#Breaking2 and Moonshots Mon, May 15, 2017
An admitted "Moonshot", Nike had been planning the #Breaking2 race event for over a year and dreaming about it for many more years before that. Early last Saturday morning in Monza, Italy, three legendary Nike distance runners lined up at Monza's Formula 1 racetrack to try to achieve the impossible: break the 2-hour barrier for a marathon. Until then, the fastest marathon on record was 2:02:57, set in 2014 by Kenyan runner Dennis Kipruto Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon.
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopia's Lelisa Desis and Eritrea's Zersenay Tadese were the three runners handpicked by Nike to attempt the feat. The runners were actually paid by Nike to forgo the London and Berlin Marathons this year in an effort to save their legs and fully invest in this one single feat, where they would need to run an average of 4:34 per mile...for 26.2 miles.
Nike accounted for every variable they could influence: the location was picked for ideal weather conditions; the track was chosen for easy curves to negate any extra energy expenditure on hard turns; shoes were designed to each runner's exact measurements, foot patterns, stride length, etc.; a fleet of motorized scooters was on hand to bring the runners water as needed so they wouldn't need to slow down to hydrate; world-class Nike runners, Olympians in their own right, were there to flank the three runners throughout the race so they wouldn't have to fight drafts or headwinds.
Assuming no one is going to go back and re-watch the 2+ hour livestream to see how it ends, *spoiler alert* - none of the three runners broke the 2 hour barrier. The closest was Eliud Kipchoge, who clocked in at 2:00:25...a mere 25.1 seconds short of achieving a sub-2 hour marathon. Heartbreakingly close? Undoubtedly. One giant leap closer to achieving the Moonshot? Absolutely.
Kipchoge beat the previous world record by a whopping 2:32 - a lifetime in world record standards. After his history-making race, Kipchoge said, "Today, I have learned that the impossible is possible...Let all generations from all the world have hope, because the hope of when we first came here, the hope of running under two hours, was two minutes and 57 seconds. Now we are only 25 seconds away.”
Moral of the story? Dream your Moonshots and go after them fully and unabashedly because you know how the saying goes, "Shoot for the Moonshots, because even if you miss you'll land amongst the Starshots."