Kipchoge misses sub 2-hour marathon by a whisker

Sandy Mccarthy
May 19, 2017

As the running world saw Saturday morning in Italy, the barrier remains out of reach, but narrowly.

Nike's ambitious Breaking2 event may have fallen just short of the coveted record, but still proved to be an exciting endeavor. The marathon world record fell precipitously from the start of the century and slowed shortly after Bannister's sub-four mile.

The two-hour mark thus stood three minutes faster than that; the last time a marathon competitor had broken a record by more than three minutes was in the 1950s.

Kenya's Kipchoge finished the race in 2:00:25 on a highly controlled course in Monza, Italy.

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

Nevertheless, the Kenyan has proved under intense spotlight and media attention that nothing is impossible when it comes to marathon running.

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Sports physician Dr Ben Tan, a marathon enthusiast himself and a former national sailor, said at least one thing can be counted upon: That the current world record of 2:02:57 can be improved on. After about 30 minutes, Desisa dropped off from the pack, eventually finishing with a time of 2:14:10.

With the help of modern science, Nike's attempt could prove to be a leap into the future - not just for running, but for our understanding of the human body's potential.

The three runners were supported by a team of 30 pacemakers, specially designed shoes and clothes, plus a team providing additional nutrition when needed.

Kipchoge, 32, the 2016 Olympic champion and the 2016 victor of the London Marathon, covered the 26.2-mile course in 2 hours, 26 seconds, ESPN and The Associated Press reported. At around 20km, Kipchoge pulled away to leave his rivals far behind.

FILE - In this Sunday, March 21 2010 file photo, Zersenay Tadese, from Eritrea, runs on his way to win the Lisbon half-marathon Sunday, March 21 2010, in Lisbon. Experts on Twitter noted how smooth he appeared, relaxed and not labouring. But, perhaps it was a smile or a bit of a poker face. Kipchoge always looked the stronger and was on target pace with around seven miles to go but he began grimacing in the closing stages and though he tried to sprint up the home straight, his fatigue was obvious. During this high tech quest on the Monza Formula One track, Kipchoge kept to the unyielding 4:34.8 per mile pace through 35 kilometers. A Tesla Model S drove in front of the runners, projecting a laser green line to indicate the ideal speed. He's also won the Boston Marathon twice, back in 2013 and 2015. Adidas is said to be planning their own race to chase the 2-hour barrier. My mind was fully on [the goal of] two hours but this journey has been good.

Other reports by BadHub

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