Kenyan Runner Comes Close, 2-hour Marathon

MONZA ITALY- MAY 06 Eliud Kipchoge reacts at the end of the Nike Breaking2 Sub Two Marathon Attempt at Autodromo di Monza

Can a two-hour marathon be run?

Kenyan Olympic gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge has run the world's fastest marathon, finishing the Breaking2 project in a time of 2:00:24. "We are going up the tree ..."

All three athletes wore custom versions of Nike's Zoom Vaporfly Elite, an ultra-light but still impressively cushioned racing shoe designed specifically for the Breaking2 attempt.

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. "I want the marathon to continue to be really unpredictable, to have great races".

Pacemakers applauded and encouraged him as he approached the line and the clocking comfortably outstrips his recognised personal best of 2:03.05, set at the London Marathon in 2016. The world record over the distance is 2 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya in Berlin in 2014.

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Nobody has ever run a full distance marathon in a faster time than two hours and two minutes, but Nike is not about to let that stand in the way of attempting to shatter what is perceived to be an unbreakable record. Runners will circle a 1.5-mile asphalt loop about 17.5 times, with sweeping turns rather than sharper corners that would require slowing down.

Nike's attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier was three years in the planning and used a shoe that its designers say will make runners four percent more efficient. It's been hard. It's been a long journey.it's taken seven good months of preparation.

"It'll happen. we're all expecting it, it's just a matter of when". Ed Caesar, author of the 2015 book "Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon", notes that Roger Bannister's iconic breaching of the four-minute-mile barrier in 1954 was frowned upon in certain quarters because of the Briton's use of pace runners.

Dr Telford said the event - which was streamed live on Twitter and Facebook - was a "win" for the sport of running.

"It puts running on the map".

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It was still dark when Kipchoge - along with Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder, and Lelisa Desisa, a double Boston Marathon victor - stepped on to the track shortly before 5.45am local time on Saturday morning.

For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pace-setting team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 meters.

But over the remaining third of the race, which began at 5.45am local time in slightly humid conditions, Kipchoge steadily began to fall behind pace.

The 32-year-old continued in his trademark relaxed style and passed the halfway mark in 59:54, but his average pace of 4:36 per mile was just not quite enough, despite his final sprint to the tape.

"Thanks to all the pacers, to help me to go through this challenge", he said.

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