Why Kipchoge opted to leave for Vienna early

By Agencies: Wednesday, October 9th 2019 at 03:00 GMT +3 | Athletics
Men's elite runner Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses during a photocall for the London marathon at Tower Bridge in central London on April 24, 2019. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

The question on everyone’s mind is not just if Eliud Kipchoge is going to make history and run the first-ever sub-two-hour marathon, but when?

Last Sunday, the decision was made for Kipchoge to fly from his training camp in Kaptagat to Vienna, with his coach Patrick Sang and a number of his team-mates, now pacemakers. His manager Valentijn Trouw informed Kipchoge about the decision.

The team behind Kipchoge are leaving nothing to chance in the final week before the first scheduled date for the Challenge on Saturday.

It’s now down to the INEOS 1:59 meteorology and performance experts to provide weather data to Kipchoge’s coaching team and collectively make the decision as to what date and time the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will take place, to give Kipchoge the best possible chance of success.

One of the reasons Vienna was picked for the venue of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge was its favourable weather conditions in October.

The first window for Kipchoge to run has now been narrowed to 12th-14th October, with a target date of the 12th. The conditions are, for now, looking to be within an acceptable range for the first weekend of the window.

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The call made to fly Kipchoge from Kenya to Vienna was the first stage of a pre-agreed decision process by the INEOS 1:59 Performance team to select the best date for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

The next pivotal date is Wednesday 9th October, three days out from the targeted Challenge date. The Performance team will then decide if the date for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will either be confirmed as the 12th October or delayed.

If the green light is given the three-day countdown begins and Kipchoge will switch his nutrition and begin carb-loading. Kipchoge and his team can then make their final preparations and the world can start getting ready to watch the INEOS 1:59 Challenge live.

Once the date is set, the exact start time for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will be confirmed the day before. The start time will be between 5 AM – 9 AM local time (CEST).

The decision for the optimal start time will take into account various factors including weather, nutrition and Kipchoge’s circadian rhythm.

Robby Ketchell, who is leading the weather analysis for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge Performance Team, said: “We know there are millions of people around the world who want to watch Eliud make history, whether that is on TV or on the streets in Vienna, and they want to know when it will be taking place.

“The unique nature of this extraordinary event means we are not in a position where we can confirm the date or the start time of the Challenge until we can be absolutely certain the weather conditions are suitable.

“We have got a world-class team of meteorological experts working on this alongside the Austrian Meteorological Office to inform the Performance team and enable the decision process, and in turn let fans around the world set their alarm clocks and be part of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.”

The optimum weather conditions for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge are a temperature between 7 and 14 degrees Celsius, humidity below 80 per cent, dry conditions and without too much wind.

The INEOS 1:59 Challenge will be streamed live by YouTube on the INEOS 1:59 Challenge page. Viewers will also have the option to watch the race coverage on a ground-breaking second screen option on www.ineos159challenge.com.

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