History was made on September 16th, 2018 in the sport of distance running. Eliud Kipchoge, a world class Olympic marathoner, finished the 26.2 mile race at a world record time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds. An amazing feat, his is one of the many examples of the human body being pushed to its limits while running a marathon. But it leads to one important question: will we ever reach a point where a human can break a 2-hour marathon? I believe it will eventually happen.
This was nowhere near the first attempt for a person to break the two hour barrier. One of the most notable attempts was an event called ‘Breaking2’ created by Nike. On May 6, 2017, Nike set out three of the most elite runners in the world to try and break two hours. Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese were all trained and prepared months before the event by the best of the best. This was the biggest attempt to break two hours and the final time was achieved by Eliud Kipchoge at a time of two hours and 25 seconds. An amazing time that still wasn’t close enough. After this, you might think there’s never a chance that this goal will be achieved, but this is just the start.
The Berlin Marathon, one of the most competitive marathons in the world, was created in 1974 and ever since, the most elite runners in marathoning have come to compete. Ever since the beginning, times have gotten better and better. Technology improves, and in turn, human performance improves. In terms of marathoning, the main innovations are shoes, and Nike is leading the pack in shoe development to break two hours. The Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elites are one of the biggest advancements in marathoning shoes and a major milestone in the running industry. This could be one of the pushes they need to crack the 2 hour mark.
After the Breaking2 attempt, Kipchoge said, “The world is now only 25 seconds away.” An amazing way to think about the attempt, while Kipchoge is the favorite to break the barrier, the world is getting better, faster and stronger. Athletes and the goals they accomplish are just getting stronger. As tech and general knowledge about the sport of marathoning improves, new goals will be created.