Did you know that…..
In May of this year, Monza was the site of the latest attempt to break marathoning’s two-hour barrier (the current world record is 2:02:57). Nike chose Monza because the track is flat, it is protected from wind by trees, and it has few curves (which require more effort from runners). These are some the same reasons for the track’s nickname — the Temple of Speed.
The top runner was protected from air resistance by a phalanx of pacesetters running in an arrowhead formation ahead of him. It wouldn’t have been an official marathon record because the pacesetters came in and out of the pack as they tired. For a record, all pacesetters need to start at the beginning. Furthermore, the runners were handed their customized drinks from people on bikes so they didn’t need to slow down to take them off tables. Also not allowed for an official record attempt.
In the end, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, missed the two hour barrier by a mere 26 seconds! He bested the best official marathon time by two and half minutes though. Proving once again that Monza is a very fast place.