IT’S human nature to push boundaries. To go where no man has ever gone before. Sir Edmund Hillary did it when he climbed Mount Everest. Now it’s Eliud Kipchoge’s time to shine.
On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister achieved what many people had thought was near impossible. The then 25-year-old full-time medical student broke the four-minute mile at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, in the UK.
It remains one of the most iconic events in the history of sport. Later this year, it will be Eliud Kipchoge’s turn.
The greatest marathon runner of all time will be attempting to run 26.2 miles in under two hours. Many, again, believe it is impossible.
But not INEOS. Nor Eliud. Both believe it can be done. And the stage is due to be set in October as part of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
“Eluid has got the great part to play,” said INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe. “We can just facilitate it. But however good we are at getting the details right, it’s still a super-human feat.”
Eliud came close to making history in his first attempt when he clocked 2:00.25 in a specially-created event at Monza, Italy, in May 2017.
“That was the proudest moment of my career,” he said. “To get another chance to break the magical two-hour mark is incredibly exciting. The secret is believing in myself that I can do it. And I always say that no human is limited and I know that it is possible for me to break this barrier.”
The venue for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will be Vienna at some point between the 12th and 20th October this year. The selection of Vienna as the location for Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge was the culmination of an extensive worldwide search that started with a map of the world and ended with a pinpoint in the Austrian capital. Vienna offers a perfectly flat looped circuit.
A major marketing campaign will publicise the run and live coverage will be broadcasted across the world.
Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend.
In INEOS, Eluid believes he has found the perfect partner to match his vision and who can inspire him and his team, to show the world that no human is limited.
“Eliud is the greatest-ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time,” said Jim. “We are going to give him all our support and hopefully witness sporting history.”
Two INEOS-backed initiatives to encourage children to be more active and healthy continue to take the world by storm.
GO Run For Fun is now regularly hosting 2km races in seven countries. And at the last count, 302,388 children had crossed a finish line somewhere in the world.
The initiative was launched in the UK in 2013 by INEOS Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe amid concerns about the growing obesity crisis among children.
The Daily Mile, which was founded by former Scottish headteacher Elaine Wyllie in 2012, has also become a runaway success thanks to support from INEOS.
From one school in Scotland, it is now being run every day in 8,888 schools and nurseries in 65 countries, including – for the first time – America.
Nearly 2 million children around the world are running a daily mile.