“Most people remember Breaking2 as a spectacle. Three runners, pacers, big crowds, and a race track in Italy, trying to break one of the last great thresholds in sport. But it started years earlier, humbly, on a whiteboard,” says Brett Kirby, a Human Performance Researcher at the Nike Science Research Lab (NSRL) who quarterbacked the project.
Kirby, a self-described academic, holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and taught at both Duke and University of Oregon, before his current tenure at Nike. He studies the physiology of the world’s best athletes–how cardio, neurological, and muscular systems work together. “It’s a blend of art and science,” he explains. “A holistic view of athletes, helping them progress to the best of their ability.”
The NSRL is a team of 60 from widely diverse backgrounds: bio-mechanical researchers, computer scientists, behavioral experts,