Marathon — Will the Marathon World Record Continue to Fall?

running-advice-bugWhen it comes to marathon running world records, we go through eras of both stability and great change. Today we’re in an era of change with the world mark dropping fast. The current crop of runners, both young and old, are taking advantage of advances in training methods, modern science and perhaps a bit of luck to keep the barometer of marathon running speed falling downward.

Patrick Makau Breaks the Marathon World Record

Looking at records of the fastest marathon times ever recorded, including both certified world records and world’s best performances, the top four fastest times in history were run in 2011 and eleven of the twenty fastest times ever were run in either 2011 or 2012. Add 2010 to the list of 15 of the fastest times in history are on the list.

Two races in particular produced a crop of incredibly fast times. Last April’s Boston Marathon, with perfect conditions and a tail winds, saw Geoffrey Mutai and Moses Mosop run well under the world record at the time in 2:03:02 and 2:03:06 respectively, narrowly missing breaking the 2:03:00 mark. It was just 2009 when Haile Gebrselassie break the 2:04:00 mark for the first time and you have to go all the way back to 2003 to find the first time that broke the 2:05:00 barrier.

The times at Boston were not recorded as official World Records because of the net drop in elevation of the course in Boston so the marks set there are considered world’s fastest times instead. But looking at the World Record itself, this past Fall saw even more action. At the Berlin Marathon is 2011, Patrick Makau took a whopping 21 seconds off the then World Record, scorching the course in 2:03:38. Just a month later, Wilson Kipsang almost broke it again in the Frankfurt Marathon running 2:03:42.

And just this past weekend, the Dubai Marathon produced stunning times. There four men ran under 2:05:00 for the first time in a single marathon. Ayele Abshero won the race in 2:04:23 with Dino Sefir, Markos Genti and Johnathan Mayo all running under 2:05:00 as well. That means that four of the top 20 fastest times in history were run in the same race this past weekend.
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Video — World’s Fastest Marathon? (Episode 3-25)

running-advice-bugWe filmed this episode of the show just a few days after the 2011 Boston Marathon. The marathon world was simply abuzz at the time after not one, but two, men ran under the world record for the marathon on the notoriously tough Boston course. But were these times considered the new world record? No. On this episode we discuss why the times didn’t get “certified” as a world record and we debate whether this is a fair result or not.

On this episode:
– Why are some courses not “certified” for World Records?
– Is it fair when someone runs a time that is the fastest in the world and it is not considered a world record?
– What factors dictate whether a course can be considered for a world record?
– Why is the Boston Marathon such a tough course and how did it yield such fast times in 2011?

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Running Advice and News


Races — Kipchoge Eyes 5K World Mark in Carlsbad

running-advice-bugCARLSBAD, Calif. –– Eliud Kipchoge, the 2010 Carlsbad 5000 champion, is returning for Sunday’s race, not only seeking another victory but also a world record. Kipchoge, the 26-year-old Kenyan, has every reason to be optimistic.

Eliuid Kipchoge Wins Carlsbad 5000 2010

“He was very disappointed he didn’t do it last year,” said Matt Turnbull, Elite Athlete Coordinator. “He was in good shape, but it was very windy at the start. Now, he knows what the course is all about. He’s been training hard for it.”

The weather forecast for Sunday calls for ideal running conditions with the temperature in the low to mid-60s and a little cloud cover.

“He’s in better shape this year,” Turnbull added. “If we don’t get the winds coming off the Pacific, it could be worth 8-10 seconds to him this time.”

Last year, Kipchoge won in 13:11, making his move after two miles and finishing seven seconds ahead of the field. Kipchoge’s tireless training already has paid off this year; he has set personal bests for 3000 and 5000 meters indoors.
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Berlin Marathon: 2:03:59! First ever sub-2:04:00 marathon by Gebrselassie

BERLIN — Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia stunned the running world by breaking the marathon world record for a second year in row this morning in the Berlin Marathon. His time of 2:03:59 marks the first time ever that a runner has broken through the 2:04:00 mark.

The Ethiopian — who had broken the world record last year at the same race — not only broke his own record by a huge 27 seconds, but smashed through the 2:04:00 barrier for the first time in history as well.

He broke the world record, running 2:04:26 here last year. His new time is 27 seconds faster or roughly 1 second per mile, which is an enormous amount in this competitive sport of running. The 2:03:59 time represents a pace of 4:43.9 seconds per mile.

Gebreselassie set the world afire this year after stating that he would not run in the Olympic Marathon due to concerns over air pollution in Beijing. The runner — who has broken nearly 25 world records in his career — put his focus on the marathon world record instead, aiming to break that record for a second time here in Berlin.

In 2007, he had drawn the words 2:03 on a piece of paper when asked by a journalist what he might possibly run in the the marathon, saying later that he wanted to be the first to run a time under 2:04:00. Although that barrier was elusive last year, one year later he came back to Berlin and filed the first time ever with a 2:03 as its front. Gebrselassie now owns the three fastest times in marathon history.
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Track and Field: Bolt sets new 100M World Record

UPDATE: For coverage of Bolt’s NEW World Record at the Beijing Olympics, click here.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt blew away the field in the 100M at the Reebok Grand Prix Track and Field event this past Saturday. Bolt, considered a 200M specialist, flew down the track like a drag-racer, setting a new world record of just 9.72 seconds.

You can watch a video of the run by clicking the play icon in the video window below.

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The previous world mark of 9.74 seconds was held by Asafa Powell. Powell commented after the race that he plans to take back the record and will break 9.7 seconds in doing so. The two sprinters will meet in the Jamaican Olympic Trials later this month.
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