Moonshot Marathon … Nike seeks to break the 2 hour marathon barrier

December 14, 2016

Of course, Nike and Adidas have operated in an increasingly competitive market, not only for sports marketing influence but in sales of sportswear. The rise of so-called athleisure has brought new competitors like UnderArmour to Lululemon into the mix and sales of casual, fashion-forward shoes have risen faster than performance-oriented sneakers.

Those conditions have put more pressure on the likes of Nike and Adidas to reignite sales of performance gear. “A pendulum swing in fashion preference from performance towards lifestyle fashion athletic footwear has contributed to a bearish sentiment on Nike,” said analysts recently, following a stock market slide of around 30% of its value during 2016.

A sub-2-hour marathon is considered something of a last frontier in running, since the four-minute mile was shattered decades ago. At that time, runners including Roger Bannister in England and John Landy in Australia raced weekly to try to become the first to shatter the elusive barrier. Once it was broken by Bannister, it seemed far easier, and Landy went on to beat it by several seconds. At the time though, it was a battle that focused the sporting world. The topic is often debated but experts are skeptical that the barrier will be broken in the near term.

The record attempt takes place on Saturday 6 May 2017, at 0545 local time at Monza, Italy.

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