Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge is first to run marathon in less than 2 hours

Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge on Saturday became the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours, finishing an event in Vienna in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds.

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Despite shattering the two-hour barrier at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, Kipchoge's effort will not count as a world record, ESPN reported. The race was set up for the record attempt.

Kipchoge, 34, pounded his chest and smiled broadly as he crossed the finish line, embracing his wife, The Washington Post reported.

“I’m the happiest man,” Kipchoge told reporters after the race. "No human is limited. You can do it.”

Kipchoge averaged 4:33.5 minutes per mile over the 26.2-mile course, ESPN reported.

Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him in alternating groups, ESPN reported. That is one of the reasons the IAAF will not ratify the time as a world record.

The challenge was backed by the British chemical company Ineos and was held on a closed, 6-mile course in a park in Vienna, the Post reported.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kipchoge in a statement posted to Twitter.

“You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it,” Kenyatta said. “Your win today will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness.”

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