Two Hour Barrier for the Marathon distance broken

Monday 21 October 2013, 1:32PM

By Athletics New Zealand



The two hour barrier for the marathon was broken on Sunday by a Primary Sports Canterbury Cross Country team.

They ran the marathon distance, 42.195 km, in 1:59:43 on a grass 200m track at Hillview Christian School in Christchurch.

They were running in the Save the Children World Marathon Challenge - a world wide event in its third year that has almost 500 teams taking part from all over the world. 

The Canterbury team was led off by 2013 National Cross Country Champion, Nicki McFadzien, who ran the first 195m. The next 42km, or 210 laps of the 200m track, were run by the 31 members of the team of boys and girls aged 9-13 years.

Each runner ran a 200m sprint before passing on the baton to the next runner.

The children also raised $225 for Save the Children and raised awareness of Child Poverty in what was also called the "Race for Survival".

The World Marathon record was broken three weeks ago in the Berlin Marathon by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang who ran 2:03:23 to knock fifteen seconds off the old mark.

The children's time places them second in the world at present, behind Helsby High School from Manchester in England who ran a time four minutes quicker than the flying kiwi kids.