Roger Bannister's four-minute mile, Jim Hines's 10-second 100m, and Paula Radcliffe's unprecedented 2:15:25 marathon all redefined the barriers of human potential. The achievement however will not count as a world record because the race utilised practices like alternating pacers that are not sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Before the race, many sceptics believed running a marathon in under two hours to be nearly impossible.
Kipchoge's effort was part of a campaign staged by Nike.
For the current Olympic champion over 42.195km, playing the starring role in Nike's ambitious Breaking 2 project seemed like just another day at his running office as he fielded questions from the world media. (Adidas entered the arms-well, legs-race with their own sub2 program not long after Nike, and likewise rolled out carefully engineered marathon shoes created to wring every second of efficiency out of a runner's stride.) To others, Nike's combination of no-holds-barred strategy and scientific innovation smacked of unfairness, if not heavy-handed corporate intervention.
In the Autodromo Nationale Monza, a 2.4-kilometer Formula 1 racing track, a triangle formation of six pacers strived to keep Desisa, Kipchoge, and Tadese on a 4:33-per-mile pace for the 17.5 laps.
"Today was history", former world record sprinter Carl Lewis said after the event in northern Italy. In an interview with Runner's World published this week, Mr. Parker wouldn't quantify how much the company spent on the marathon race, saying it was expensive but "it's not like we're reckless sailors".
"I've seen the magic of gold shoes and swift suits".
Dennis Kimetto of Kenya holds the world record at 2:02:57.
He thinks sub-two will most likely be run at one of the traditional city marathons. Guided by a platoon of pacing runners, the three started together but in the end it was Kipchoge who came closest to the goal.
"We are human", Kipchoge said.
Fastest of all time but still 25 seconds short of his target..
Speaking before the attempt, Andrew Jones, professor of physiology at Exeter University who advised the runners on their training and nutrition programmes, told the Observer: "The variety of innovations and interventions we've put in place is worth a minimum of 90 seconds and a maximum of three minutes".
After selecting the athletes, Nike's team sought to control as many other variables as it could and simulated how the race would go at a half-marathon test event on the track in March. Hours after the Breaking2 attempt, sponsored by Nike, Kipchoge, 32, showed off another one of his talents: DJing.