Monday, September 26, 2011

Someday…A Sub 2 Hour Marathon?

FREAKING 2:03:38.

A new marathon record was set yesterday by Patrick Makau, age 26, of Kenya. A faster time was run in Boston this year (don’t make me look it up and no I did not memorize it), but it did not count due to a net elevation loss on the course, the tailwind and the fact that the course is point to point.

I ran the Boston Marathon this year and I was not aided in any way by the tailwind or net elevation loss. In fact, I ran as if I had a headwind and 5,000 feet of elevation gain. But that is just me. I guess if I had had a pacer with me like Makau did I might have run a sub 2 hour race. But, in the end, I would have still have had that stop in the porta potty where I had to remove my underwear and throw it away and I think that added at least ten minutes.

2:03:38 is just a time on the clock. It sounds very, very fast and is the time that many of us do for 13.1 miles, not 26.2. But, to make it even more real for you, a 2:03:38 marathon time requires an average pace of 4:43 minutes per mile. I could crap myself just thinking about it. In my wildest dream I do not think I could even run a sixteenth of a mile at a 4:43 pace. I do not know what to say about someone who can run that fast except that I cannot bow far enough onto the ground to express my respect and admiration.

Here are a couple of fun facts about Makau:

  • He began to “train seriously” only 10 years ago
  • Starting at the age of 10, he would run 32 km per day to and from school (19.9 miles). He never aspired to be a world class runner.
  • He started running with hopes of emerging from a life of poverty.
  • He is from a very rural part of eastern Kenya where there are few runners. His parents were farmers. Initially, he did not attend training camps that many Kenyan runners are a part of. He trained alone.
  • His North American racing debut was the Healthy Kidney 10K in New York City in 2008. He ran a 28:19.
  • No one else in his family runs.
  • With his earnings, he bought his family a coffee plantation.
  • A typical training day includes getting up at 5:30 a.m. and meeting friends for training. Once a week they do along run of about 20 miles at a 4:30 min/mile. He comes back home after to have breakfast and tea. He rests for an hour then does some work (real estate). He east lunch and goes out for a second training run.
  • He believes it is possible that a marathon can be run in sub two hours. He expects this will be done someday by a Kenyan.

Do you think a sub 2-hour marathon will happen someday? I do. Yep.

SUAR

PS: The winner of the Anne Franklin Designs Necklace Giveaway was #204, Life As a Convert. Email me at beth@shutupandrun.net and I’ll let you know how to get your prize!!

31 comments:

  1. Not to say never, but to break 2:00 it would require someone to run an additional 8 seconds per mile faster than this latest WR (if my math is correct). That's huge at those paces.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't even think I can put my shoes on in 4:43.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We're on same wavelength today. Go check out my post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sub 2 hour will eventually happen as the human race continues to evolve eventually someone will come along and break that. I just attened a pasta dinner where Arturo Barrios spoke, he held the record for first person to run a sub 1 hr half, and at least 2 others have bettered that time since. All reconds will fall sometime, I just sit back and enjoy with amazement when they do!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Agreed. I think my last half was at a 2:03 and this guy goes out and doubles the mileage!!! There are very few things I can get done in 4:43...which also means he was running (104) 400m repeats in 1:10 ins.

    Sub 2 hour marathon is the next 'break a 4 min mile' feat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it will happen. Can't imagine a 4:43 mile. I feel blazin' fast if I can muster sub-8's!

    If you had only had a pacer at Boston you would have been right there...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I often think about whether there is a biological limit on how fast a human being can run x distance and what that means. I mean, we can all agree the record can't possibly keep going down forever? Ie, no one will ever run, say, a 20-minute marathon? (We CAN all agree on that, right?)

    It's clearly possible to run a 2:03:xx marathon. It is clearly NOT possible to run, say, a twenty-minute marathon. Thus, somewhere between 2:03:xx and twenty minutes, there must exist a time which is the fastest possible time a human can run a marathon in.

    What is that time? Who will run it? When will the record cease to fall?

    Questions, questions...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I find it interesting this happened the week after Paula lost her World Record title and that Makau was paced (I did read that right?). I agree with Angela - I want to believe sub-2 is possible, but at what point will the record cease to fall and who will be the all-time champ?

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is incredible! 4:43 is insane.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm not a fast runner. I couldn't even hold the 4:43 for 1 mile!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think I could run a 4:43 for ONE mile, and then collapse on the infield into a heaving mess.

    But now, how come his race counts as a record when he used a pacer, and the IAAF is stripping women of previously earned records? *grumble*

    ReplyDelete
  12. This blows my mind....never in my dreams could I run this fast!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I need a nap just reading about that speed. 4:43. I can't do that on my ATV.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yep! And I think females will close the gap shortly. Soon women will not only compete against other women, but men as well. Yeah, I said it! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I saw your title in my reader and I read it to mean that a sub-2 hour marathon was your goal someday.

    I must be living under a rock because I hadn't heard this yet, but I think that is fantastic. You never know what you can do when you want something bad enough. And yes, I do think breaking 2 hours will happen someday (not by me of course).

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think they'll do it someday. Major congrats to Patrick on the WR! However, the irony was not lost that he was PACED in his effort.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It is unlikely a world record of a sub-2 hr marathonwill be set only because eventually there will be a rule that records only count if you are running alone in silence on a flat track with no timing device that you can see. You will need to do it all alone and by feel, relying on your own internal competitive drive and pacing sense. People will not be allowed to cheer or even make any noise.

    So someone might do it... but it won't 'count.'

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can't even run a 4:43 kilometer, never mind a 4:43 mile.

    ReplyDelete
  19. The problem with marathon and half marathon records (and PRs for that matter) is there is no standard course. For example in track events the course is always the same (a 100 meter straightway - four loops of an oval). I guess since the last tow world records (male) have both been set in Berlin, does that mean it's an easy course?

    ReplyDelete
  20. By the way but if you were paced by him you would have a world's BEST and not record.....just making a point here. I quoted you and used your post today in my post.....

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is insane! I'd be estatic just to finish my upcoming half in that time. Crazy runner people... truly amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yippie! I won! Thanks :)

    I totally believe it will happen. Major Kudos to the person who does it. I cant even run a mile in DOUBLE that time..

    ReplyDelete
  23. Love that you shared these facts about him. Great story! These guys are freakin amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You'd think that after buying a coffee plantation he'd give up the tea.

    Incredibly fast! My guess is that if the world record goes sub-2 it'll be another Kenyan who sets it.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Man that just does my head in! I was watching bits of a marathon on TV and there were kids in the background trying to run alongside at the same speed - they were outstripped in seconds. Awesome.

    I can't even comprehend running a marathon, or even a km/mile at that speed.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Holy hell. It takes me an extra 14 minutes to complete a half.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh and my T1s are a good minute slower than his splits.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I believe someone will do it one day.
    I'm just hoping to break 3:30 ...someday. Age is against me :(

    ReplyDelete
  29. What an inspiration! I want to go run twenty miles and come home and have tea!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.