World record breakers are often applauded in the various areas where they set new records and can even go on to become quite popular. Eliud Kipchoge, another of Kenya’s great runners, would have had that distinction but for a small fact.
Eliud Kipchoge prepared for two years to smash the world record and finish a marathon in under two hours. It was a feat that had never been accomplished before, one that scientists have actually deemed impossible.
The Kenyan runner prepared to smash this impossible record in the controlled settings of the Monza Grand Prix circuit. He, however, worked alongside a group of pacing runners who were shielding him from the vagaries of nature and who were consequently the reason why his record-breaking feat will not go down in history.
Eliud Kipchoge’s final time is the fastest marathon ever run but it will not count as a world record because of his use of pacers. Ending the race with a calm smile, Kipchoge timed 2:00:24 missing the mark to beat the bigger record of completing a marathon in under two hours by 25 seconds.
He thanked the pacers who ran with him, stating;
“Thank you for lending me your bodies and minds. This is history.”
The fastest marathon ever run in natural conditions (i.e without the use of pacers) was run by Dennis Kimetto in 2:02:57 in the 2014 Berlin race. Eliud Kipchoge himself holds a personal record of 2:03:05, which he set at the 2016 London marathon.
Sporting wear giant, Nike, had paid Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea, and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia to forego the London and Berlin marathon to focus on this goal, arming them with scientists, trainers, nutritionists, and medical staff to help them fulfill the goal.
Eritea’s Zersenay Tadese finished the race in 2:06.51 while Ethipia’s Lelisa Desisa finished it in 2:14.10. Adidas is also preparing runners to break the two-hour mark but in their case, the runners will do it in natural race settings.
Sandy Bodeckar, Nike’s VP of special projects still speaking optimistically that some day the mark will be broken, said; “It’s the last big, once-in-a-generation barrier… It will impact the way runners view distance running and human potential forever.”