ELIUD Kipchoge thrives on the big occasion – the bigger the event and the bigger the crowds, the better he performs.
The Prater, where he will attempt to make history, lends itself to a large crowd.
Spectators will be able to line the entire route, which was something very high up on Eliud’s wishlist.
Up to 8,000 are expected to cheer him on as he attempts to run a marathon in under two hours. But with 1.9 million people living in Vienna, Eliud might well be overrun with supporters.
That will cheer him no end because his first attempt in 2017 – set up by Nike – was relatively sparsely attended.
By contrast, the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will be run on a multi-lap, 9.6km course along Hauptallee, a long, straight and tree-lined avenue that runs through the heart of The Prater.
And although, Vienna may be more famous as a city of music due to its connections with Mozart and Beethoven, it is also a city of running.
There was a Running Festival in The Prater in the early 19th century and now the park is the place to exercise in Vienna.
The last distance running world record was in 1978 when a Kenyan named Henry Rono set a 10,000-metre record of 27 minutes 22.5 seconds.
That record was broken on the Vienna LAZ track in The Prater by a Kenyan born 15km from Eliud’s birth place – and was paced by a Dutchman named Jos Hermens, who went on to form a sports management agency.
Today, that agency, Global Sports Communication, has a rather famous client.
His name is Eliud Kipchoge.
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The Prater athletics track, the Vienna Athletics Centre, was also the location for a world distance running record by another Kenyan athlete, Henry Rono, in 1978. He ran 27:22:05 to break the world 10,000m record where he was paced by Jos Hermens, who now looks after Eliud.