Radio Sport Mornings' host Jason Pine counts down the top 15 sporting moments of the year. Today: Number 15 - Eliud Kipchoge's sub-two hour marathon.

On May 6, 65 years to the day since Sir Roger Bannister achieved what many believed to be impossible and ran the world's first sub-four-minute mile, 34-year-old Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge announced his plan to break the legendary two-hour barrier.

Kipchoge had come close to making history in his first attempt two years earlier, when he clocked 2 hours 25 seconds in a specially created event in Monza, Italy.

He had also run a world record 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds in the Berlin Marathon in 2018.


His fresh attempt to go under two hours would take place on October 12.

After an extensive worldwide assessment process, Vienna was chosen as the host city for the attempt on June 27.

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Kipchoge would run four-and-a-half laps around famous Viennese park, The Prater. Centred on Hauptallee, the iconic, long, straight, and tree-lined avenue runs through the heart of the park.

Read more: History made: Eliud Kipchoge breaks two-hour marathon barrier

As well as a fast and flat track, Vienna provided optimum weather conditions - a temperature between 7 and 14 degrees, humidity below 80 percent, less than two metres per second wind speed and no rain.

Fresh, clean air. Wide, traffic-free and illuminated roads. The ability to have spectators lining the route, and all within a three hour time difference of Kaptagat, a tiny village in the Kenyan highlands where Kipchoge spends nearly 300 days a year, living and training away from his wife and three children.

Kipchoge arrived in Vienna on the October 8, four days before the race. He would be joined in the attempt by 41 pacemakers, who would rotate in groups of seven, twice each lap.

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Over 100 possible formations were explored in which they could run, before eventually they decided on the optimal shape - an inverted V.

This ensured the air flow on Kipchoge was just one-sixth of what it would have been had he run on his own. There would also be an electric pace car complete with lasers beamed onto the road so he could keep track of where he needed to be, to go under two hours.

On October 12, just before 8.15am local time on a dry, cool morning, with an estimated 120,000 spectators lining the course, Kipchoge approached the start line.

The aim was to run every kilometre in 2 minutes 50 seconds, and things were right on track for the first 20 kilometres of the race. With metronomic precision, Kipchoge completed the first four 5-kilometre splits in 14 minutes 10 seconds, 14:10, 14:14 and 14:13 respectively.

Into the second half of the race, things remained perfectly on track. 14 minutes 12 seconds for the next 5km, 14:12 from 25km to 30km, and 14:12 again from 30km to 35km.

Kipchoge reached the 40k mark in 1 hour 53.36 seconds, and remained bang on target as he entered the final kilometre.

The official time was 1 hour 59 minutes, 40:2 seconds.

He had become the first human to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon.

There might be some who consider Kipchoge's superhuman feat worthy of a higher place in our Top 15 Sporting Moments list, but due to the rotating pacemakers, the delivery of water by bicycle, and the lack of open competition, the achievement doesn't count as a marathon world record and isn't recognised by the IAAF.

It is, however, still an incredible feat of human endeavour and an astonishing display of stamina. Kipchoge had effectively run 100 metres in 17 seconds, 420 times in a row.