In the marathon world, breaking 2 hours has always seemed like mystical number that was too far away yet also within the grasp. To the non-runner, it may seem like “c’mon, just run 6 seconds faster for each mile and you can break it.” Well, considering that it would take an average of 4 minutes and 34 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles to break 2 hours, saying to just run a couple of seconds faster is not an easy thing to do!
The Attempt to Break the 2 Hour Marathon Mark
In order to break 2 hours, the runners tonight will need to run at a 4:34 pace for 2 hours to break the 2 hour marathon time. Consider this – before 1855, no one had ever run 4:28 for just a mile! Now, these men are going to slow that down by 6 seconds per mile and run it for 26 miles! That is just incredible!
Nike has been pushing this effort to break 2 hours for sometime and now all of their tests are complete and this event will be run in an attempt to run the fastest marathon time ever. However, even if the runners break the world record time, it will not be a world record since it is not an official race/course. But, it will give incredible insight to what it will take to eventually break the 2 hour mark in a real marathon, both in pacing strategy and development with the shoes, fluids, and clothes.
2 Hour Marathon Details
If you want to watch this historic attempt, it will begin at 5:45AM (Saturday, May 6) in Italy, local time. That means you would have to stay up late on the East Coast as it is 11:45PM tonight, 8:45PM on the West Coast. You can watch it live at this page.
Here are the 3 men who will be running tonight:
- Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia
- Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya
- Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea
The current world record is 2:02:57 for men in the marathon distance. My guess is that they may run 2:01:20 – 2:01:40 tonight. I doubt they will break the 2 hour marathon mark but it should still be exciting!