Average runners attempt to match Eliud Kipchoge's marathon pace on a treadmill

  • Kobe Tong

We’re still not over Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon.

GIVEMESPORT was live in Vienna when the Olympic champion completed the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, making history by covering 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometres) in a time of 1:59.40.

And while comparisons to Neil Armstrong first setting foot on the moon might be a little extreme, there can be no doubting that Kipchoge’s record was the sporting equivalent.

Men, women and children were either in tears or walking around in shock when Kipchoge, with enough time to showboat, smashed the two-hour barrier with 20 seconds to spare.

Kipchoge was already a legend. The Kenyan came into this weekend’s challenge with Olympic and World medals, the fastest marathon in history and the official world record from Berlin last year.

Kipchoge’s mind-blogging splits

However, it was his history-making run in Austria that has catapulted him into the mainstream and it’s the incredible splits needed to break two hours that have captivated the public.

While not many of us have ever run a marathon, sports fans can digest the sheer insanity of Kipchoge’s performance by how quickly he covered more familiar distances.

So, brace yourself: 4:35 per mile for 26.2 miles; 28.26 per 10km, 4.2 times over; 68-second laps of an athletics track, 105 times over and over 400 runs of 100m in 17.08 seconds.

Attempting to match Kipchoge’s pace

It’s simply insanity and having seen Kipchoge’s victory live, we can vouch for the fact running at over 13mph for almost two hours is simply mind-boggling.

But perhaps the finest demonstration of Kipchoge’s superhuman abilities came before the INEOS Challenge when a few average runners tested the two-hour pace on a treadmill.

YouTuber Mike Boyd and three of his mates cranked up the exercise machine to Kipchoge’s average speed and in sheer disbelief, neither of them could handle it for longer than 40 seconds.

The full video can be seen here – but we’ve spliced the treadmill highlights below:


Can we start accepting Kipchoge as one of the greatest sportspeople of all time?

Sure, there has been criticism surrounding the amount of technology that was used to help him, but the fact of the matter is that Kipchoge still covered 26.2 miles in less than 120 minutes.

The IAAF won’t recognise the performance as a new world record given the use of rolling pacemakers, while Nike also deployed some ground-breaking new trainers. 

But who cares? Kipchoge certainly won’t and not just because he’s the world-record holder anyway, but because any future sub-two-hour runners will forever be striding in his footsteps.

And while we patiently for the second man to dip under that mythical barrier, why don’t you give it a try on the treadmill? Don’t blame us if you end up with frictions burns all over.

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