There’s a lot that can be done in less than two hours. You can catch a movie, watch a tennis match or even sneak in a few episodes of Stranger Things. Two hours is enough time to also get in a good workout. Many people can get in more than a few miles on the treadmill in less than 120 minutes.
But on Saturday, one Kenyan runner did what many believed to be impossible.
Eliud Kipchoge became the first athlete to complete a marathon in less than two hours. The 34-year-old clocked in at 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds at the INEOS 1:59 challenge in Vienna. Kipchoge, who compared the feat to man’s first landing on the moon, called the accomplishment “the best moment” of his life. Here are five things to know about the Kenyan speed angel and greatest marathoner of all time.
He Comes From Kenya and His Family is Bad-Ass
Kipchoge was the youngest of four children raised by his mother in the Kenyan village of Kapsisiywa in Nandi County. He says he has no memories of his father, who died when Kipchoge was young. While his mother worked as a school teacher, Kipchoge helped support his family by collecting and selling milk. He did this shortly after finishing school as a teenager.
Kipchoge family comes from the Nandi subset of the Talai—a group of people known for courageously fighting back British rule during the colonial era. They were later exiled to Kapsisiywa for their resistance. Kipchoge’s uncle helped organize movements calling for British authorities to give reparations for the Talai people.