SUB2 PACK FORMS UP

Like the murmur of far off hooves that rises from a distance on a tailing breeze the Sub Two Hour marathon quest became a lot more audible this past week.

First, Nike’s Project Breaking2 was publicly announced on Monday 12 December with a goal of breaking the 120 minute mark this coming spring. Two years in the making (though secretly) and featuring three of the world’s top distance runners, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, and Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, the project still remains somewhat hazy in its particulars as if the announcement came in haste to pip the Adidas announcement, which showed up later in the week via the Wall Street Journal.  Nike’s joint announcement through Runners World and Wired. com arrived as the second entry in the sub2 quest, coming on the heels of University of Brighton sports science professor Yannis Pitsiladis‘ 2014 Sub2Hr Project, which is affiliated with top running agent Jos Hermens.  That project carries a stated five year time frame, but is still searching for full funding.

So, now there are three going for a sub2 over 42km, and you know, we may finally have something here after all.  Perhaps something ironic, in that none of the three projects are using actual runner competition as the mechanism to 1:59:59 or below. Instead, like in the days of  Wes Santee, John Landy, and Roger Bannister, who independently pursued the sub-4 minute mile in the late 1940s, early `50s, it will be through the three-way project chase itself that the Everest marathon mark may be reached.  But that shouldn’t come as a surprise.  This blog has written on the topic of competition vs. record setting before. And again here. Continue reading

PREVIEW: TCS NEW YORK CITY MEN’S MARATHON

New York City Marathon Logo TCSNew York, New York — Every marathon is a universe of one, particular to itself and its time. Yet in New York City 2015 the after effects of the IAAF World Championships Marathon still linger.  Because so many of New York’s top male contenders raced for their countries in the heat and humidity of Beijing at the end of August, they had to reduce their recovery time while compressing their training for New York.

As a consequence each has a fuel tank perhaps a little under filled, which may lead to a less than aggressive first half to two-thirds of the 45th TCS New York City Marathon.  That means the real fireworks of speed may be left to the latter stages in Central Park. And wouldn’t that make for an exciting day for all who live for such moments of gut-clenching glory? Continue reading