As mentioned in the last post about the Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite, our partner Nike has already made public the route it will use for the “Breaking2” project. The choice of route was a surprise for many, as it is not a popular marathon route like those in Berlin, Boston or London, where record times were achieved. Instead, Nike and the three runners, Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese, have opted for the traditional Formula 1 track in Monza. Loud engines and hectic pit crews are not what you usually associate with a marathon but, then again, this project does not have a typical marathon goal in mind. In order to earn the “Holy Grail” of marathon running, Nike and the athletes have put their full focus on speed - and they are sure to find that in Monza.
Apart from speed, there are some other factors that make Monza the right setting for the event. With an average temperature of 12°C, low air pressure of less than 12mmHg and a mostly cloudy sky, Monza offers the ideal conditions for a marathon. Thanks to the slightly secluded location and the large amount of trees in the area, the track is unlikely to experience dramatic changes in the direction of the wind - yet another good reason why Nike chose this setting. Tarmac is most runners’ preferred running surface, as it allows for good push-off phases but is not as hard as cement. As well as this, the track is very flat, so there are no big climbs or ditches and athletes can enjoy a level run. The track is 2.4 km long, meaning that the three runners can exercise good time- and pace management and receive regular feedback on their speed. They can also control their drink- and food intake just as well. We look forward to finding out if Nike and the three athletes can manage to run 42.195 km in less than two hours.