Olympic champion and world record holder set the time of 1h59min40s2 on Saturday at an event prepared especially for the attempt in Vienna, Austria.

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after running a marathon in less than two hours in Vienna (Lisi Niesner / Reuters)

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours. The Olympic champion and world record holder set the time of 1h59min40s2 on Saturday, at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event prepared especially for the attempt in Vienna, Austria.

“I am the first man, I want to inspire many people and show that no human being is limited. I hope that after today more people will be able to complete a marathon in less than two hours, ” said Kipchoge after winning the historic mark, which does not count as a world record.

Kipchoge was supported by 36 other runners who accompanied him in alternate groups, one of the reasons the IAAF does not ratify time as a world record. The groups were aided by a rhythm car carrying a laser beam, projecting the athlete’s ideal position at every moment on the road.
Running at a consistent average pace of 2min50s per kilometer, Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule in the middle of the race. Supporters left him for the last 500 meters, and the Kenyan hit his chest twice in celebration when it was over.