Tasmanian athlete Stewart McSweyn has described how it felt to be part of mankind's historic first sub-two-hour marathon.
In an achievement immediately likened to Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile and Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon, Kenya's Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge broke the two-hour barrier when he ran 1:59:40 in Vienna.
Dubbed the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, the event was specially-arranged and carefully-orchestrated to assist Kipchoge with a team of 41 pacemakers including McSweyn and fellow Aussie Jack Rayner.
Fresh from his efforts as the sole Tasmanian at the world athletic championships in Doha, the 24-year-old Launceston-born King Islander was proud to play a part in the achievement.
What an experience to be part of this incredible attemptStewart McSweyn
"What an experience to be part of this incredible attempt, and to be surrounded by this calibre of athletes from around the world," McSweyn said from Austria.
"There's nothing better than to run with the world's fastest.
"It was a pretty amazing feeling to be a part of something so special and be involved in a feat that a lot of people thought wouldn't be possible for a human to do.
"My role during the race was being a pacemaker for Kipchoge from the 28km of the marathon until 33km, to try and block him from the wind and also set an even pace behind the lead car."
Rayner added: "It was an incredible honour to pace Eliud, the fastest marathon runner of all time. To go beyond what seemed possible is an experience I loved being part of and will never forget."
With all aspects of the race tailored to his advantage, Kipchoge's time will not be ratified as a world record by the IAAF, but the 34-year-old felt he had joined an exclusive club.
"It is a great feeling to make history in sport after Sir Roger Bannister," Kipchoge said.
"I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours and I can tell people that no human is limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today. That was the best moment of my life."
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