KUALA LUMPUR: He may have missed the two-hour mark on Saturday, but Kenyan runner and Rio Olympics marathon gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge, 32, has re-written the limits of human speed and endurance.
At the Nike Breaking2 event, an ambitious project by the sports brand to see if a marathon could be run in under two hours, Kipchoge was only 25 seconds short of the mark, making the race the fastest marathon even ran.
The current world record, as ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), is at 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. But last Saturday’s race did not qualify for a record, as it used, among others, pacers and people on mopeds giving runners water and gels, which contravene IAAF rulings.
Ran at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza race track, Kipchoge was joined by Lesisa Desisa from Ethiopia, two-time winner of the Boston Marathon and Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea, the world record holder for men’s half-marathon.
“Today, I have learned that the impossible is possible. The next generation should know that nothing is impossible in this world. Real focus, determination and real hope, can take you somewhere,” Kipchoge said after the race.
“Let all generations from all the world have hope, because the hope of when we first came here, the hope of running under two hours, was two minutes and 57 seconds. Now we are only 25 seconds away,” he added.