Magical two-hour barrier will be broken: Moneghetti

GBR MARATHON

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has smashed the world marathon record. IMAGE: Supplied.
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THE race is on to achieve the ultimate in sport, and marathon champion and Port Douglas’ favourite son Steve Moneghetti said today it won’t be too long before the two-hour mark for the 42.2km distance is broken.

The comments come in the wake of Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge smashing the world marathon record by clocking a time of two hours one minute 39 seconds in Berlin. This equates to running 2.86 minutes per kilometre.

“We are getting close and my guess is the two-minute mark will be broken within a few years, or even less,” said Moneghetti, who will be competing in the half-marathon in the Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival in Port Douglas on October 28.

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“My prediction is that one of the leading runners from Kenya, Uganda or Ethiopia will clock 1:57, which means it’s a sprint from start to finish. At this speed, they are running at 2.77 minutes per kilometre which is incredible.”

The 33-year-old Kipchoge eclipsed nearly one minute 20 seconds off the previous best, which was set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto when he ran 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014.

After his feat, Kipchoge was at a loss for words. “I lack words to describe this day. I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record."

Kipchoge won the London Marathon for a third time earlier this year and is the Olympic champion over the distance.

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In 2017, Kipchoge missed out on becoming the first athlete to run under two hours for the marathon by 26 seconds.

The Kenyan clocked 2:00:25 but because pacemakers who could swap in and out of the run were used, the time was not recognised as a world record.

Another marathon great, Robert de Castella, the 1983 world champion and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, believes if anyone can break the two-hour barrier, it’s Kipchoge.

Athletics has produced many milestones, but many still talk about Sir Roger Bannister’s feat on May 6 1954 at Iffley Road track in Oxford when he ran the mile in under four minutes. His time was 3:59:4. Although the record lasted a mere 46 days, it was among the most significant at the time.

Meanwhile, two of the country’s highest profile marathon runners will go head-to-head at this year's Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival in Port Douglas on October 28.

Michael Shelley, who won gold in this year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast with a time of 2:16:46, will stand alongside his boyhood hero and world champion Steve Moneghetti in the half-marathon.

Moneghetti, who was recently inducted into the Berlin Marathon Hall of Fame, will be making his eighth appearance in Port Douglas as the Run for the Reef Ambassador, said he was looking forward to returning to port.

“I am starting to feel like a local. This is clearly one of my favourite events and its growth over the years is testament to how well it is organised, the atmosphere it generates and the friendliness of everyone,” he said today.

Moneghetti was the fastest marathoner in the world in Berlin in 1990 when he won in the incredible time of 2hr 8min in a race that attracted more than 25,000 participants. He has represented Australia at four Olympics and is a Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion. 

 

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