ATHLETICS Previews: Kipchoge tries for sub-2 marathon Saturday; Chicago Marathon on Sunday

Kenya's marathon superstar Eliud Kipchoge

Kenyan superstar Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt to break the 2:00 marathon barrier comes on Saturday – weather permitting – in Vienna (AUT) is what is called the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

Kipchoge and a team of 41 pacesetters will run 4.4 laps of a 4.3 km course on the Prater Hauptallee in Vienna, a spectator-friendly venue in comparison to the lonely race track in Monza where he ran 2:00:25 in another time trial attempt to break two hours.

To do it, Kipchoge – now 34 – will have to average 4:34 per mile, equating to 14:13 per 5 km segment or 28:26 for each 10 km; the half should be passed in 59:59.

Kipchoge’s last race was a win at the London Marathon in 2:02:37; he’s now won 10 straight marathons over six years, last losing – he was second – at the 2013 Berlin Marathon. This is not an official race, as he will be the only entrant.

NBC’s Olympic Channel will have live coverage of the event beginning at 1:45 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday – 10:45 p.m. on Saturday evening in the Pacific time zone – with more information at the event Web site here.

On Sunday, more than 44,000 runners will tramp through the streets of Chicago for the 43rd Chicago Marathon. The loop course is fairly flat and a good field has been lined up:

Men:
● 2:04:06 ‘18 ~ Lawrence Cherono (KEN): 2019 Boston Marathon winner
● 2:04:06 ‘18 ~ Asefa Mengstu (ETH): Third in Dubai and Paris Marathons in 2019
● 2:04:32 ‘14 ~ Dickson Chumba (KEN): 5th Chicago; 3-1-2-DNF in prior four (won ‘15)
● 2:04:44 ‘18 ~ Seifu Tura (ETH): 6th career marathon; PR in Dubai ‘18 (7th)
● 2:05:11 ‘18 ~ Mo Farah (GBR): 5th career marathon; won Chicago ‘18
● 2:06:07 ‘18 ~ Galen Rupp (USA): Won Chicago ‘17; fifth last year; dnf Boston ‘19
● 2:06:48 ‘19 ~ Bedan Karoki (KEN): Ninth in Chicago ‘18; second in Tokyo ‘19

Women:
● 2:18:20 ‘19 ~ Birgid Koskei (KEN): Won London ‘19 with PR; won Chicago ‘18
● 2:20:45 ‘18 ~ Gelete Burka (ETH): Won Paris ‘19; seventh in Chicago ‘14
● 2:20:57 ‘17 ~ Jordan Hasay (USA): Fourth marathon; third in all three before!
● 2:22:56 ’18 ~ Betsy Saina (KEN): Won Paris ‘18; 10th in Boston ‘19
● 2:22:59 ‘06 ~ Madai Perez (MEX): 4th Chicago, finished 12-4-4 in ‘03-06-17
● 2:24:02 ‘19 ~ Ababel Yeshaneh (ETH): 5th marathon; sixth in Tokyo ‘19
● 2:25:15 ‘17 ~ Lisa Weightman (AUS): 6th in Chicago ‘17; Commonwealth silver ‘18

Unfortunately, Farah and Rupp will be asked incessantly about the current suspension of Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar. Farah was formerly coaches by Salazar, and Rupp was being coached by him until the suspension .

Prize money is available for the top five finishers in the race at $100,000-75,000-50,000-30,000-25,000 and for the too American finishers at $20,000-15,000-12,000-7,000-5,000 on down to $750 for 10th. There are $75,000 bonuses for breaking the course record: 2:03:45 for the men (Dennis Kimetto/KEN in 2013) and 2:17:18 for women (Paula Radcliffe/GBR in 2002).

NBC’s Olympic Channel will have live coverage of the race on Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern time. Look for results here.

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