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

Terrace RCMP arrest Kitimat man for drug trafficking

A police investigation has led to the arrest of a Kitimat man… Continue reading

Terrace Fire Department announces new training program, increased calls in year-end report

All firefighters in Terrace are expected to complete training by the end of April 2018.

UPDATE: Prince Rupert woman killed in logging truck collision

Empty logging truck west of Terrace struck moose before colliding with the eastbound SUV

David Edwardsen sentenced to eight years in jail

Sentencing result of 14 drug and firearms convictions

Taking a virtual walk across Canada

The Kermode Friendship Society challenged their staff to participate in this year’s competition, which aims to promote physical activity, networking, and friendly competition.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Canada’s Beaulieu-Marchand wins bronze in Olympic slopestyle

The skier from Quebec City scored 92.40 on his second run

Russian athlete suspected of doping at PyeongChang Olympics

The case could be an obstacle to Russia’s efforts to have the Russian team formally reinstated

Canadians place second in first heat of two-man bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz finish 0.02 seconds behind Latvian team in Winter Olympics

Most Read