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Kipchoge misses 2-hour target

19 Mai 2017

What Nike is calling the Breaking2 project will culminate in Monza, Italy, when Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese will run for the 2-hour mark.

Kipchoge's run at two hours was an impressive athletic feat.

The Monza track was chosen for its wide, sweeping curves, lack of undulation and cool, low-wind environment. In a nice touch, this enterprise was held on the 61st anniversary of Roger Bannisters breaking the 4-minute mile barrier.

Early Saturday morning, almost three years' worth of planning, training, and strategizing came to a head, as three Nike athletes attempted to complete a marathon in under two hours.

"I do believe that if you had all of the best runners in the world in the same race in ideal conditions, you could see a sub two-hour marathon and what we've been implementing here might get people working together to achieve that goal".

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.

But Saturday's event is not about the record - in fact, the results nearly certainly won't be eligible for record consideration.

But whether Saturday's result will count officially is up for debate.

The record attempt which is not sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), is seen by some as an irresponsible PR stunt by Nike.

Desisa: A 27-year-old from Ethiopia who made a name for himself cruising through his debut race-the 2013 Dubai Marathon at a time of 2:04:45. Kipchoge is the reigning Olympic marathon champion, Tadese is the half-marathon world record holder and Desisa is a two-time Boston Marathon champion.

And, after three years of planning, the shoe company's audacious goal of breaking the two-hour barrier remains just that.

"It's achievable someday, though I am not sure if it will happen in this particular race", he told VOA's Swahili service. I believe it is a good marketing idea, and I think the results may give us some indication of the kind of help athletes might need. "But the performance itself must adhere to the conditions around world records, or it's meaningless". The stream will start 15 minutes before the actual race begins.

The Nike-sponsored race features pacemakers and a non traditional running course. The runners will wear a highly customized version on Saturday.

Because this is Nike, you already know that means they have been working on designing brand new running shoes for the world record attempt.

The one thing Nike couldn't measure before the race was the runners' grit. Having now been splashed all over the world's media, these futuristic trainers will soon go on sale to casual runners around the world backed by acres of earned media coverage.

Kipchoge misses 2-hour target