INEOS Challenge pacers revel in Kipchoge’s heroics
The pacers who played a key role in Eliud Kipchoge’s stunning feat in the INEOS Challenge on Saturday when he broke the sub-two barrier by running a marathon in 1:59:40 have reveled in the milestone.
Eric Kiptanui, a half-marathon champion who captained the pace setters could not hide his delight for being part of history.
He said: “Being the captain, you are the leader and thus responsible to guide your colleagues going by the laser lights we were following. I am happy that we achieved our target and I am personally grateful being part of history.”
His sentiments were echoed by Lopez Lomong, a South Sudan-born American athlete who said he was honoured being part of the historic race.
“We came out really well and the team was really great and I think that one day I can tell my kids that I was part of the history in Vienna,” said Lomong.
Lomong, a 5,000m and 10,000m specialist who was also part of the Nike Breaking 2 in 2017 in Monza, Italy disclosed that they went through rigorous planning prior to the race.
“We were doing it for Eliud as we had one job to execute – to help Eliud Kipchoge and thus we worked out for five days finding the right formations for the race,” revealed Lomong.
The pacemakers were rotated in groups with their main task being to push Kipchoge within the set limits of breaking the sub two-hour mark in marathon.
Others were Justus Kimutai, Alex Korio, Jonathan Korir, Emmanuel Bett, Augustine Choge, Victor Chumo, Philemon Kacheran, Nicholas Rotich, Micah Kogo, Moses Koech, Eric Kiptanui, Marius Kipserem, Ronald Kwemoi, Noah Kipkemboi and Gideon Kipketer– all from Kenya.
Hillary Bor, Matthew Centrowitz, Lopez Lomomg, Paul Chelimo, Stanley Kebenei, Bernard Lagat, Shadrack Kipchirchir from USA.
Ronald Musagala, Jacob Kiplimo, Timothy Toroitich, Abdallah Mande, Mande Bushendich and Thomas Akeyo from Uganda as well as Norway’s Ingebrigtsen brothers – Henrik, Filip and Jakob.
Other team members were: Selemon Barega and Chala Regasa of Ethiopia and Australian quartet Brett Robinson, Patrick Tiernan, Jack Rayner and Stewart Mcsweyn.
Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (Turkey), Julien Wanders (Switzerland), Shadrack Koech (Kazakhzstan) and Kota Murayama (Japan).
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