Kipchoge falls 26 seconds short of 1st sub 2-hour marathon

Kipchoge falls 26 seconds short of 1st sub 2-hour marathon

MONZA, Italy — Eliud Kipchoge was 26 seconds from making history on Saturday but the Olympic champion finished just short of becoming the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Kipchoge ran the 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometres) around an oval track in an impressive 2 hours, 25 seconds, smashing Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2:02:57 by 2 1/2 minutes and raising hopes that one of world sport’s most famous barriers can be broken.

“We are human,” Kipchoge said. “I am happy that I’ve reduced by 2 1/2 minutes the world record.”

The Kenyan added: “We are going up the tree … I have lifted a branch and I am going onto the next one. This is not the end of the attempt of runners on two hours.”

Widely considered the best marathon runner in the world, Kipchoge did break his personal best time of 2:03:05, which was set at the London Marathon last year. Kimetto set the world mark in Berlin in 2014.

Organizers first listed Kipchoge’s time as a second faster, then changed it to 25 seconds off the 2-hour mark.

“I rank this as the highest-ever performance in my life,” Kipchoge said. “The aim of ‘Breaking2’ was to pass the message that running less than two-hour marathon is possible. That message is really special to me.”

It wasn’t a road race, with runners completing 17.5 laps around the 1.5-mile Monza Formula One track. The Breaking2 project was held on the 63rd anniversary of Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954.

Kipchoge’s time didn’t go down as an official world record, sanctioned by the IAAF, due to variables like pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.

And, after three years of planning, Nike’s audacious attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier remained just that, despite the aid of a shoe that its designers say will make runners four per cent more efficient.

“I’ve been part of many races over my career at Nike. I’ve seen the magic of gold shoes and swift suits. I’ve seen iconic athletes leave it all on the track,” Nike CEO Mark Parker said. “But I’ve never seen anything like what we saw today.

“Today, millions of people around the world watched as running history was written. At Breaking2, Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles faster than any human ever … This achievement represents more than a race. It’s a moment of global inspiration that will encourage every athlete, in every community, to push the limits of their potential.”

The Monza track was selected after extensive research that included average temperature, air pressure and wind levels.

Two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa, from Ethiopia, and Eritrean half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese were also part of the attempt, which started at 5:45 a.m. local time, but finished well off the pace.

Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, with Tadese falling back shortly afterwards. The duo still completed the marathon with Tadese shaving nearly four minutes off his personal best with a time of 2:06:51. Desisa finished in 2:14:10.

That left just Kipchoge chasing the landmark time.

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 enough, despite his final sprint to the tape.

Kipchoge would have needed an average of less than 4:35 per mile — an improvement of about seven seconds per mile on Kimetto’s record, or around 2.5 per cent.

“I tried to maintain the pace,” Kipchoge said. “As a human you are not a machine so you cannot go 2.50 exactly, and those micro-seconds really have an effect.”

___

This story has been corrected to show that Kipchoge’s time was 2 hours, 25 seconds, after a change by organizers.

Daniella Matar, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Local boys raise money for sick children in unconventional way

Four local boys have found a way to use their passion for… Continue reading

Skid Steer stolen from Sparwood Transfer Station

Elk Valley RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance with a theft that… Continue reading

Golf pro has big plans for Sparwood Golf Course

Golf pro looks to a promising future for golf in Sparwood

Ghostriders show grit and tenacity

Hard work and heartbreak; a reoccurring theme in Fernie’s past two hockey… Continue reading

Fernie Swim team aims for Nationals

Aidan Chudleigh has high hopes for his swim team this year, and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Most Read