RIANGA: My apologies; why I underestimated Eliud Kipchoge

RIANGA: My apologies; why I underestimated Eliud Kipchoge

In Summary

  • Eliud Kipchoge had one aim this time round, to prove to the world and to generations to come that indeed no human is limited
  • Kipchoge managed to break the below two hour mark

I did a piece on why Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two hour marathon attempt was an impossible mission and he’s made me eat my heart out. Why? The Olympic champion defied all odds to beat the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria.

With a glorious and confident win let me take this opportunity to congratulate the G.OA.T GREAT OF ALL TIMES of all times in the world of marathon Eliud Kipchoge for rising above all expectation and by winning the challenge in Austria,Vienna at a time record of 1:59,40.

After rigorous training Eliud Kipchoge had one aim this time round, to prove to the world and to generations to come that indeed no human is limited in any sphere of life and with dedication, passion all can be achieved and all that came to pass when Eliud Kipchoge managed to break the below two-hour record .

With a competent team of six coaches led by Patrick Sang who is the lead coach having coached him since the Olympics has developed a personal connection with Eliud Kipchoge other coaches in his technical team were; Armand Bettonviel (Nutrition Expert), Valentijn Trouw (Athlete Manager), Jos Hermens (GSC CEO) Global Sports Communication (GSC.), Peter Vergouwen (Physician), Peter Nduhiu (Physiotherapist)
The Favorable Location.

Vienna offered many advantages as a venue for the attempt today, including the fact that it’s only an hour behind Kipchoge’s home time zone.

This meant that Kipchoge was comfortable in Vienna in that his sleeping and eating habits were not disrupted, Kipchoge was also able to enjoy altitude of 2,400m something that has played out well.

The course

After a showpiece start on Vienna’s Reichsbrücke bridge, Kipchoge will run 1.2km to The Prater, a park known as the ‘green lung of Vienna’, and begin four laps of the Hauptallee, the historic avenue that runs through it.

Each lap today consisted of two 4.3km straight stretches, with turning points coming at the Lusthaus and Praterstern roundabouts at either end of the avenue.

That makes it roughly 90 per cent straight – far straighter than the Monza circuit, or any road-marathon route – and Kipchoge believed that with such a difference he would conquer today. The course was also pancake flat, with just a 2.6m height difference and 0.06 per cent gradient change on the route.

The weather in Austria

Another major factor of Vienna is its weather – cool and sunny in October, with an average temperature of 10C (min 6.4C, max 14.3), low humidity and only six days of rain.

This area was identified for improvement after Monza, when a shower spiked humidity. Higher humidity makes it harder for sweat to evaporate, which means the athlete feels hotter unlike the Italy challenge.
Also, a wet surface means energy-sapping slipping.

Vienna’s weather history and the eight-day window s ensured better conditions for Kipchoge as compared to the one he had at Monza Italy.

Vienna also provided a conducive environment in that it’s one of the least polluted cities in the world there was no ‘smog’ that would have hindered his performance today.

Kipchoge’s shoe upgrade

Kipchoge also received a boost in terms of his shoe wear the Vaporfly 4% shoes (engineered to make athletes four per cent faster) worn by Kipchoge at Monza, and developed by Nike for the Breaking2 project, set a new performance benchmark.

The carbon fibre plates have proven even more effective at propelling athletes forward than they were in propelling themselves into controversy, but Nike has pressed on and the ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, which Kipchoge wore the new pair of shoes today in Vienna, are a major plus to his success today.
The Vaporweave upper also offers a 75% reduction in moisture retention, according to Nike, reducing incremental weight increase from moisture a factor which also is attributed to his performance today.

Kipchoge’s Past Experience and Track Record 

Kipchoge, the winner of eight major marathons and three Olympic medals, repeatedly used his past experience to run with great energy and zeal a potential sub-two-hour marathon to humanity’s first journey onto the surface of the moon.

Whatever the scope of the achievement, it required a prodigious amount of planning and that’s exactly Eliud Kipchoge undertook to clinch the challenge and debunk the science of no marathoner having run in less than the two hour record.

The final take on the momentous win for Eliud Kipchoge not only begs the question whether researchers and other stakeholders in the sporting industry can harness more from today’s great achievement and develop the sport further?

Only time will tell.

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