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Could we see a sub-2 hour marathon time?

Photo: Bobby Gavin

Photo: Bobby Gavin

In the world of athletics, World Records add significance to the entertainment factor of the sport, it attracts the fans and folllowers.

Of course, everyone who knows most or little about the sport, always focus on the sprints – they are the blue ribbon events nowadays and easily the most talked about everytime there is major competition on.

But there is one distance, that some people may or may not enjoy watching, that is slowly, but surely, homing on a historical landmark in the history of distance running – a sub-two hour marathon race.

Few have tried flirt with it, but have subsequently failed in their attempts, almost proving to be a barrier that no man could break, even on a fast course.

Experts, fans and coaches have questioned the thought of someone running under two hours over the required 26 mile distance. However, they laughed when it was suggested tha Sir Rodger Banister could run a four minute mile, another distance, like the marathon, that the finest athletes attempted but were left exasperated by either fatigue or time – yet Banister accomplished it.

Last week, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto broke the World Record for the distance at the famous Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:02.57, taking it from Wilson Kipsang, who only held on to the title for one year and becoming the first person to run under 2:02 since the event began.

His statistics over the run are simply, incredible and something to be in awe of, no matter what distance you follow.

Over the Berlin course he averaged 4:41.5 per mile and 14:39.4 per 5k, which is deceptively quick and positive in terms of consistency and times that not many athletes could run in one go never mind over 42.1km.

For those who follow track events, his average time for a 400m was clocked at 69.93 seconds, for that distance, it’s very impressive, while he ran just over 61 minutes in the first and second half of his race – in time, could he be the one to challenge the feat? Maybe.

If he did it, he would, obviously, be placed amongst the legends of running and his career could be catapulted towards the heights of Paula Radcliffe, Haile Gebrselassie, David Rudisha and even Usain Bolt. It would be something, especially if he did it in Germany’s capital, there’s just something about that place and running.

Since 2003, the marathon record has gone six times in six races in Berlin, proving that the course is not only fast, but a hub for consistent quality distance running and it’s only a matter of time before we soon see someone power through the line under two hours, but how long will it be before we see that?

It may take up to a decade until we see the barrier broken. We need to see someone who can run low four minute miles and, dare I say it, someone to run under 60 minutes in the first and second half of the race even the weather conditions would also play a factor, there is so much to rely on for someone to break that barrier. But in time, it can be done.

On average, the time that someone has beaten the mark is approximately 27 seconds and once every two years roughly, so for those fans who are wanting to see it sooner rather than later, may just have to wait, for now.


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