The Fastest Marathon Ever Run

Eliud Kipchoge was just 25 seconds short of breaking the two-hour barrier—but he still made running history.

PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, athletes around the globe set out to race Nike’s Breaking2 project, a 26-mile run to be completed in under two hours. Amongst the marathoners were Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese.

The race, held at at the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, was closed to the public, but hundreds of thousands tuned in to a livestream aired by Nike, and countless more weighed in on Twitter using the #Breaking2 hashtag to follow the outcome of the historic marathon.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

Eliud Kipchoge, one of the fastest runners in the world, completed the Nike Breaking2 marathon just 25 seconds shy of the two-hour goal.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

Although Kipchoge did not complete the run in under two hours, he is now the world record holder for the fastest marathon. He completed the run 2 minutes and 32 seconds faster than the current world record.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

After training for almost a year for this historic event, Kipchoge celebrates his nearly perfect run.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

For Kipchoge to shave 25 seconds off his time, he will have to focus on three key physiological elements in his training: oxygen consumption, lactate threshold, and running efficiency.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

Psychological training plays an important role in running. Athletes not only need to be able to overcome their physical fatigue, but also the mental challenges involved in pushing through more than two hours of intense physical stress.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

In addition to more than a year of mental and physical training, athletes needed to be equipped with lightweight gear. Shoes made from a carbon fiber plate ensured they were not weighed down by equipment.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

Even though Kipchoge celebrated his new record, he will be back next year to once again try and break the elusive two-hour time barrier.
PHOTOGRAPH BY KEITH LADZINSKI

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