Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Kipchoge misses breaking 2-hour marathon mark by 25 seconds

Frederick Owens | 17 May, 2017, 14:42

Eliud Kipchoge was 25 seconds from making history on Saturday but in the end the Olympic champion was just short of becoming the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Kipchoge was joined by two-time Boston Marathon victor Lelisa Desisa and half marathon world record-holder Zersenay Tadese in the small group, which ran about 17 and a half laps of the 2.4-kilometre circuit.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese and Ethiopia's Lelisa Desisa would have to muster a lifetime best effort - and more - in order to go faster than any man ever has over 42.195km (or 26.2 miles).

Widely considered the best marathon runner in the world, Kipchoge did break his personal best time of 2:03:05, which was set at the London Marathon a year ago.

Running a marathon under two hours is now one of the most coveted frontiers in athletics, and the desire to achieve it has never been greater.

The three athletes have each been equipped with a specially-designed marathon shoe - lightweight, cushioned, thick soled, and fitted with a metal plate to reduce the amount the foot flexes.

His stunning run at the iconic Monza circuit - 2:00:25 - was 2:33 minutes faster than the world record set by Dennis Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon three years ago. Tadese finished the time trial in 59:40, Runner's World reported.

Tadese is the current world record-holder for the half-marathon.

Nike's arch rival, German firm adidas, also has its own "Sub2" project, also with a new shoe.

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The event, dubbed Breaking2, was sponsored by Nike. People will run faster and faster, similar to when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.

"It's about changing the game - attacking a barrier and unlocking human potential to break that barrier", Nike spokesman Brian Strong said.

"Our calculations show that a sub-two-hour marathon time could happen right now, but it would require the right course and a lot of organisation", Hoogkamer said in the study published by the journal Sports Medicine.

"I want to see it done under the circumstances marathoners usually run in without any ergogenic aids", he said. "This achievement represents more than a race", Parker said.

In almost 60 years since then, runners have chipped and scratched just about 12 minutes off the world record.

Nike's goal of creating a sub-2-hour marathon has been so close but is just an audacious aspiration even after three years of planning.

Despite being a second over the target time after five kilometres, Kipchoge was clocked at five seconds under after 10 then 15 km, and was still two seconds inside the target at the 25 km mark.

Considered by some as the greatest marathoner in history, Kipchoge looked comfortable through 25K continuing to take in nutrition and fluid with help, one factor which made the run non-record eligible.

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