under two hours in the Prater park with the course readied to make it as even as possible.

"I'm the happiest man today. The message that no human is limited is now in everybody's mind," an elated Kipchoge told reporters after the run, adding he expected more athletes to reach his feat in the future.

"From the first kilometres I was really comfortable. I have been training for it for the last four and a half months, and above all I have been putting in my heart and in my mind that I'll run an under two-hour marathon."

The 34-year-old already holds the men's world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018.

But accompanied by a posse of 41 pacemakers, who took turns to support him, and a car in front of them setting the pace, Kipchoge bested his mark, making good on a failed attempt two years ago in Monza, Italy.

Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling, describing his approach to the finish as "the best moment of my life".

The founder of the main sponsors, Ineos, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, took a personal interest in the challenge and himself competes in Ironman triathlons.

"That last kilometre where he actually accelerated was super human," Ratcliffe said.

Kipchoge had been 11 seconds in advance at mid-race as fans lining the course, many waving Kenyan flags, loudly cheered him on.

Kipchoge's coach, Patrick Sang, said the Kenyan had "inspired all of us that we can stretch our limits in our lives".

"Records are meant to be broken, so down the line someone will try again, but history has been made. It's unbelievable," Sang added.

Kipchoge told reporters earlier this week that his attempt in the Austrian capital was about "making history in this world, like the first man to go to the moon".

Source: AFP