Kipchoge sets new unofficial marathon world record

Marathon records

Marathon records

He was joined by three-time Boston Marathon victor Lelisa Desisa, from Ethiopia, and Eritrean half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese.

His stunning run at the iconic Monza circuit - 2:00:25 - was 2:33 minutes faster than the world record set by Dennis Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon three years ago.

The Nike-sponsored Breaking2 attempt will not go down as an official world record due to the use of pacers and drinks being given to runners via mopeds. At around 20km, Kipchoge pulled away to leave his rivals far behind. To come under the margin, Kipchoge would have been required to run at 13.1 miles per hour for the duration. Race organizers originally listed his time at two hours and 24 seconds but later corrected it.

The last six marathon records have been set at the Berlin Marathon, a run that started in 2003.

Precisely 2 hours, 25 seconds later, Kipchoge narrowly missed going sub-2.

Running a marathon in just under two hours (1:59:59) would mean that the runners would need to average a four minute and 41 second mile ... for 26.2 miles. The company says lab tests showed that runners ran 4 percent more efficiently in new custom-made shoes containing ultra-lightweight foam and a carbon-fiber plate that pops back as the toes push off.

"I am happy to have done it in two hours", Kipchoge added when asked if he thought sub-two hours was possible. Beyond all the hoopla, the point is simple: to see whether, under optimal conditions, a human being can run that fast for that long.

Slicing roughly three minutes off the marathon world record requires a ideal alignment of human physiology, state-of-the-art equipment and flawless conditions. In the next 5 kilometers, Kipchoge kept form but amidst some grimaces lost the pace, inch by inch, falling 10 seconds off the schedule at 40 kilometers.

Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia also raced in the behind-closed-doors Nike event in Italy but faded earlier in the attempt.

Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge pauses after crossing the finish line of a marathon race at the Monza Formula One racetrack, Italy, Saturday, May 6, 2017.

But even if he ran a sub-two hour marathon, the race violates IAAF's rules.

"I don't mind the gap", he said referring to the big time difference of his personal best to the 2 hours target.

Tadese finished in 2:06:51 while Desisa came in 2:14:10.

"Thanks to all the pacers, to help me to go through this challenge", he said. Right now, Paula Radcliffe holds the distinction of running the fastest-ever marathon by a woman with a time of 2:15:25 in the 2003 London Marathon. Desisa, whose marathon PR of 2:04:45 was set at the Dubai Marathon in 2013, fell behind at 15K.

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