Enthusiasm, endurance and passion. Every marathon runner has his or her own story. In Vienna a new one was added: Eliud Kipchoge was the first human being to run a marathon in under two hours. On October 12, 2019, the Olympic champion achieved this historic breakthrough in a time of 1:59:40.2 hours. It was a world event like the first mile under four minutes, like the first ascent of Mount Everest, like the moon landing.
120,000 people came to witness the historic run in the Prater Hauptallee. More than two billion people worldwide saw the first 1:59 marathon on TV, in newspapers and online channels. Eliud's running course in Vienna is at the heart of the Vienna City Marathon and will be a part of sports history forever.
The Vienna City Marathon team produced this world event as the local organizer. In close cooperation with the commissioning client INEOS, the expert teams of the London Marathon and Global Sports Communications, and in coordination with the authorities of the City of Vienna, the VCM team made a groundbreaking event possible after only three and a half months of intensive preparation.
Eliud Kipchoge's dream time of 1:59 is the motivation for you to try something special? Vienna and the Vienna City Marathon offer a unique atmosphere and event. Ten kilometres of the VCM course lead over 1:59 track. Set yourself a goal and run exactly where Eliud Kipchoge has inscribed himself in the history books and our hearts.
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On 12 October 2021, display plaques were unveiled at the finish of the run, telling the story of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. On the same day, we held the "Beat Eliud!" running challenge on Prater Hauptallee. Anyone and everyone could try to run 100 metres in 17.02 seconds or faster, beating Eliud Kipchoge's marathon record pace over a short distance.
On 12 October 2020 we celebrated the VCM Tribute to Eliud, the first anniversary of Eliud Kipchoge's historic marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna.
At the original location in the Prater Hauptallee 200 runners gave their best for 1:59:40.2 hours and tried to run as far as possible within this time. The participants thereby supported the running & health initiative The Daily Mile Austria in schools and kindergartens.
Due to the Covid-19 conditions the event was very small. However, the power of Eliud's incredible marathon performance and the emotions of the participants in the tribute radiated enormously.