Shortly after Saturday morning in Vienna, Eliud Kipchoge he thinks he will have reached the marathon moon, his moon, running for one hour, 59 minutes and a few seconds, at 21,100 kilometers per hour, in the Prater Park, where the leaves of the chestnut trees still, already late autumn, They are green. He will do it in a race in which, as for the lovers that Moustaki sings, everything is possible, everything is allowed.
The sun will rise at 7.08 in the capital of Austria. Kipchoge will start running at 8.15, with a forecast of seven degrees. It will end, ideally, a few seconds before 10.15, with 12 degrees in the park.
No athlete in history has run in less than two hours the marathon -42,195 kilometers-, a border that was believed impossible, so it is not strange that the comparisons that are imposed so that humanity understands the greatness of such an achievement lead to think on Everest conquered for the first time, or on the first trip to the Moon, which is the image that is imposed in the spirit of Kipchoge, the only one marathon known able to get it.
"With 1h 59m 59s we are worth it. To achieve this, to succeed in this marathon, Eliud must have entered a new territory," proclaims Patrick Sang, the Kipchoge coach. "The new territory is his mental capacity to think that what was previously believed impossible was possible. All his training, all his training, have been essentially the same as always. But now, Eliud believes more in himself."
To ascend your Everest, you will run every kilometer in 2m 50s, which is equivalent to running 422 consecutive races from 100m to 17s each, with no rest between any. You will receive two rewards for it, a place in history, an aspiration that, he says, is the only thing that has allowed him the sacrifices of the preparation, and a prize of one million dollars.
Kipchoge, a 34-year-old Kenyan in ascetic life in the Rift Valley, and Olympic distance champion, is the closest athlete to the 59-minute marathon. His record of the legal world, achieved on September 18 in Berlin, is 2h 1m 39s, 100 seconds higher than the target, but its non-legal record, reached in May 2017 at the Monza circuit, In conditions that made it non-comparable, nor will it be that of October 12, 2019 in Vienna, it is two hours and 25 seconds, touching the wall, almost crossing it.
It will not be a solo adventure. Kipchoge, 1.67 meters, 52 kilos and an organism subjected to an overload of hydrates the previous two days, will not be alone, will not run with bare feet, as he wants the test myth reminiscent of the soldier and athlete Philippi, herald of the victory in the battle of Marathon, next to the beach, near Athens (490 BC), as Abebe Bikila ran in Rome next to the Colosseum at dusk, and that day the current fascination with the marathon was born. It will not propagate the mystique of the athlete's loneliness, legs and a heart, and a unique faith and willingness to move them, perhaps already forgotten, despised, but a much more current one, that of technology, that of the coming times, that of planning and scientism. The reason that succeeds: there are no limits as long as there are means.
Monza's essay, when died 26s from the beach, it was the best mental training for Kipchoge, the proof that convinced him that his body could give to get it. A year and a half later, the Berlin world record, which would not have been possible without Monza, multiplied his conviction and decided to Jim Ratcliffe to subsidize him through his Ineos brand. The British oil millionaire only subsidizes sports that can make people think of clean energy, cycling, sailing, and soccer. And an adventure almost circus like less than two hours in marathon, which wants it to be a song of hope, the human being capable of overcoming its limits.
But no, throwing a little critical thinking about so much beautiful talk, specialists remember that Ineos does not show that there are no physiological limits, that there are, but how easy it is before overcoming the obstacle, to surround it. The main reasons why, according to physiologists, Kipchoge runs at such speed are those that make the test not homologated or in accordance with the regulations of the International Federation.
Kipchoge will be marked by rhythm 41 hares that, in five teams of seven, plus six reserves, and with it, 42, the kilometers of the marathon, will march in V, like an inverse arrow to the march that will eat all the aerodynamic resistance and will transfer the rebufo of the nearby vehicle that will break through with a giant stopwatch. Behind the K of Kipchoge, the graphics include two more athletes, who, according to the mathematical essays, will steal any turbulence. Between the hares, coordinated and disciplined by their captain, Bernard Lagat, a veteran of Monza, are some of the best athletes of today, such as the three Norwegian brothers Ingebrigtsen, the Ethiopian Salemon Barega, the 1,500m Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, Paul Chelimo, Augustine Choge, López Lomong … They will be relieved every five kilometers, which will break a fundamental rule, that everyone who participates in the race must try to finish it, and cannot enter and leave it at will. The work of the hares (41 athletes of the highest level, the best in the world at 1,500m and 5,000m) and the rebuild of the car that will open the race will bring 1m 40s more profit.
The other key element is the shoes, which, the insiders, will be the latest model developed by Nike, the latest evolution of the Vaporfly controversies that premiered in Monza, the Next%. A custom shoe with a carbon plate on the sole with spring effect and discs filled with pressurized fluid. The calculations of the specialists indicate that the shoes represent an advantage in efficiency and economy of stride of 4%, which provides a 2.6% improvement in performance, or a saving of 1m 30s.
The organizers add more litter to the keys: the choice of time (still waiting to know when the test begins), before dawn, has been guided by the expected temperature (seven degrees Celsius, low humidity and lack of wind); The circuit will be a straight line with two roundabouts at the ends, 9.6 kilometers, which will turn 4.4 times, and they have calculated that in the roundabouts, one with a large radius and a smaller one, will barely subtract speed. It has perfected the intake of liquids in the supplies, one of the problems detected in the Monza analysis. And no doping control has yet been announced.
The live can be seen in streaming on the YouTube channel of the test: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrc3XCtBGtWErZUVVvn15jQ.