Monza - Reigning
Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in
his attempt to complete the distance under the mythical two-hour mark,
finishing in a time of 2:00:25 on Saturday.
The time, which smashed the world record of 2:02:57 set by
Dennis Kimetto of Kenya, will not enter the record books largely because
of the non-compliant system of pacemaking used in the attempt, made on
the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit.
For the entire attempt, Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting
team which trailed a time-keeping vehicle by less than 10 metres.
Despite narrowly missing the mark, Kipchoge said he believed it was possible and that he could make another attempt.
Speaking trackside to Britain's Paula Radcliffe, a former three-time
winner of the London marathon, Kipchoge said: "I hope next time... but I
can say it's closer (possible) for a human to run under the two-hour
Backed by a small army of scientists put together by sportswear
giants Nike, and helped by an ever-changing battalion of pacesetters,
Kipchoge set out to complete the classic marathon distance of 42.195km in 1:59:59 or faster.
In his pursuit of sporting immortality Kipchoge had to set a
ferocious pace of 4:34 per mile - seven seconds quicker than the
world record pace set by Kimetto at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.
Requiring the sort of evolutionary leap against the clock that is
usually only achieved over decades, Kipchoge started in promising
Despite being one second over the target time after 5km,
he was clocked at five seconds under after 10km then 15km and was still
two seconds inside the target at the 25km mark.
But over the remaining third of the race, which began at 05:45 local
time in slightly humid conditions, Kipchoge steadily began to
fall behind pace.
He was clocked at over six seconds over the required pace at the 35km mark and, over the remaining distance, began to steadily trail his
pacesetters before finishing just 25 seconds over the target.