Runner agonisingly close to 2 hour marathon record


The course also came into question as to whether or not it would be eligible for a world record. A 100-meter dash in less than ten seconds, a mile in under four minutes, or a 26.2-mile marathon in no more than two hours.

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 is taking the first shot at the mark on Saturday morning at 5:45 a.m. local time in Italy. All three runners passed on racing in the lucrative spring marathons like Boston and London to run in Nike's attempt. The duo still completed the 17 laps of the 1.5-mile Monza track.

The marathon was not a sanctioned race but rather a small, exclusive event put on by Nike.

David Bedford, a former British distance runner from the 1970s who held the 10,000-meter world record, has cast doubt over the "Breaking2" project. However, Matt Nurse, vice-president of the Nike Sport Research Lab, said that wasn't necessarily a given.

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Oh, and of course, Nike engineered the heck out of the shoes.

His time also does not count as a world record because of conditions surrounding the race, including pacemaking arrangements.

Kipchoge and the only other competitors, Eritrean Zersenay Tadese and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, ran behind an arrow-head formation of pacemakers, to reduce drag, and a auto beaming a green line on the road behind it to show the required speed for the sub-two hour target.

Denis Kimetto's World Record time from the Berlin Marathon in 2014 of 2:02:57 was easily broken, by over two-and-a-half minutes.

The controversial Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite used for the attempt.

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Noted South African sports scientist Ross Tucker told, "I'm leaning towards zero [percent chance], but I'm opposed to extreme viewpoints so I'll call it 0.1%". The company hasn't said when its sponsored runners will try to set a new record, but its shoes will hit stores later this year.

One thing is for sure. Kipchoge's time won't be the new world record, though, since this run used pacemakers and wasn't eligible. Kipchoge timed 2:00:24, missing the mark by 25 seconds.

It's about the science of pushing the human body to the limit. None of the three has ever failed a test or been accused of cheating.

"I know as much, but if it is just a world best, I don't care. We need to push and stretch beyond our thinking".

Organised by the sportswear manufacturer, the attempt has been several years in the making.

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At a racetrack in Monza, Italy, three of the world's fastest athletes attempted to run 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) in under 2 hours in the latest installment in the battle for runners' hearts and feet.