There's been a long-held acceptance that it's impossible to complete a marathon in less than two hours. The record for the fastest marathon ever run is 2:02:57. But Nike doesn't accept that assumption - they're pretty confident that their three Nike athletes who are about to attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier will succeed.
On May 6, 2017, at 1:45pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, three runners - Lelisa Desisa, Zersenay Tadese and Eliud Kipchoge - all from African countries, will attempt to shave at least 2 minutes and 58 seconds off the world record - no small feat, since it took 16 years for the marathon record to drop about three minutes from 2:06:05 to the current 2:02:57, the record set in 2014.
In order to experience how fast these dudes have to go, Women's Health joined Nike Run Club coach Matty Abel and some pacers to run a 2 minute, 51 second kilometre - the pace that they'll have to maintain over 42.2km! And boy, is that fast.
To put the speed in context, Nike athlete Jordan Mercer, current Surf IronWoman Series Champion, weighs in: "When I think of the pace these incredible athletes are running at, it truly seems ridiculous that it can be maintained for a marathon distance. You would need to be riding a push bike to keep up."
When asked if she reckons it's possible these runners will break the 2-hr barrier, Mercer says yes. "Records are made to be broken and many feats seem impossible until they're done. I believe it is possible. Our environment, research and the materials we use have improved.
"Runners would run on a dirt track in bare feet and records were set. These records have since been beaten by athletes who have had advances such as tartan tracks and purpose-built clothing and shoes, with training and sports science knowledge far beyond times gone past. I believe we can keep getting faster and stronger individually and with outside assistance we have far greater heights to reach."
You can tune in to Nike's live stream of this history-making #Breaking2 attempt, which is happening in Monza, Italy. #justdoit