Competition Events Inspiration viRACE

2:01:39 Challenge – Race against time by Eliud Kipchoge

While virtually all events are postponed to 2021, for some things this is exactly the right time! Are you ready for a very special challenge that connects people from all over the world?

Instead of this year’s Berlin Marathon, an unprecedented challenge is taking place – a race against the record time of the greatest marathon runner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge. On September 26 and 27, 2020, we would therefore like to invite all athletes* in running shoes, on inline skates, in a wheelchair or on a handbike to cover as many kilometers as possible in 2:01:39 hours and become part of the #berlin42united community. Everyone can participate free of charge, just download the 20139 Challenge App and off you go!

  Author: Jan Hochuli, running.COACH employee, studies sports science and is the game and ball sportsman in the team. He uses running for thinking, exhausting or mental experiments. He prefers to run on narrow trails. For him, Eliud Kipchoge is probably one of the best examples of the infinity of human willpower.

Beginnings of the 2:01:39 Challenge?

Corona caused practically all major running events to be cancelled in 2020, including the renowned Berlin Marathon. With it, another major event with a total of about 60’000 runners*, wheelchair users*, inline skaters* and handbikers* was in danger of not happening at all. While the official marathon was cancelled, the organizers of the BMW Berlin Marathon and the developers of running.COACH / 2PEAK / viRACE went through ideas and together created a unique experience: a challenge against the Marathon World Record time of 2:01:39 hours. “A smile is what ignites my mind so I can forget the pain. That’s the beauty of a smile.”  – Eliud Kipchoge The message is clear: we not only want to be inspired, we want to inspire. With this action we want to unite as many people as possible, “alone”, and thus smile right in the face of the current pandemic – under the prescribed conditions, of course. This year the run will be individual, every man for himself. But connected in spirit.

Berlin 2020: Compared to previous years, the Brandenburg Gate will not be the finish line this weekend

Background of the world record

It was the 45th edition of the Berlin Marathon when Eliud Kipchoge, the crown favorite, once again entered the history books on September 16, 2018. The then 33-year-old Kenyan pulverized the world record in 2:01:39 and ran a full 1:18 minutes faster than the old record set by Dennis Kimetto – an improvement that had not been seen in the last 60 years. To classify how fast this time really is: This marathon time corresponds to a pace of 4:38 min/mile and 2:53min/km (or 17.3 seconds/100m) – a speed which is generally difficult to achieve, let alone maintain over a longer period of time. For comparison, the pace of the women’s world record (Brigid Kosgei in 2:14:04, Chicago Marathon 2019) is just under 5:08 min/mile and 3:11min/km (or 19 seconds/100m) and is at least as impressive as Kipchoge’s performance in Berlin 2018, who had to run the last 17km without an opponent or pacemaker – much like the participants of the Challenge next weekend. Take it as a challenge and let the atmosphere carry you over your headphones.

“No human is limited!” – Eliud Kipchoge

The Man – Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge is so far the best marathon runner of all time. Since April 2014, no one has been able to beat him on the king’s distance. Like so many successful marathon runners*, he too began his career on the track. In 2003 he became world champion over 5000m, still in junior age. This ahead of the Moroccan El Guerrouj and his long-time rival Kenenisa Bekele, whom he will meet in a direct duel at the London Marathon 2020 in just over a week’s time. Kipchoge lives a Spartan life, spending most of the year at the training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya. His life is simple: get up early, tea and bread for breakfast, training, eating, sleeping, maybe massage, training, eating and early to bed. According to statements from teammates, he does cleaning jobs just like everyone else. He usually sees his family only on Sunday. When he is not training, eating or sleeping, he likes to read. In his interviews, his reading and philosophical expressions stand out, and it is immediately clear that the words in his mouth are much more than just recited phrases – they are wisdom from his innermost being.

“No human is limited!” – Eliud Kipchoge

Recently after his successful Ineos 1:59 Project (Vienna 2019), in which he was the first person to run the 42.195km (under conditions invalid for world record consideration) under 2 hours, these words took on an incredible meaning. This achievement is rightly mentioned in the same breath as Sir Roger Bannister’s first sub4-minute mile, the first ascent of Everest or the 1969 moon landing – all achievements that were considered impossible. After much has been written about his running shoes, his injury-free training, his running economy and his perfect pacing, too little attention is often paid to one major issue – his incredible mental strength. This could also explain why he doesn’t have the very best performance test results and still manages to outperform everyone on day X. You can read more about Kipchoge here in the interview that Fit for Life conducted with him in late 2018.

Iconic Berlin Marathon

“Athletics is not so much about the legs. It’s about the heart and mind.” – Eliud Kipchoge Just as athletics is not just about legs, the Berlin Marathon is not just about records, even if they have been broken 8 times in the last 20 years. Not least because of this, the Berlin Marathon, one of the six World Marathon Majors, is a perfect showcase for the world’s best runners*. Berlin also scores with its unique atmosphere, with many spectators* along the course and the impressive finish through the Brandenburg Gate. Everyone who has ever been under the spell of this race is thrilled. Berlin Marathon is… pure goose bumps, adrenalin from the very beginning, straight and wide streets. Countless running.COACH users and runners around the world reported for us about their Berlin Marathon experiences. Read below how you can now make your own “Virtual Berlin-Challenge-Experience”.

This year, you will be running without the camera

Your personal 2:01:39 Challenge

Take the chance and replace your long run or hard training with this special challenge. Anyone with a smartphone (or tracking device) can participate, even people who were not originally registered for the Berlin Marathon. To participate in the Challenge, you have to follow these steps:

1) download the app here:
2) Register in your category (running shoes, inline skates, handbike or wheelchair) with a username.
3) Join the unique experience and complete as many kilometers as possible during 2:01:39 hours. You can set up your personal competition on September 26, 2020, from 00:01 MEST until September 27, 2020, 23:59 MEST.
4) Look for a suitable track. Just run on your favorite track or look for a fast lap in your neighborhood.
5) Put in your headphones and switch on the app.
6) Write your own success story and become part of the #berlin42united community.

For more information go to: If you have any questions, please contact at any time.

“To win is not important. To be successful is not even important. How to plan and prepare is crucial.”  – Eliud Kipchoge

Kipchoge is and remains an inspiration that goes beyond running, and even beyond sport in general. His life is a statement and a challenge to all static beliefs. “I want to show the world that you can go beyond your thoughts, you can break more than you think you can break.” – Eliud Kipchoge The message is simple: You can do more than you think, more than you give yourself credit for! To apply this principle, you don’t have to run [or skate] a marathon, you don’t even have to run at all. You can apply this knowledge in all areas of life. But in sports, it is especially powerful when you can break your own (imagined) limits. So why not try something new this weekend? This could be a new best time, a new track or even 2 hours of non-stop jogging, walking or driving. Set a goal and let the acoustic live experience carry you all the way to the virtual finish line. The ball is in your court! If you are also looking for a goal-oriented and dynamic training plan, we at running.COACH will be happy to help you on the way to your individual goals.

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