Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is gearing up to his biggest test yet when he attempts to break the sub two hours marathon run in a special course in Monza, Italy in May.
The event, dubbed Nike’s Breaking2 project, will feature star runners Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and will be held tentatively on any of the three days of the first weekend of May to ensure athletes compete in ideal weather conditions. The attempt will take place at the Formula One track in Monza, with May 6 as the first choice and May 7 and 8 as back-up dates. Nike announced Tuesday the race window for its special sub-2 marathon attempt. The course on which the race will be staged, Autodromo Nazionale Monza, usually hosts the Italian Grand Prix every September. “Nike chose to announce a target ‘race window’ weekend rather than a specific date. The race is closed to the public but will be live streamed,” said Nike media statement.
On May 6, about 63 years ago Roger Bannister became the first person to run a sub-4:00 mile and Nike want to set another record if their plan is successful. Three men, including Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, will take 17 and a half trips around a 1.5-mile loop. The course will be ratified by the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, but the attempt will not be for an officially sanctioned world record, according to the Guardian, citing a Nike spokesperson.
Nike said the asphalt surface near Milan has ideal temperature (54 degrees average), wind (2.6 miles per hour) and altitude (600 feet above sea level). “Additionally, skies are typically overcast (minimizing heat load on the runners) and air currents don’t exhibit drastic directional shifts – thanks to the course being perfectly situated off shore and amid many trees,” Nike said.