Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has run the quickest Marathon in history, just missing out on breaking the two-hour mark. But Kipchoge did beat the previous marathon record of 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya on September 28, 2014 at the Berlin Marathon.
One of the most coveted frontiers left in athletics was approached so tantalizingly close early Saturday but not broken, with Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge covering a full marathon course in two hours and 24 seconds.
Half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea and Ethiopia's two-time Boston Marathon victor Lelisa Desisa, the other two athletes attempting the record, both dropped off the pace by around the halfway mark.
"We are human", Kipchoge said.
Along with a shoe that designers say will make runners 4 percent more efficient, organizers believe that running world record pace should be fast enough to break two hours because of the extra benefits available to the runners.
Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese are the three courageous runners that will attempt to run a marathon in under two hours with the help of a Tesla pace vehicle which will maintain a pace of two hours.
Lelisa Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, with Zersenay Tadese falling back shortly afterwards. But the sportswear company Nike had spent two years and invested millions to ensure this would be the fastest marathon in history.More news: Expert finds more North Korea links in ransomware attack
Former 10,000-meter world record holder Dave Bedford is not buying the new time as the world record. "But the performance itself must adhere to the conditions around world records, or it's meaningless".
According to Runner's World, which chronicled the process, scientists at Nike's research lab analyzed all kinds of metrics, such as oxygen usage, skin temperature and how much carbohydrate the runners stored in their legs.
The man of the hour (or two).
Kipchoge's average mile pace was around four minutes and 36 seconds.
Many will hope for the romantic notion of another breakthrough achieved exactly 63 years after Roger Bannister's sub-four minute mile. His finish of 2:06:51 was nearly 4 minutes faster than his previous best (2:10:41). It was a departure from normal marathon races, where runners jockey for position against thousands of competitors and must navigate through hilly sections.
The sub-two hour mark required a pace below four minutes and 35 seconds per mile, which the determined Kipchoge managed to match until falling behind the pace vehicle in the last two laps of the 2.4 km circuit.
All three athletes wore custom versions of Nike's Zoom Vaporfly Elite, an ultra-light but still impressively cushioned racing shoe designed specifically for the Breaking2 attempt.