Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has come within 26 seconds of running the first marathon in under two hours. Tadese is the world record-holder in the half marathon with a time of 58:23, but he's never been anywhere close to two hours for a full marathon - his best is 2:10:41.
Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon on Saturday in 2 hours and 25 seconds, about 2 1/2 minutes faster than the current world record.
Kipchoge clocked two hours 25 seconds to beat two-time Boston Marathon victor Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese from Eritrea in the race.
Because of the advantages, the time will not count as an official world record if achieved.
"Creating a spectacle or stunt like a world record can garner more attention, than if you paid for the attention", Lenderman said.
Kipchoge ran the race at a flawless 4:34 pace in the early stages, and ultimately faltered in the last five kilometers.
Nike produced shoes to be worn by the athletes making the attempt, the "Zoom Elite", pitched as the ideal blend of weightlessness, energy return and aerodynamics.
Nike calls the attempt to shave three minutes off the current world record a moonshot.
Two University of OR researchers told news wire Reuters they think humans can run 26.2 miles in less than two hours.
Wired was on the ground in Milan, Italy for the race and has a good recap here, as well as this detailed look at why Nike is doing this. He is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the men's marathon with his personal best time of 2:03:05 set at the London Marathon just a year ago.
The official world record is now held by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, at 2:02:57, set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. "People will run faster and faster, similar to when Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile". Running under two hours would require a 2.4% improvement over Mr. Kimetto's record, a wide margin for a sport which typically sees world records broken by much smaller percentages.
Any time an athlete breaks a world record, a premier marketing opportunity is born.
This is part of Nike's Breaking2 Project, which is created to push human performance to new frontiers. On the day, Kipchoge ran 17.5 laps of a 2.4km (roughly 1.5 miles) course at a race track in Italy. Now it was all down to the next two hours.
Eritrean Zersenay Tadese and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, the other two main runners, both dropped off the pace and were out of the running by the halfway mark.
"I think we may have to take the result with a pinch of salt, he told CNN before the race".