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INEOS 1:59 Challenge


On Saturday 12th October 2019 Eliud Kipchoge made history by running the first ever sub-two-hour marathon. The INEOS 1:59 Challenge was unique and audacious, a moon shot which many considered impossible.


The sub-two-hour marathon had been attempted once before, in 2017, when Eliud Kipchoge finished an agonising 26 seconds over two hours.


In December 2018, INEOS Founder and Chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe discussed with friends if breaking the two-hour-marathon barrier was possible, they talked about INEOS giving it a shot with Kipchoge, the only runner they felt capable of achieving the time. Just a couple of days later INEOS contacted Kipchoge’s team to discuss putting the Challenge together. In a joyous alignment of the stars, Kipchoge had also been talking with his team about having another go at running sub-two before Tokyo 2020.


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– 5.00 mins

Contracts were signed in March 2019 and Sir Dave Brailsford of the INEOS Grenadiers was appointed as CEO for the Challenge.  The date was set for October 2019 giving Kipchoge the perfect training window to prepare for the event.


Within just five months INEOS assembled a team of experts from the INEOS sports family and beyond, who would unite behind Kipchoge and ensure no stone was left unturned in helping find those 26 seconds he needed to make history in an iconic event that would inspire the world. The Performance team had optimised the conditions and innovated in areas from pacemaking through to course layout, vehicle speed control and more.


As they say, the rest is history, when on the perfect course in Vienna in optimal conditions, cheered on by 120,000 fans and an estimated 500M viewers worldwide, Kipchoge achieved his moon-landing moment and a remarkable time of 1:59:40.2, inspiring the world with a incredible feat of human endurance proving undoubtedly that No Human Is Limited.


Check out all the confirmed speakers who’ll be joining us in the studio on 5 – 8 October 2020.