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Nike pull the strings in Monza for attempt at sub-two-hour marathon

Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa will attempt to shatter the barrier on Saturday although the nature of Nike’s assistance has raised questions

The next time you are on a treadmill, try this simple experiment. First, hold down the speed button until it reaches 13.1mph – assuming it even goes that high. Congratulations, you are running at 4.34-minute mile pace. Then, providing you haven’t already torpedoed off the back and shredded your dignity and ligaments, try sustaining it. Unless you are a seriously good runner you will not last two minutes. Now imagine maintaining that speed for 26.2 miles.

That, in essence, is what three athletes – the Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder, and Lelisa Desisa, a two-times Boston Marathon winner – will be trying to do shortly before dawn on Saturday.

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