Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge runs fastest marathon on record at Monza

Rachel Hardy
May 14, 2017

Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge narrowly missed out on becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours when he posted a time of 2:00.25 at the Monza Grand Prix circuit in Italy.

Despite missing out on an ambitious attempt to break the two-hour barrier, the 32-year-old's time smashed the official mark of 2:02:57 set by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014.

Kipchoge clocked two hours 25 seconds to beat two-time Boston Marathon victor Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea in the race.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya has set new marathon record but did not break two-hour mark during a Nike event in Italy. However, Kipchoge's time will not be officially recorded due to pacesetting rules.

But David Bedford, a former British distance runner of the 1970s who held the 10,000-meter world record, has cast doubt over the "Breaking2" project. "We know that these runners are perfectly equipped and wanting to run something that has never been run before".

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. Jos Hermens, an agent representing Mr. Kipchoge, said in an interview last week that anything slower than the current world record "would be a failure".

Two months after Bannister, two more runners clocked a mile at under four minutes.

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"It will need a fast course and a competitive race because athletes bring out the best in each other when they are racing against other athletes", said Bedford.

Interviewed by the women's world marathon record holder - as we speak - Paula Radcliffe, Kipchoge's first impulse was to thank the pacers - "I thank them for giving me their bodies and their minds and their energy" - before adding: "I am happy to come this close".

Kipchoge also broke his personal best time of 2:03:05, set at the London Marathon past year. "But the performance itself must adhere to the conditions around world records, or it's meaningless".

This is part of Nike's Breaking2 Project, which is created to push human performance to new frontiers. The duo still completed the 17½ laps of the 1½-mile Monza track with Tadese shaving almost four minutes off his personal best with a time of 2:06:51.

The goal: running a marathon in two hours or less.

"I think pushing the boundaries of human performance is just fascinating for all of us, there's no question about that", he said.
At this pace, miles were completed at four minutes 34 seconds each.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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