Kipchoge narrowly misses 2-hour marathon attempt

Kipchoge ran the 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers) in 2 hours, 26 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2-02-57.

Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt at Monza’s Formula One race course did not 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.   -  Sandeep Saxena

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 kilometers) in 2 hours, 26 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2-02-57.

The 32-year-old Kenyan did break his personal best time of 2-03-05, which was set at the London Marathon last year. Organizers first listed his time as a second faster, then changed it to 26 seconds off the 2-hour mark.

The attempt at Monza’s Formula One race course did not 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, a sporting goods company’s audacious attempt at breaking the two—hour barrier remained just that, despite the aid of a shoe that designers say will make runners four percent more efficient.

Two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa, from Ethiopia, and Eritrean half—marathon world—record holder Zersenay Tadese were also part of the Breaking2 project, which started at 5-45 a.m., but finished well of the pace.

Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, with Tadese falling back shortly afterwards. The duo still completed the 17 laps of the 1.5—mile Monza track.

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.

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