Breaking the Sub 2 Marathon

Breaking The Most Formidable 2-Hour Marathon Barrier

Lelisa Desisa, Zersenay Tadese, Eliud-Kipchoge - Breaking 2 Hour Marathon Barrier

On Saturday, May 6 at 5:45 a.m. in Monza, Italy, Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese will attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier. Though the event is closed to the public, anyone with Internet access can experience the excitement by tuning into Nike’s live stream of the attempt.

Sign up here to receive a notification reminder for when the attempt is happening. Live Breaking2 coverage will begin about 15 minutes before race start. You can directly stream the event here.

Sub 2 Hour Marathon is the most formidable barrier in recent running history. Nobody has come close to that; the current world record is 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya in 2014.

Marathon World Record
Extrapolation of World Record in Marathon (Credit – Runners World)
  • According to research, a race-day temp of 43.2°F produced the quickest times overall. But faster runners, who generate more heat, benefited from cooler temps, with the top one percent peaking at 38.9°F
  • There is elevation bias in timing and flat ultra-flat course will boost the timing
  • To attack the two-hour mark, top runners will need to work together, drafting off each other, almost to the finish.

About The Runners

Eliud Kipchoge: The 32-year-old Kenyan is the standout performer. Last year’s Olympic marathon gold medallist and former 5,000 meters world champion has won seven of his eight marathons. His best of 2.03:05 is the third-fastest in history.

Zersenay Tadese: The Eritrean is the half-marathon world record holder (58:23 minutes) and although he has nothing much in his locker over the full distance, Nike’s scientists identified him as having the potential to go much faster.

Lelisa Desisa: The 26-year-old Ethiopian has a marathon best of 2.04.45 and is another athlete whose numbers in the area of VO2 max (which measures the maximum rate of oxygen consumption), lactate profile (which provides an indicator of fatigue during exercise), and running economy were second to none.