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Can the marathon’s two-hour barrier be broken?

An unofficial attempt in May came within 30 seconds. But a certified breach might take decades.

It is one of running’s three great barriers. The first, a sub-four-minute mile, was achieved in 1954 by Britain’s Sir Roger Bannister, on a gusty day at Oxford University’s dusty cinder track. The second, a sub-ten-second 100…

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