Kipchoge was running in Nike’s “Breaking2” project and was joined by world-class runners Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Zersany Tadese of Eritrea on the Monza track, CNN reported. It was a departure from normal marathon races, where runners jockey for position against thousands of competitors and must navigate through hilly sections.
“We believe that once a sub-two-hour marathon is done, the records will fall at traditional marathons after that,” Brad Wilkins, the director of NXT Generation Research in the Nike Sport Research Lab, told CNN before the race. “People will run faster and faster, similar to when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.”
David Bedford, a former British distance runner from the 1970s who held the 10,000-meter world record, was skeptical about the race.
"I think we may have to take the result with a pinch of salt, he told CNN before the race. “I think we need to accept it as it is. I believe it is a good marketing idea, and I think the results may give us some indication of the kind of help athletes might need. But the performance itself must adhere to the conditions around world records, or it's meaningless.”
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