Monza to host sub two-hour marathon bid

2016 Rio Olympics - Athletics - Final - Men's Marathon - Sambodromo - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 21/08/2016.Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) of Kenya celebrates during the flower ceremony after the race REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

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

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 optimise 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)