Bid falls just short for first 2-hour marathon at Nike event

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya has set new marathon record but did not break two-hour mark during a Nike event in Italy.

Kipchoge ran the race in 2:00:25 in a controlled environment at a Nike event in Italy, breaking the previous marathon record of 2:02:57  set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Supported by a Nike effort that for months has sought to best control the variables that can impact performance, the Breaking2 athletes made their attempt without spectators in 17.5 laps around the Formula One track in Monza, Italy. Nike announced the ambitious goal in December.

After selecting the athletes, Nike’s team sought to control as many other variables as it could and simulated how the race would go at a half-marathon test event on the track in March.

In addition to designing a signature shoe, the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, and apparel, the Breaking2 team focused on the science.

Watch a replay of the run

For the test event, the runners wore skin sensors and swallowed a core body temp sensor to provide data. Because heat limits marathon performance, Kirby said the Nike team sought to determine how well the athletes would manage it.

The Monza track was selected for many reasons, including its surface and length, but the location offers good conditions, with typically overcast skies and a targeted temp around 54 degrees.

The last six marathon records have been set at the Berlin Marathon, a run that started in 2003. The first marathon run at the official modern distance was at the 1908 Summer Olympics, when American Johnny Hayes finished in a time of 2:55:18.4.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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