Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge sets new unofficial marathon world record

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Two-time Boston Marathon victor 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.

The hashtag #Breaking2 is now trending online as marathon fans, who had been glued to the live streams of the event on Twitter and Facebook, heap praise on the runner. FILE - In this Sunday, April 26, 2015 file photo, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya wins the Men's race in the 35th London Marathon.

AFP | Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya narrowly failed in his attempt to complete the distance under the mythical two-hour mark on Saturday, finishing in a time of 2hr 00min 24sec.

Meanwhile, Adidas - traditionally a soccer company - has found new success with its Boost running shoe. Now it was all down to the next two hours.

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The Breaking2 project was held on the 63rd anniversary of Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile in 1954.

But now, 63 years to the day since Bannister's historic run, a new horizon beckons.

The 2-hour marathon quickly became the sport's holy grail.

Kirwa shared similar sentiments adding that Kipchoge can only now prepare for the World Championships marathon and not an attempt at the World record this year. Variables like pacers entering midrace and drinks given to runners via moped were reasons why the record won't be recognized as official, ESPN reported. It fell more than 40 minutes in the next 50 years. Jos Hermens, an agent representing Mr. Kipchoge, said in an interview last week that anything slower than the current world record "would be a failure". That's a pretty dramatic slowdown.

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In his pursuit of sporting immortality Kipchoge had to set a ferocious pace of 4min 34sec per mile - seven seconds quicker than the world record pace set by Kimetto at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. Three minutes may not sound like a lot of time to cut, but for these world-class athletes, it's an eternity.

True, three minutes doesn't seem like much. The duo still completed the marathon with Tadese shaving almost four minutes off his personal best with a time of 2:06:51. That breaks down to a pace of 4:41 per mile. It was a departure from normal marathon races, where runners jockey for position against thousands of competitors and must navigate through hilly sections. Then do it again but 7 seconds faster. Tadese finished the time trial in 59:40, Runner's World reported.

"If they had, for example, not a 17.5-times loop but four loops of a longer distance, that time might have come down under the two hours".

But they disagree on whether a runner will beat the mark Friday. In the end, Lelisa Desisa, Zersenay Tadese and Kipchoge were selected due to a combination of talent, training and technology - and with this a chance to run a sub two-hour marathon.

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If not, scientists, engineers and footwear designers - many in OR - will keep plugging away until the barrier is broken.