By Madeleine Carlisle
October 12, 2019

On Saturday, Eliud Kipchoge became the first person in recorded history to run a 26.2-mile marathon in less than two hours.

The 34-year-old Kenyan runner clocked in at 1:59:40.2 at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria. The run, organized specifically for Kipchonge to break the two-hour marathon barrier, was organized by chemical company INEOS and featured an electric pacer car that shot a laser beam to mark the best position on the road. A team of 41 professional runners also rotated running alongside him to set his pace.

 

“Today we went to the moon and came back to Earth! I am at a loss for words for all the support I have received from all over the world,” Kipchoge tweeted Saturday. “Thank you to all who gave me the opportunity. Asante.”

Kenyans watch a big screen on October 12, 2019, in Nairobi as they celebrate Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge victory.
YASUYOSHI CHIBA—AFP via Getty Images
Kenyans watch a big screen on October 12, 2019, in Nairobi as they celebrate Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge victory.
SIMON MAINA—AFP via Getty Images

Kipchoge is one of the best male marathon runners in the world. He has won at least eight major world marathons and three Olympic medals.

His history-making accomplish won’t be in the official record book though; The New York Times reports that Kipchoge’s time won’t be recognized as an official world record because it was not run under open marathon conditions (Kipchoge was the only person running) and featured a constant rotation of pacers.

But not to worry. Kipchoge still holds the world record for men’s marathon from his 2:01:39 time in the Berlin Marathon 2018.

Write to Madeleine Carlisle at madeleine.carlisle@time.com.

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