Culture&Arts

Nike come up short in sub-two hour marathon attempt

Nike come up short in sub-two hour marathon attempt

Kipchoge finished Nike's "Breaking 2" marathon on Saturday with a time of two hours and 24 seconds while running with a group attempting to crack the two-hour mark. However, Kipchoge's time does not count as a record because of the pacing strategy that allowed other runners to join the course other than at the start.

Nike planned the record attempt for three years, including making shoes that include a stiff carbon fibre plate created to "propel" runners forward, which it said would make runners 4 per cent more efficient.

Tadese finished in 2:06:51 while Desisa came in 2:14:10.

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As The Drum detailed yesterday, Kipchoge and the two other runners who were attempting to smash the two-hour barrier were each wearing a specially customised shoe called the Zoom Vaporfly Elite.

With very few remaining barriers left to conquer in the world of track and field, Nike and Eliud Kipchoge set their sights on one of the last great marks in the running world - the two-hour marathon. The company designed what it believes is the most ideal apparel, footwear, and conditions for that time to be achieved and approached the event with confidence that a runner would achieve the feat. Considered one of the best marathoners today (third fastest time), he's clutched seven first-place finishes in eight career marathons.

The track at Monza - with its run-friendly curves and low headwind - offered quick turns and an opportunity for the runners to reduce or maintain pacing times at various points of the track. Traditionally, Nike has spent lavishly on deals with the world's most popular athletes and on print and television advertising. "It's a moment of global inspiration that will encourage every athlete, in every community, to push the limits of their potential".

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The sub-two hour mark required a pace below four minutes and 35 seconds per mile, which the determined Kipchoge managed to match until falling behind the pace auto in the last two laps of the 2.4 km circuit.

He clocked 2 hours 25 seconds.

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. Quite what Sir Roger Bannister would have made of the elaborate and expensive preparations for the Kenyan's tilt at breaking the two-hour mark for the marathon, the Everest of athletics, is another matter.

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"As a human you are not a machine, so you can not go 2.50 exactly, and those micro-seconds really have an effect".


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