March 7, 2017 / 8:58 PM / 2 years ago

Monza to host sub two-hour marathon bid

(Reuters) - Italian Formula One race track Monza will host an audacious attempt to run the first ever sub-two-hour marathon, organizers announced on Tuesday.

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Victory Ceremony - Men's Marathon Victory Ceremony - Maracana Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/08/2016. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) of Kenya poses with his gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Kenyan Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopia’s Leslisa Desisa and Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese will spearhead the bid to shave almost three minutes off the current world record.

Unlike a conventional city marathon course, Monza has been specially selected to optimize a number of factors such as climate, terrain, elevation above sea level and surface. Competitors will run 17 laps of the 2.4km course.

The world record currently stands at 2 hours, 2 minutes 57 seconds, set by Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014.

Reporting by Toby Davis, editing by Ed Osmond

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