It was a genuinely incredible "race", essentially becoming one man against time, and while kipchoge failed, he came so much closer than most had expected.
That said, I'm kind of shocked by how many people didn't think that the optimisation of so many factors could at least bring Kipchoge close. Chances are if you're on letsrun you know how easily the small things early in the 'thon can lead to total disaster in the last 10K, therefore it's not hard to imagine that the pacers, fluids, shoes, etc all could make a significant difference.
That said, I don't feel that any of those benefits negate the fact that Kipchoge still had to run at that speed for that long. Those last couple miles were so intense, especially when everyone thought he'd be done after 20 miles. His demeanor, his interview, I have to say I have tremendous respect for Kipchoge, even more than before. What a runner