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Why Kipchoge will run INEOS marathon in Vienna city

ELIUD KIPCHOGE By Sigomba Ramadhan Omar | October 10th 2019 | 3 min read

The skyscrapers of the UNO complex where the race will begin. [Photo Courtesy]

Kenya’s greatest runner and illustrious world marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will race history in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.

Kipchoge will attempt to run 42 kilometres under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge marathon. The race will test the limits of humanity and has sat the world on the edge of its seat.

But why is such a challenge in Vienna city?

Vienna provides athletes with a friendly environment, protecting them from harsh climatic conditions to bring out their authentic athleticism.

The city has stable weather conditions and also provides an inclined course of 2.4 metres making it the straightest lane in any marathon.

According to the organisers, the course is ninety per cent straight -- that includes a 4.3 Kilometres straight lane which will be repeated four times and a 9.6 kilometre circuit.

On the side-line, the course takes the athletes to the city’s most impressive and modern historic sights making the challenge a snug as a bug in a rug for the marathoners.

Kipchoge has to enjoy the run.

The race commences between the skyscrapers of the UNO complex which hosts the United Nations Office at Vienna. 

Participants will then cross the 864-metre-long Imperial Bridge (Reichsbrücke) over the River Danube where they will be entertained by the world-famous John Strauss’ melody of the Danube Waltz.

The 864-metre-long Reichsbrücke Bridge over river Danube. [Photo Courtesy]

The joyful Danube piece of music is Austria’s second national anthem written by Strauss to lift the depressed country’s morale after she was defeated in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War.

Racers then go past the 65 metres tall Giant Ferris Wheel with a diameter of almost 61 metres weighing 430 metric tons. The wheel turns at a speed of 2.7 km/hr and was erected in 1897 to mark the 50th year of Emperor Franz Joseph's accession to the throne.

The Giant Ferris Wheel of Vienna. [Courtesy]

Netflix aficionados probably have seen it as it has featured in most Hollywood movies especially in the famous James Bond adventure "The Living Daylights."

After the Ferris Wheel, the athletes go through the green expanse of Prater Park. It is a spacious green forest which is referred to as the green lungs of Vienna with a stunning air quality.

The green Prater Park. It is referred to as the lungs of Vienna because of the air quality experienced. [Photo Courtesy]

It was once a hunting ground made public by Emperor Joseph II.

The runners then continue on Vienna's Ring Road, past the famous Opera House where world-famous opera singers such as Edita Gruberova, Dimitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko perform.

Vienna's Opera House. [Photo Courtesy]

 

The runners will then go through Vienna's River Valley where the Danube River makes its way toward the magnificent city. At the valley, there are vineyards kept in apple-pie order, attractive red-roofed villages and impressive castles.

From the valley, the course heads to Schönbrunn Castle, the former imperial summer residence which is one of Austria’s major cultural sites and tourist attractions.

On the way back runners can take in the greatest examples of Vienna's architecture along the Ring Road, from the numerous museums and the Town Hall and Vienna University.

It is at the "Universitätsring" just opposite the magnificent Austrian National Theatre in Vienna, Burgtheater where Eliud Kipchoge is expected to finish his 42-kilometre race under two hours.

Austrian National Theatre in Vienna, Burgtheater where Kipchoge will finish the race. [Photo Courtesy]

He will have outraced history.

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