Sun, May 07, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Kipchoge misses two-hour marathon mark by 26 seconds

AP, MONZA, Italy

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the Monza racetrack in Italy yesterday.

Photo: AP

Eliud Kipchoge was 26 seconds from making history yesterday, but the Olympic champion finished just short of becoming the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Kipchoge ran the 42.2km in 2 hours, 26 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

The 32-year-old Kenyan did break his personal best time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 5 seconds, 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 two-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.

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 4 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 5:45am — but finished well of the pace.

Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, with Tadese falling back shortly afterward. The duo still completed the 17 laps of the 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 minutes, 54 seconds, but his average pace was just not enough, despite his final sprint to the tape.

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