Hello running fans and friends of RunVermont and welcome to our new blog. You’ve stumbled into Connelly’s Corner, where in the future you’ll probably read a lot of Pro Tips on how to navigate our RunVermont races. But for today we’re talking about this exciting fall in the international marathon world. I hope this inspires you to dive right into your training for 2020.
Regardless of whether you’re chasing an Olympic Trials qualifier time, a Boston qualifier, a sub 3-4-5 hour marathon, or you’re out to set a pr or just get through your next race, which is where I’m currently at, what the top runners in our sport are achieving has got to be incredibly motivating to all of us. Now how do we move Motivation to Commitment?
Motivation gets you going
Commitment keeps you going
A year ago at Monza, Italy, 3 runners lined up under ideal conditions with every possible advantage on their side, focused on running from the start line to the finish line in under 2 hours. The world record at the time was, and is, 2:01:39. Dream big!! Although these 3 runners did not accomplish their goal on that day, Eliud Kipchoge got to the finish line in a remarkable 2:00:25, a full 3 minutes faster than the world record (2:03:23) from just 6 years earlier. Getting so close clearly motivated and inspired Kipchoge. This fall, in a similar experiment but this time in Vienna, Austria, Kipchoge took the marathon game to a new level by covering the marathon distance in 1:59:40.
The sub 2-hour marathon is something I’ve been talking about with the runners I coach at St Michael’s College since 2008 when Haile Gebrselassie ran 2:03:59. Kipchoge’s run in Vienna is another piece in the puzzle. For a sub 2 to happen in a race, I think the pieces are falling into place. It’s not going to happen this season, but I believe the runners I coach will see it happen. Kipchoge holds the current world record of 2:01:39, any guesses as to how long that holds up. I’d put the over/under at 23 months.
The depth in women’s distance running over the past 20 years has become amazing! In 1999 the world record was 2:20:43, and sub 2:20 was seen as one of those “4 minute mile” barriers. Fall 2001 Naoko Takahashi ran 2:19:46 in Berlin for the first women’s sub 2:20, and the women were off to the races. Her world record stood for only one week before Catherine Ndereba ran 2:18:47. Then 18 months later Paula Radcliffe shattered the world record with a 2:15:25 in London. Paula’s record was over 3 minutes faster than any other woman had run at that time, but the nature of sports is that eventually the field catches up. Fast forward to fall 2019, and in the last decade more and more women have run sub 2:20, setting up the situation where multiple women have a legitimate chance to break Radcliffe’s record on the right day. The Chicago Marathon was the right day, and Brigid Kosgei ran a bold, aggressive, and uber-confident race from start to finish in 2:14:04 taking 1:21 off Radcliffe’s record.
1:59:40, 2:01:39, 2:14:04, 2:19:00, 2:45:00, 2:59:59, your BQ time, 3:29, 3:59, 4:59, 5:59… Whatever your motivating time is, we hope to see you on the start line of next May’s People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon!