British chemicals company Ineos has made its latest investment in sport by sponsoring a new attempt by Kenyan athletics great Eliud Kipchoge to break the two-hour marathon banner.
The Ineos 1:59 Challenge was presented yesterday (Monday) on the 65th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister’s achievement of running the world’s first sub-four-minute mile.
Kipchoge, regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time, came close to making history in his first attempt to go sub-two hours when he clocked 2:00.25 in a specially-created event which was not recognised as an official world record at Monza, Italy in May 2017.
In September 2018, Kipchoge then took one minute and 18 seconds off the official world record at the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:39. He has announced his latest attempt following a historic fourth London Marathon win last month.
The venue for Ineos 1:59 Challenge is currently being decided, with organisers stating a number of options that offer a flat, looped circuit are being investigated for the event which is planned for late September or early October 2019.
A major marketing campaign will publicise the run and live coverage will be broadcast across the world, both on traditional and digital channels.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, founder and chairman of Ineos, said: “Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time. We are going to give him every support and hopefully witness sporting history.”
Ineos hit the headlines in March when pan-European pay-television broadcaster Sky, and its parent company 21st Century Fox, confirmed the sale of its eponymous UCI WorldTour cycling team to the petrochemicals manufacturer.
The launch of the new-look Team Ineos took place for the start of the Tour de Yorkshire last week.