Eliud Kipchoge, along with Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa, attempted a first sub-two-hour assisted marathon, with even-pacing on a track, a lead car, and supporting runners joining in. But he finished in 2:00:25 time.

By Wayne Drash and Monte Plott (CNN) |

One of the most coveted frontiers left in athletics was approached so tantalizingly close early Saturday but not broken, with Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge covering a full marathon course in two hours and 24 seconds.

Eliud Kipchoge, 32, the 2016 Olympic champion and the 2016 winner of the London Marathon ran with fellow world-class runners Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Zersany Tadese from Eritrea in Nike’s “Breaking2” project aimed at covering the 26.2 miles (42.2km) of a marathon in under two hours. Guided by a platoon of pacing runners, the three started together but in the end it was Kipchoge who came closest to the goal.

The attempt was accomplished at the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, Italy — a site specifically chosen because it was built for speed. The effort came 63 years to the day since Roger Bannister became the first person to ever run a sub-4-minute mile.

Sports giant Nike in 2014 launched its “Breaking2” project, and Saturday’s result culminated hours and hours of research, design and planning — all devoted to maximizing human potential over the marathon.

Continue reading this story on CNN
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