Nike’s attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon is scheduled for Saturday morning in Milan (11:45 p.m. ET on Friday), streamed live via Nike’s social media.
Saturday is the 63-year anniversary of Roger Bannister becoming the first person to break 4 minutes in the mile.
Nike’s attempt, on a Formula One race track featuring Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, will not be for an officially sanctioned world record due to reported variables such as some pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to the runners via mopeds.
Kipchoge, three-time Boston Marathon winner Lelisa Desisa and half-marathon world-record holder Zersenay Tadese are gunning to become the first men to break two hours for 26.2 miles.
The marathon world record is held by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, at 2:02:57, set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon. It took 16 years for the record to descend from 2:06:05 to sub-2:03.
The three men will take 17 and a half trips around a 1.5-mile loop on Saturday, aided by a slew of pacers reportedly including five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat.
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).
In March, Nike unveiled a new shoe for the marathon attempt that it says makes runners four percent more efficient.
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nzaccardi