Why Vienna was chosen for Eliud Kipchoge in INEOS 1:59 challenge

Why Vienna was chosen for Eliud Kipchoge in INEOS 1:59 challenge

Vienna, the Austrian capital, was chosen for Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge after an extensive global search for suitable locations.

Experts used data and Kipchoge’s experience from two previous attempts at the famous Italian motor racing circuit of Monza in May 2017.

Time Zones

According to ineos159challenge.com, the prime location had to be in a time zone close to Kichoge’s training camp in Kaptagat.

This was in order not to disrupt the marathoner’s sleeping, eating and training patterns.

Vienna is an hour behind the Kenyan time zone.

Altitude and Climate

The ineos159 website says Kaptagat camp is at an altitude of 2,400m where the air is thinner and not conducive to high performance in distance running.

Geographically, the higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air which then has a knock-on effect on an athlete’s ability to perform.

Scientists suggest that preparing at altitude enables the body to be better conditioned at using whatever oxygen is available, therefore when the athlete comes down to compete at lower levels, where there is more oxygen in the air, they can push their bodies harder.


Athletes can also be affected by higher humidity which makes it harder for sweat to evaporate into the air thus increasing body temperature of the athlete.

“A temperature of 10c is regarded as a fair benchmark for perfect marathon running conditions, combined with low humidity. The issue of humidity – the amount of water in the air – was one of the areas identified for improvement after the 2017 Monza attempt when an early morning rain shower gave rise to unexpected levels of humidity,” ineos159challenge. com says.

Topography was also a factor, with the need for long, straight sections and as few corners as possible. Any bends that were necessary were to be relatively shallow, as opposed to angles that would force Kipchoge to de-accelerate into and accelerate out of them.

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Story By Paul Ombati
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