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

Pedestrain struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

Three Sooke athletes compete at provincial swim meet

The Tyee Swim Club made a splash at the provincial championships earlier… Continue reading

Students urged to get bus passes

Students needing to take a bus starting in September are urged to… Continue reading

Victoria airport workers rally on Tuesday

Food service workers call for improved working conditions

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Canadian Tire delivers toys to ease kids’ street play pain in B.C. neighbourhood

It’s like Christmas for 11 kids who are supposed to be confined to their yards by strata bylaw

City orders largest Kinder Morgan protest camp to leave

Residents of Camp Cloud near the Trans Mountain work site have 72 hours to leave

Most Read