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Marathon: Kenya’s Kipchoge misses world record by seconds

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Eliud Kipchoge: Lives to regret the lost opportunity

Eliud Kipchoge was 26 seconds from making history on Saturday but the Olympic champion finished just short of becoming the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Kipchoge ran the 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers) in 2 hours, 26 seconds, beating Dennis Kimetto’s world mark of 2:02:57 set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

But due to the use of 20 in-out pacemakers, the time will not be recognised as a world record, meaning Dennis Kimetto’s mark of 2:02.57 is still the quickest.

The race took place on Italy’s Monza Grand Prix circuit, chosen by the sportswear company for its gentle corners and favourable climatic conditions.

The 32-year-old Kenyan did break his personal best time of 2:03:05, which was set at the London Marathon last year.

According to USA TODAY, organizers first listed his time as a second faster, then changed it to 26 seconds off the 2-hour mark.

The attempt at Monza’s Formula One race course did not go down as an official world record, sanctioned by the IAAF, due to variables like pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.

And, after three years of planning, a sporting goods company’s audacious attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier remained just that, despite the aid of a shoe that designers say will make runners four percent more efficient.

Two-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa, from Ethiopia, and Eritrean half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese were also part of the Breaking2 project, which started at 5:45 a.m., but finished well of the pace.

Desisa was dropped after 50 minutes, with Tadese falling back shortly afterwards. The duo still completed the 17 laps of the 1.5-mile Monza track.

That left just Kipchoge chasing the landmark time.

The 32-year-old continued in his trademark relaxed style and passed the halfway mark in 59:54, but his average pace of 4:36 per mile was just not enough, despite his final sprint to the tape.

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