The company has released few details but told the Wall Street Journal that its athletes will attempt the feat at a record-eligible marathon.
Nike has set the stage for (at least one of) its athletes to make history tomorrow - by challenging them to run a marathon in under two hours.
Nike Inc.'s attempt to stage the first sub-two-hour marathon fell just short Saturday, a rare marketing miss for the world's largest sportswear maker. Eliud Kipchoge was 2.
The record time in the marathon has been continuously dropping, but slowly - the last three-minute improvement in the world record took 16 years. I would be the first man to run under two hours.
A 1:59:59 clocking for 42.2K required a more than 2.5 per cent bettering of the world record, 2:02:57 by Dennis Kimetto, set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. The runners were led by a pace vehicle which projected green laser lines defining the record pace.
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Besides the favorable track chosen by Nike, the "Breaking2" organizers looked to ideal the athletes' own individual performance, tracking their hydration and nutrition down to the minute details of how much sweat each runner was expected to lose during the race. The change of breaking two-hours now looks closer than ever. "That message is really special to me".
When Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954, the World Record for the Marathon stood at 2:18:34. It will not be an official world record attempt, however, because of variables such as pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.
Starting in the early hours in Italy on Saturday morning (or Friday night, for those in North America), Nike's Breaking2 team of three long-distance runners will attempt to break the two-hour barrier. Traditionally, Nike has spent lavishly on deals with the world's most popular athletes and on traditional print and television advertising. I've seen the magic of gold shoes and swift suits.
Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker emphasized the progress that had been made. "I think we need to accept it as it is".
"Today, millions of people around the world watched as running history was written".
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Two University of OR researchers told news wire Reuters they think humans can run 26.2 miles in less than two hours.
"We also know that the product we're delivering to athletes on race day is specifically tuned to them, one-to-one, and we're eking out even more performance benefits and we're pushing that percentage even further for each individual athlete". As the event wore on, Desisa and Tadese dropped off the pace, leaving only Kipchoge to assault the mark.
Tadese finished in 2:06:51 while Desisa came in 2:14:10.
He added, "I believe in good preparation and good planning, if you've done that then the 25 seconds will go".
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