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  #1  
Old 05-06-2017, 06:28 AM
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Default Breaking 2 (the sub-2 hour marathon, not Electric Boogaloo)

When I heard about the Nike project to break 2 hours in the marathon, I thought it was a ridiculous publicity stunt, given that the world record is 2:02:57.

It turned out to be not so ridiculous after all, as it was done in 2:00:25 this morning by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya. 2:00:25 is 4:35 per mile!

Video of the whole race is available on Nike's Facebook page (you don't need a Facebook account to see it).
https://www.facebook.com/nike/videos/10154916723568445

It happened on a Formula One race track in Italy, so that provided an almost perfectly flat course with no sharp turns. Then there was an electric pace car moving at the exact required speed, followed by a rotating team of pacekeeping runners who'd help the marathoners with drafting in addition to pacing.

From what I've read, the course itself would be record-eligible, but the fact that the pace runners were jumping in and out at various points during the race kept it from being record eligible. If pace runners are used, they're supposed to start at the starting line (which of course means they'd ultimately drop out before the finish if going at a world record pace).
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:45 AM
nonlnear nonlnear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incredible Hulctuary View Post
From what I've read, the course itself would be record-eligible, but the fact that the pace runners were jumping in and out at various points during the race kept it from being record eligible. If pace runners are used, they're supposed to start at the starting line (which of course means they'd ultimately drop out before the finish if going at a world record pace).
You could actually have fresh pace runners and keep things record eligible. Technically. Have everybody "start", but a bunch of the pace runners stand around and wait to pace later laps.
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:58 AM
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You could actually have fresh pace runners and keep things record eligible. Technically. Have everybody "start", but a bunch of the pace runners stand around and wait to pace later laps.
True, they could do that in a multi-lap race like this. Spirit of the law vs. letter of the law regarding whether the record would count with pacers like that.
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Old 05-06-2017, 12:19 PM
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True, they could do that in a multi-lap race like this. Spirit of the law vs. letter of the law regarding whether the record would count with pacers like that.
Yeah, I think if someone seriously tried to set up a record that way they would tweak the rules to disallow layered pacing on lapped tracks. That record would always be viewed as having an asterisk beside it.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:58 PM
tommie frazier tommie frazier is offline
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the semantics of the pacer on the laps doesn't bother me. this is insanely fast and ballsy as hell to pound 435's for that long. if this is how it is broken the guy with the asterisk will not care I figure. he will be a legend.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:12 AM
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I didn't know Kipchoge was a world beater from so long ago. This epic photo captures him as an 18 year old narrowly winning the 5000m at the 2003 World Championships, defeating (and being fouled* by) the 1500m world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj. Then 13 years later, he (Kipchoge) wins the Olympic marathon in Rio.

*it wasn't called. Maybe the contact happened after the finish line, or Kipchoge won anyway so couldn't bother to file a protest.

http://www.flotrack.org/article/55882
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Last edited by Incredible Hulctuary; 10-12-2019 at 11:28 PM..
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:16 AM
Steve Grondin Steve Grondin is offline
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Amazing.

I have no knowledge about pacer rules, but if the above suggestion violates the rules I have an idea. If the pacers must run the complete distance, must they all start at the same time as the runner?
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:29 AM
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Pacers don't have to run the complete distance (they can drop out before the finish), but in an official race they must start from the starting line, and not cross it before the starting gun.

Which means in a multi-lap race they theoretically could wait at the starting line for the star runner to come around and reach them, but that would violate the spirit of the rule and the IAAF probably would disregard the performance for world record purposes.
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Last edited by Incredible Hulctuary; 05-10-2017 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:19 AM
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Now Kipchoge is the official world record holder in addition to Olympic champion and unofficial world record holder. At the Berlin marathon this morning, he broke the record by over a minute, taking it from 2:02:57 to 2:01:39. Based on the historical world record progression in Wikipedia, that's the largest margin since 1967.

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Old 10-12-2019, 05:02 AM
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Second time's the charm! 1:59:40.2! I watched it live on YouTube.

It was on a flat road course in Austria that was 90% straight. They had the pace car targeting 1:59:50, but it went away with about a mile left to go. Then with about a half mile left, Kipchoge signaled the pace runners to move out of the way, and he accelerated to destroy the 2 hour barrier with tons of room to spare.

The course itself would be eligible for an official world record, but three reasons made this run not eligible:

1. He was the only competitor, and they don't recognize records if there's only a single competitor. That wasn't the case with the first attempt in 2017, where there were a few other guys (in addition to the rotating pacers) running the whole race with him who would have been eligible for the prize money if they had broken 2 hours.

2. The pace runners rotated in and out of the race; official rules require pace runners to start the race from the beginning just like real competitors. Apparently the pace car wasn't an issue because it was far enough away from the runners to not be useful for drafting (but I'm not fully sure of this).

3. He was given water bottles by men on bicycles riding alongside him, rather than picking them up from tables on the side of the road. In hindsight, he had enough of a margin under 2 hours that he could have grabbed bottles from roadside tables and still broken 2 hours, but obviously no one knew that in advance.
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Last edited by Incredible Hulctuary; 10-12-2019 at 05:05 AM..
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