The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon


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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby DrJay » Tue May 07, 2013 7:21 pm

Thirty years before it happens. We've had our two 200m mutants, MJ and Bolt. We've had our two 5K/10K mutants (Geb, KB.) Not sure we've had our marathon mutant yet, but when we do, he'll run maybe 2:01:45 and that will be the record for a long, long time. Using the word "dumb" in that article may have been dumb, but the numbers and analysis presented are pretty much hard to argue with.

As I said in (yet) another thread on this topic, someone should pony up $1,000,000 for a "race" that works like this: the gun goes off, the world class field starts running. A pace car moves along at 2:00:00 pace. You drop back by more than, say 10 or 20 meters and you're out. Maybe have a wheat combine trailing the field by 30m to keep things interesting. Last man left hanging on to 2:00:00 pace with the pacecar takes home all the loot. Then we could see how far a man can sustain that pace in 2013.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby JumboElliott » Tue May 07, 2013 7:31 pm

Unfortunately Wanjiru might have been the marathon mutant. :(
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby lonewolf » Tue May 07, 2013 9:12 pm

JumboElliott wrote:Unfortunately Wanjiru might have been the marathon mutant. :(

That is kinda my thinking..
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby 26mi235 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:15 pm

Geb was your Marathon mutant also; he learned to run very efficient on the track and then how to run very efficiently on the road for both shorter and longer road races. The later took more learning on his part because he had to shift his stride. Age caught up to him lately, and exercise-induced (I think) asthma, but he would be trying to push the marathon time down into the 2:03s.

Again, see how long you think it will be before 3% comes off of the 800 meter record => 1:38.0. In a way this might be the most relevant comparison because the 800 also hits the limitation on extending sprint speed past the point where the energy can be delivered the same way, with the same speed, as in the sprints rather than have to use the more 'plodding aerobic pathways, with all that breathing and oxygen transfer, etc....
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby tm71 » Tue May 07, 2013 9:36 pm

bekele's amazing WRs in the 5k and 10k are closing in on 9 and 8 yrs respectively. No one has come remotely close to those marks since then, not even the great bekele himself. there was certainly been some progression in the half and marathon records, but that will stagnate too when there arent as many sub 13 and 27 5k and 10k runners moving up the marathon. i doubt there will be a sub 2 hr marathon in my lifetime and i am in my early 40s.

actually i was looking at the WRs on wikipedia and the marathon relay record (ekiden) is 1 hr 57 mins 06 secs by kenya. some of the splits in that race were amazing and it seems the men were going all out. i find it hard that one men by himself could run the full distance just three minutes slower than six men can do in a relay.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby scottmitchell74 » Wed May 08, 2013 3:19 am

DrJay wrote:Thirty years before it happens. We've had our two 200m mutants, MJ and Bolt. We've had our two 5K/10K mutants (Geb, KB.) Not sure we've had our marathon mutant yet, but when we do, he'll run maybe 2:01:45 and that will be the record for a long, long time. Using the word "dumb" in that article may have been dumb, but the numbers and analysis presented are pretty much hard to argue with.

As I said in (yet) another thread on this topic, someone should pony up $1,000,000 for a "race" that works like this: the gun goes off, the world class field starts running. A pace car moves along at 2:00:00 pace. You drop back by more than, say 10 or 20 meters and you're out. Maybe have a wheat combine trailing the field by 30m to keep things interesting. Last man left hanging on to 2:00:00 pace with the pacecar takes home all the loot. Then we could see how far a man can sustain that pace in 2013.


Dr. Jay, sounds a lot like a certain Stephen King short story. I love it! (Maybe without the threat of mutilating death).

Money. BIG money would make this happen sooner. I'm also 39, and I DO believe I'll see it. :D
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 6:00 am

Marlow wrote:
kuha wrote:So....you mis-spoke in your response to Pego that anyone has said, flat out, that it "can't" happen?

Kuha! You KNOW I never mis-speak! :wink:
When a poster implies 'ain't gonna happen', may I not construe that as a 'never'?


No, since the fundamental implication all along has been "ain't gonna happen anytime soon" which does not translate as "never." It translates as sanity, reality, and common sense.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 7:18 am

tm71 wrote:bekele's amazing WRs in the 5k and 10k are closing in on 9 and 8 yrs respectively. No one has come remotely close to those marks since then, not even the great bekele himself.


The primary reason those records are still around and will be awhile is the talent is all in the marathon these days. As for Bekele, well, his best days are past.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Pego » Wed May 08, 2013 7:46 am

Conor Dary wrote:
tm71 wrote:bekele's amazing WRs in the 5k and 10k are closing in on 9 and 8 yrs respectively. No one has come remotely close to those marks since then, not even the great bekele himself.


The primary reason those records are still around and will be awhile is the talent is all in the marathon these days. As for Bekele, well, his best days are past.


Is that really a primary reason? Those records are already out of sight of mere mortals. Let's be a bit generous here for Marlow's sake and lower them a bit.
12:30 equals 50 100s, each in 15 sec
26 is just a tiny bit slower at 15.6

How many mere mortals can run that time in 1 100? Quite a few males, I suppose, not many females. 2? A small percentage will break 30 in 200. 4? I'll be generous and say 1% of general male population. He did 50 and 100 consecutive ones. I am getting dizzy just typing it. For the record, I never broke 13 in a 100.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby ExCoastRanger » Wed May 08, 2013 8:00 am

26mi235 wrote:Geb was your Marathon mutant also....


It will probably take another Geb-like runner -- how often to those come around? -- to approach sub-2. For all the talk about Bek's records, it was Geb who tore big chunks of time out of the 20th Century standards on the track and road and opened the door for the others to follow.
As 26mi235 points out, Geb honed his speed and mechanics for years on the track before moving to the road. As Conor points out, a lot of top track talent now skips the oval and goes straight to the money in the marathon.
If track is the traditional training ground for future record breakers on the roads, one wonders if the next "marathon mutant" will have the opportunities to develop into the kind of runner that rewrites the books, or if there will be a shift in the whole paradigm of how to make a great marathoner.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Marlow » Wed May 08, 2013 8:02 am

Pego wrote:Let's be a bit generous here for Marlow's sake and lower them a bit.

Oh, yes, please pander to my in(s)ane delusions! :D
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 8:41 am

Pego wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:
tm71 wrote:bekele's amazing WRs in the 5k and 10k are closing in on 9 and 8 yrs respectively. No one has come remotely close to those marks since then, not even the great bekele himself.


The primary reason those records are still around and will be awhile is the talent is all in the marathon these days. As for Bekele, well, his best days are past.


Is that really a primary reason? Those records are already out of sight of mere mortals. Let's be a bit generous here for Marlow's sake and lower them a bit.
12:30 equals 50 100s, each in 15 sec
26 is just a tiny bit slower at 15.6

How many mere mortals can run that time in 1 100? Quite a few males, I suppose, not many females. 2? A small percentage will break 30 in 200. 4? I'll be generous and say 1% of general male population. He did 50 and 100 consecutive ones. I am getting dizzy just typing it. For the record, I never broke 13 in a 100.


I didn't mean to imply they were easy. That is probably part of the reason the marathon is so more lucrative. Being WR holder I think means a lot. And those records are tough. But if you are not the WR holder, I can't believe there is that much money in distance running on the track, so really why bother. And when the talk goes to how long those records have lasted, to me I get the impression people think it is like the late 1990's or when Bekele was at his peak. And it is not.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby lonewolf » Wed May 08, 2013 9:04 am

Doesn't matter how you slice it, humans have not evolved to the point of being capable of running 104 non-stop 68.x second quarter miles. ..
Just think about running four quarters a that pace.. then another 100 :(
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 9:13 am

Marlow wrote:
Pego wrote:Let's be a bit generous here for Marlow's sake and lower them a bit.

Oh, yes, please pander to my in(s)ane delusions! :D


If we go down that rabbit hole, there may be no coming back!
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby aaronk » Wed May 08, 2013 9:22 am

If the two hour marathon is to be run......EVER!!......it will take someone brave enough to take it from the gun.....relentlessly!!
I'm talking about NOT running negative splits!!
I'm talking about a first half in about 59:00 or 59:30!!
Running a faster SECOND half (sub-one hour).....AFTER having run the 1st half in, say 60:30 or 61:00......is just too difficult...physically, and more importantly, psychologically!!

I think it will take someone like the male version of the 1983 Joan Benoit (Samuelson) at Boston.
She ran her first half in a mind-boggling 1:08:34......at a time when the fastest=ever marathon was 2:24+!!
That was 2:17:08 pace.....20 years before Paula Radcliffe ran her 2:15:25!!
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Marlow » Wed May 08, 2013 9:30 am

As lonewolf says, I ain't gonna be around to see it anyway, so I might as well give up . . .

naaaaaah - obstinacy is everything! :D
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Daisy » Wed May 08, 2013 9:31 am

aaronk wrote:I'm talking about a first half in about 59:00 or 59:30!!

We need a modern Steve Jones.

Jones dropped a 4:34 mile on him in mile seven, Kigen was gone.And so was Jones, going where no runner had gone before. He followed that mile with splits of 4:39; 4:37; 4:39 and 4:38 on his way to passing halfway in that astounding 1:01:42

http://www.dailycamera.com/recreation-c ... i_16254268
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 9:47 am

Yup. As Conor has emphasized above: running as hard as you can for as long as you can. No cleverness, forget about splits or your competition: just GO. But chopping 1:40 and change off Jonesy's astonishing first half will be a true challenge.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:57 am

ExCoastRanger wrote:
26mi235 wrote:Geb was your Marathon mutant also....


It will probably take another Geb-like runner -- how often to those come around? -- to approach sub-2. For all the talk about Bek's records, it was Geb who tore big chunks of time out of the 20th Century standards on the track and road and opened the door for the others to follow.
As 26mi235 points out, Geb honed his speed and mechanics for years on the track before moving to the road. As Conor points out, a lot of top track talent now skips the oval and goes straight to the money in the marathon.
If track is the traditional training ground for future record breakers on the roads, one wonders if the next "marathon mutant" will have the opportunities to develop into the kind of runner that rewrites the books, or if there will be a shift in the whole paradigm of how to make a great marathoner.


I think Geb underachieved in marathon, because he was focusing on track when he was younger. He could have run 2:02xx if he had focused on marathon from the early age. So if the young talent shifts from track to road, that increases the chances of faster times. But I don't see the likes of Gebremeskel, Gebrhiwet or Isaiah Koech giving up the track any time soon.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 11:30 am

TN1965 wrote:So if the young talent shifts from track to road, that increases the chances of faster times.


"If"? But this is precisely what has happened!
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby 26mi235 » Wed May 08, 2013 11:43 am

Start by taking 3+% off the WR in each track event and see if those times make sense. Will Bolt be hitting 9.30 or 18.5? Are we looking for a sub-42 400? 1:38 has already been mentioned; 3:19? 7:37; 12:12; 25:30? 57:00?

Since speed is supposed to be such a big part of sub-2, taking runners off of the track where they develop speed does not necessarily improve things. However, on the track, being able to close very fast is important, and that is of little benefit for a marathon.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 11:44 am

kuha wrote:
TN1965 wrote:So if the young talent shifts from track to road, that increases the chances of faster times.


"If"? But this is precisely what has happened!


Please name the young Ethiopians and Kenyans who could be better 5K/10K runners on track than the ones who competed in the London Olympics. Who are they? The only one who comes even remotely close is Lelisa Desisa.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 12:17 pm

TN1965 wrote:
kuha wrote:
TN1965 wrote:So if the young talent shifts from track to road, that increases the chances of faster times.


"If"? But this is precisely what has happened!


Please name the young Ethiopians and Kenyans who could be better 5K/10K runners on track than the ones who competed in the London Olympics. Who are they? The only one who comes even remotely close is Lelisa Desisa.


How about the guys who run 2:03, like all 3 of them. And then all of the 2:04 guys, then the 2:05...Whether they were better on the track is debatable, since they don't even seem to run there anymore.

Meanwhile, the Olympics had a way past his prime Bekele.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 12:24 pm

Daisy wrote:
aaronk wrote:I'm talking about a first half in about 59:00 or 59:30!!

We need a modern Steve Jones.

Jones dropped a 4:34 mile on him in mile seven, Kigen was gone.And so was Jones, going where no runner had gone before. He followed that mile with splits of 4:39; 4:37; 4:39 and 4:38 on his way to passing halfway in that astounding 1:01:42

http://www.dailycamera.com/recreation-c ... i_16254268


I was there that day at the finish line and watching it on TV. There was a rabbit Carl Thackery, but Jonesy passed him in the second mile.

I have a video of the race somewhere and it is still an amazing run. He looks so relaxed passing half way in 1:01:42. Even at 1:35:22 at 20 he looked good. Jones slowed in the end, but part of that was due to running on windy Lake Shore Drive, which they don't do now. And also Jones had no idea what the time was. He told me later that there was no clock on the press truck, and it was only near the end he realized he had to get moving again.

As you say, we need a modern Steve Jones.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:00 pm

Conor Dary wrote:How about the guys who run 2:03, like all 3 of them. And then all of the 2:04 guys, then the 2:05...Whether they were better on the track is debatable, since they don't even seem to run there anymore.


So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Geoffrey Mutai lost to Wilson Kiprop and Moses Kipsiro in 10000m at the African Championship. He doesn't have any kick to contend on track. And who was outkicked by this Mr. No Kick at Boston? Moses Mosop. (And how did Kiprop do in the Olympics?)
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby 18.99s » Wed May 08, 2013 1:02 pm

In the 21st century, Dennis Rodman successfully orchestrating a peace treaty between the Koreas is a more likely event than anybody running a sub-2 hr marathon.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 1:11 pm

TN1965 wrote:So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Geoffrey Mutai lost to Wilson Kiprop and Moses Kipsiro in 10000m at the African Championship. He doesn't have any kick to contend on track. And who was outkicked by this Mr. No Kick at Boston? Moses Mosop. (And how did Kiprop do in the Olympics?)


It's really much simpler than this, and more objective. How much better now is the top 10 average for the marathon vs. 10, 15, and 20 years ago? Now compare that to the averages for the 5 and 10 over that same span of time. I strongly suspect that one of these will show a significantly greater improvement than the other two. And that tells what we need to know about the distribution of talent.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 1:35 pm

TN1965 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:How about the guys who run 2:03, like all 3 of them. And then all of the 2:04 guys, then the 2:05...Whether they were better on the track is debatable, since they don't even seem to run there anymore.


So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Geoffrey Mutai lost to Wilson Kiprop and Moses Kipsiro in 10000m at the African Championship. He doesn't have any kick to contend on track. And who was outkicked by this Mr. No Kick at Boston? Moses Mosop. (And how did Kiprop do in the Olympics?)


Who loses to who in some one off race is kind of irrelevant. What kind of training are they doing, etc. The training to crank out 4:45 miles as long as possible is a lot different than running 4:10s and trying to finish in 53.

Of course it is speculation, but I have heard Toni Reavis say the same obvious thing. There is a lot of money in marathons. The reality is a track distance guy really makes squat compared to the marathon riches. What do the DL people pay some 13:00 or 26:50 guy? $500? And that is if the race exists.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:51 pm

kuha wrote:It's really much simpler than this, and more objective. How much better now is the top 10 average for the marathon vs. 10, 15, and 20 years ago? Now compare that to the averages for the 5 and 10 over that same span of time. I strongly suspect that one of these will show a significantly greater improvement than the other two. And that tells what we need to know about the distribution of talent.


20 years ago? 10K WR was over 27 minutes, and 5K WR was barely under 13. Marathon WR was 2:06:50. There was greater improvement in 5K and 10K if you just compare the top time.

If you want to calculate the top 10 average to prove your point, you are more than welcome to post the results here. :)
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Conor Dary » Wed May 08, 2013 1:59 pm

TN1965 wrote:
kuha wrote:It's really much simpler than this, and more objective. How much better now is the top 10 average for the marathon vs. 10, 15, and 20 years ago? Now compare that to the averages for the 5 and 10 over that same span of time. I strongly suspect that one of these will show a significantly greater improvement than the other two. And that tells what we need to know about the distribution of talent.


20 years ago? 10K WR was over 27 minutes, and 5K WR was barely under 13. Marathon WR was 2:06:50. There was greater improvement in 5K and 10K if you just compare the top time.


Yes, we know all about the 1990's boom, which is sort of irrelevant to this discussion since within 5 years those times came down to 26:22 and 12:37 and pretty much stayed there with a small improvement.

And for what it is worth, I saw some of it live, and kuha probably saw all it in person. A well traveled fellow.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby Pego » Wed May 08, 2013 2:00 pm

kuha wrote:And that tells what we need to know about the distribution of talent.


It could also indicate that we reached the promised land in those events earlier than in the marathon.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby bambam » Wed May 08, 2013 2:05 pm

[quote="TN1965"]So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Isn't that the purpose of this board???
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:07 pm

Another factor is that many of the fast times today are made on fast flat courses (Dubai, Rotterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, and so forth). If you compare the winning times of the same races in the last 20 years, you will see less remarkable improvement.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby TN1965 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:09 pm

bambam wrote:
TN1965 wrote:So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Isn't that the purpose of this board???


I'd rather see speculation stated as such, rather than presented as undisputable fact. But maybe that's just me.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 2:10 pm

bambam wrote:
TN1965 wrote:So in other words, no one knows if they are good on track. Then how can anyone state as a fact that the talent is shifting from track to road? That's just speculation.

Isn't that the purpose of this board???


YES! In fact, it's my purpose in life!! :lol:
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby kuha » Wed May 08, 2013 2:14 pm

TN1965 wrote:I'd rather see speculation stated as such, rather than presented as undisputable fact. But maybe that's just me.


I said "I strongly suspect..." And I do. By no stretch of logic is "I strongly suspect..." an assertion of "undisputable fact." I am inclined to think, I would guess...etc.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby JumboElliott » Wed May 08, 2013 3:20 pm

18.99s wrote:In the 21st century, Dennis Rodman successfully orchestrating a peace treaty between the Koreas is a more likely event than anybody running a sub-2 hr marathon.

So it won't happen for at least another 87 years? Interesting.
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby 26mi235 » Wed May 08, 2013 3:48 pm

We are in the 21st Century...
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Re: The "Myth" of the Sub-2 Marathon

Postby oldhalfmileguy » Thu May 09, 2013 10:18 pm

the people who believe in the idea of a sub 2 all use the same logic that begins with
"who would have thought we would now have guys running..."
well let's go back to what the world marathon record was before the advent of EPO in the late 1980's. Use that as a baseline for your logic, rather than what guys are running now
that time is around 2:07.
To think that current times have not been significantly altered more by "technology" versus advances in training is naive.
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