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Nike Breaking2’s Sandy Bodecker dies at 66

Besides being the brains behind the sub-2 marathon attempt, Nike's V.P. of special projects was the driving force behind innovations in a variety of sports

One of the most influential behind-the-scenes figures in the sports world, Sandy Bodecker, has died at the age of 66. Bodecker was Nike’s V.P. of Special Projects, the most famously special to runners being 2017’s Breaking2, the highly structured attempt at a sub-2:00 marathon, which also led to the creation of the Vaporfly and Zoom Fly shoes. Though media reports were not specific, Bodecker had battled cancer in the past.

RELATED: PHOTOS: On the ground at Nike’s Breaking2 two-hour marathon attempt

According to Nike, Bodecker was obsessed with the marathon’s 2-hour barrier, so much so that he had 1:59:59 tattooed on his left wrist. “The sub-two-hour marathon is the last big, once-in-a-generation barrier,” he said at the time. “It will impact the way runners view distance running and human potential forever.” The athlete who came the closest, Eliud Kipchoge, paid tribute to his friend in a tweet.

Bodecker had been with Nike for more than 35 years. He started as a shoe wear-test co-ordinator and was deeply involved in football and action sports before becoming the brand’s first head of global design.


Bodecker had overseen Nike’s skateboarding division since 2002. Nike SB paid tribute to him in a recent Instagram post.