PARIS: When Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna this month, his performance had been meticulously planned by one of sport’s major new players, the petrochemicals giant Ineos.
Founded and 60-percent owned by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos is using its vast profits to
roll out a series of cutting-edge sporting projects in top-level cycling, football, athletics and
“We make six or seven billion dollars a year in profit, so what’s wrong with investing a bit of
that in sport?” Ratcliffe said recently.
A highly driven amateur sportsman himself, the self-made businessman was on hand to personally congratulate Kipchoge as he crossed the finish line.
With Kipchoge and his pacemakers decked out in Ineos-branded vests as he triumphantly stopped the clock at 1hr 59min 40sec, the brand was broadcast to the four corners of the earth.
The feat has propelled marathon running into a new era, even though the world athletics body IAAF do not recognise it as a world record due to the conditions in which it was conducted.
A group of 35 pacemakers worked in shifts to form a V-shaped aerodynamic drag position using expertise that Ineos gained from cycling’s peloton, decreasing the impact of the air on Kipchoge’s body by 50-70 percent whether there was wind or not. – AFP