There are two ways to recognise Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt to run a marathon in under two hours – the first is that he fell short by 25 seconds, the second is that he made it look possible.
The 32-year-old Olympic marathon champion ran 26 miles in 2hrs 24secs at Nike’s Breaking2 event at the Monza Formula One track in Milan, with the help of a group of pace setters.
Warning – this video may make you feel a bit tired just watching.
Kipchoge attempted the feat along with fellow African athletes Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese, but broke away from them during the run.
And although Kipchoge missed his target, he did beat the official world record of Dennis Kimetto, who ran the 2014 Berlin Marathon in 2hrs 02mins 57secs – Kipchoge’s time however was unofficial.
“With the race I felt good,” he told Nike’s #Breaking2 LIVE Twitter feed. “I’m a happy man to run a marathon in two hours. Now it is just 25 seconds (I need to lose).
“I believe in good preparation and planning and if I stick to that the 25 seconds will come.”
It seems that missing out on breaking the two-hour mark didn’t stop people feeling inspired by the athlete’s attempt, however.
Make no mistake, this changes the expectations of all marathoners tomorrow and beyond. Amazing!#breaking2— Jeff Dengate (@dengaterade) May 6, 2017
I'm still in shock. The level of endurance and performance humans are capable of is unbelievable. Awestruck. #breaking2— Thomas Lockney (@tlockney) May 6, 2017
Kipchoge’s average mile pace was around four minutes and 36 seconds.
2:00:24 for 26.2 mile.
That.#breaking2— RunnerSpace.com (@RunnerSpace_com) May 6, 2017
Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry was seriously impressed.
And looking at the breakdown for his five kilometre splits only makes it seem more remarkable.
Time to dig.#Breaking2— Nike (@Nike) May 6, 2017
Is sub-two hours possible? It has never seemed closer.