May 6, 2017

Nike's two-hour marathon test falls just short

Luca Bruno / AP

The distance runner Eliud Kipchoge completed the quickest marathon ever Saturday in two hours, 25 seconds under tightly-controlled conditions on a Formula One racetrack in Italy.

Nike project: Kipchoge's remarkable run was the showcase of Nike's big Breaking2 initiative, a multi-year, science-driven project to break the two-hour marathon barrier. (Getting under two hours would require a runner to average 4 minutes, 34 seconds per mile for the 26.2 mile distance.)

One level deeper: The athletes wore customized Nike shoes with a carbon-fiber plate that have attracted some controversy, per NYT, even though shoe design rules for standard marathons are vague.

Why it matters: Breaking2 has been a major effort by Nike to push the boundaries of running performance, while interest in the project and Nike's careful rollout has been a significant marketing opportunity for the retail giant.

One big question: Whether and when the otherworldly Kipchoge can break the world record under sanctioned conditions, and how fast he can go while still in his prime (he's 32). September's Berlin marathon, where the last several men's world records have been set, would be a logical place.

What they're saying: Sports scientist Ross Tucker predicts that Kipchoge could run around two hours and two minutes or slightly slower in a race like Berlin.

Why it's not a world record: Kipchoge ran 2 minutes and 32 seconds faster than the current world record, set by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014. But the sophisticated use of a rotating squad of pacemakers and mobile delivery of drink bottles during the event were outside the rules for record-sanctioned events.

Corporate battle: Nike is releasing a retail version of its Vaporfly shoe in June, while rival Adidas has a competing project called Sub2 and a competing shoe. Bloomberg breaks down the corporate rivalry here.

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Queen Elizabeth addresses U.K. amid coronavirus crisis: "We will meet again"

In a rare televised address on Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II urged the United Kingdom to respond to the coronavirus pandemic with the "self-discipline" and "resolve" that have defined the British people in moments of crisis.

Why it matters: It's just the fifth time that the queen, who traditionally speaks to the nation once a year on Christmas Day, has addressed the British people in this way during her 68-year reign.

Go deeperArrow3 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,237,420 — Total deaths: 67,260 — Total recoveries: 252,944Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 312,762 — Total deaths: 9.132 — Total recoveries: 15,044Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. Surgeon general says this week will be "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. Biden says DNC may have to hold virtual convention.
  5. States updates: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state "literally going day-to-day" with supplies.
  6. Work update: Employees still going to work face temperature checks, distanced work stations, protective devices and mass absences.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo says New York is "literally going day-to-day with our supplies"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference on Sunday that New York is struggling to maintain medical supplies while combatting the novel coronavirus — operating "literally" on a "day-to-day" basis.

Why it matters: New York City has become an epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, facing mass quarantines and stay-at-home orders. Cuomo said Saturday that New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths.