Marathon world record holder Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge and Britain’s richest person Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the INEOS Chemicals company, take questions from journalists at the Iffley Road Track, where in 1954 British athlete Roger Bannister ran to become the first person ever to break the four minute mile barrier in Oxford, England, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge has funding from Britain’s richest man, Jim Ratcliffe, who founded chemicals group INEOS, for his bid to break the two-hour marathon barrier again later this year. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

PHOTOS: Kipchoge becomes first runner to dip under 2 hours for marathon

Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocks 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds

Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although it will not count as a world record.

The Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt.

Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him in alternating groups, one of the reasons the IAAF will not ratify the time as a world record.

Running at a consistent average pace of 2:50 minutes per kilometre (4:33.5 minutes per mile), Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule halfway through his run.

The pacemakers left him for the final 500 metres, and Kipchoge punched his chest twice in celebration when he finished.

The Prater park in the Austrian capital offered long straights, protected from the wind by high trees, for most of the 9.6-kilometre course, which Kipchoge completed more than 4 times.

It was his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier, after missing out by 26 seconds at a similar event on the Formula One track in Monza, Italy, in May 2017.

Kipchoge, who took Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and has won 10 of his 11 marathons, holds the official world record of 2:01:39 since shattering the previous best mark by 78 seconds in Berlin last year.

Eric Willemsen, The Associated Press

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Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya is celebrated after crossing the finish line of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge after 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. He is the first man ever to run a marathon under two hours. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Thousands of Kenyans come out into the streets to celebrate Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2 hour marathon time, in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret where he lives and trains, in Kenya Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge sent shockwaves through the world of sport by becoming the first athlete to break the two-hour barrier for a marathon, at an event set up for the attempt in Austria, although it will not count as a world record. (AP Photo)

Eliud Kipchoge smiles as he talks to the media in a press conference after breaking the historic two hour barrier for a marathon in Vienna, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although it will not count as a world record. The Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt. (Jed Leicester/The INEOS 1:59 Challenge via AP)

Eliud Kipchoge runs on his way to break the historic two hour barrier for a marathon in Vienna, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although it will not count as a world record. The Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt. (Jed Leicester/The INEOS 1:59 Challenge via AP)

Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya, white vest, and his first pacemaking team run on the Reichsbrucke during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge attempt to run a sub two-hour marathon in Vienna, Austria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

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