I Stayed Up to Watch a Two Hour Ad
The current record for running a marathon is 2:02:57 seconds.
Nike, the athletic apparel brand, announced an event aiming to not only break the world record but also break the two-hour barrier. Many thought they were crazy as a two-hour pace would mean dropping more than six seconds per mile off the current record pace of 4:41/mile.
To help close the six-second gap, Nike engineered custom shoes for each of the three runners. The shoes, which are not available for purchase, supposedly boasted a four percent increase in efficiency. They also selected the race to take place on a custom formula one track in Monza, Italy, where ideal temperature conditions would be met and assembled a team of pacers that would rotate out in front of the three runners to help with drafting and pacing. The assembled team meant a breaking of the world record wouldn’t even be recognized. The sole reason Nike was doing this was to see how far they could push the human body.
During the livestream Nike would cut away and cover two-minute stories of each athlete and the technology implemented to make it happen. A very positive tone of running and human achievement was carried throughout the message. It almost felt like every runner was cheering them on.
In the end, Elide Kipchoge came just short of breaking the two-hour barrier. And although he failed to break it, it truly showed that a human could one day do so. The official world record is bound to drop in the next major marathon.
Personally, I was extremely excited to watch the event and thought it was a great Friday night. I didn’t even realize the thousands of Nike swooshes that littered the screen and failed to realize I watched a two-hour advertisement until the next day, when I went for a long run and noticed that I had put on a Nike shirt and pair of shorts. I definitely ran faster.