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Old 09-16-2018, 09:23 AM
DragonAsh DragonAsh is offline
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New world marathon record!

Eliud Kipchoge, greatest marathon runner of all time, just smashed the world record by more than a minute in Berlin.

He's one of my favorite athletes. Watching him run is like watching poetry in motion. He has this humble, low-key demeanour yet still projects this supreme confidence in our ability to always push ourselves beyond what we thought was possible - it's truly inspirational.

If you haven't seen it, the Breaking2 project (Nike's project aimed at breaking the 2-hour barrier for the marathon) is a wonderful hour of your live.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:42 AM
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Analysis of the Breaking2 effort.
From the link.
Quote:
That said, drafting behind a car with a giant wind break on top of it is probably worth a lot more, and Tesla was the unsung hero of this effort. There were reassurances prior to this effort that the car would be there only to give time and a guide to the projected finish, but it was clear from the outset that the car was doing the main drafting job – they even had lasers pointing to athletes where to run. I’ve seen aerodynamic models of the drafting effect of this car, by the way, and it makes a massive difference, and the distance they ran behind it was no accident. It was an engineering victory today, more than one of physiology.

In fact, of all the tactics, this is the one that is most contrived and left the worst taste in the mouth for me – just put the car in the other lane and let’s see humans running for a sub-2, drafting off one another, a human effort rather than motor pacing. That was brazen, Nike’s biggest cheat on the day.

Anyway, that motor pacing and drafting, I could see as being worth 2 seconds per kilometer, which is where I reckon most of Kipchoge’s improvement came from. Take that away, and it’s 2:01:30 to 2:02:00, which is still crazy fast, but well done to the Tesla, good job.

Many said before that it was a giant experiment to see what was possible when everything was optimized, and now we know, if only for three runners, one of whom came off.
Called it on the nose.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:42 PM
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What about a natural tailwind? Is that allowed?
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:02 PM
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What about a natural tailwind? Is that allowed?
I ran across something about that when I read that the Boston Marathon course would not be legal for a world record. Searching just now I found this site that lists criteria for verifying road racing courses. Nothing there about wind, but there is this:
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b. The start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50% of the race distance.
I think the point of having that rule at all is to mitigate the effect of wind. You couldn't just build a course 26 miles long and straight downwind.

Couldn't find anything specifically about wind limits during a marathon.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:08 PM
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I ran across something about that when I read that the Boston Marathon course would not be legal for a world record. Searching just now I found this site that lists criteria for verifying road racing courses. Nothing there about wind, but there is this:I think the point of having that rule at all is to mitigate the effect of wind. You couldn't just build a course 26 miles long and straight downwind.

Couldn't find anything specifically about wind limits during a marathon.
No wind limits on a record legal course.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:38 PM
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Analysis of the Breaking2 effort.
From the link.

Called it on the nose.
Nope. Any drag reduction came almost entire from pacers vs running alone. The car and clock alone -at most - saved only 26 seconds - basically one second per mile at the very most, under perfectly ideally conditions. Under race conditions, estimate is basically a savings of half that (maybe). The car and clock were pretty much non-factors.


Analysis here.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:00 PM
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Nope. Any drag reduction came almost entire from pacers vs running alone. The car and clock alone -at most - saved only 26 seconds - basically one second per mile at the very most, under perfectly ideally conditions. Under race conditions, estimate is basically a savings of half that (maybe). The car and clock were pretty much non-factors.


Analysis here.
The pacers are in the low pressure area. It appears the pacers are larger than a typical world-leading marathon runner and would not be able to sustain that pace without help. Their size is providing more than the usual shielding for Kipchoge. Plus the formation is not typical of real world race pacing. The car (and laser designator) also provide inhumanly precise pacing.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:03 PM
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When I ran my fastest Marathon, I was pretty happy that the time was less than double the best ever. It still is, but now only by 5 seconds!
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:38 PM
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The pacers are in the low pressure area. It appears the pacers are larger than a typical world-leading marathon runner and would not be able to sustain that pace without help. Their size is providing more than the usual shielding for Kipchoge. Plus the formation is not typical of real world race pacing. The car (and laser designator) also provide inhumanly precise pacing.
And the pacers were cycled in and out (which is why Monza was not considered to be a marathon world record). No one's disputing that. The pacers had a huge impact; the car and clock, not so much - in fact, almost none. One of the outcomes from the Breaking2 project was the idea that we might start to see 'teams' in big races, kind of like what you see in bike racing, with pacers playing the role of 'domestique'. If you watched the Berlin race, you saw Kipchoge motioning frequently to his pacers to get back in position. The problem of course - as we saw in Berlin yesterday - is finding people fast enough to go at world-record marathon pace for more than 25km....
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:32 AM
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I saw that "Breaking 2" program on NatGeo. It boggles my mind that people can run 26 miles without a break in the first place, and to maintain that pace? Someone had to hit the genetic jackpot to do that.

For some time, it was believed that this marathon record would never be broken, but then again, a lot of people thought that Bob Beamon's long jump world record from the previous year would never be broken either.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Clayton
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:47 AM
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The thing about Beamon's jump was that it was at high altitude (there's a reason the Olympics haven't been held at altitude since Mexico City...), and he had a big tailwind. Beamon's jump looked unbeatable simply because of how much farther he had jumped versus the record at the time, although some people at the time thought Carl Lewis might make a run at it.

I don't think anyone thought the marathon world record would never be broken again; it's a common topic every year Berlin comes around.

As often happens I suspect we'll start seeing more people break 2:02 now that one person has punctured the seal, so to speak.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:21 AM
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The thing about Beamon's jump was that it was at high altitude (there's a reason the Olympics haven't been held at altitude since Mexico City...), and he had a big tailwind. Beamon's jump looked unbeatable simply because of how much farther he had jumped versus the record at the time, although some people at the time thought Carl Lewis might make a run at it.
From here.
Quote:
In the thin air of Mexico City (elevation: 7,349 feet), conditions were “synchronistically ripe” for Beamon, according to Duffy. The temperature was 74 degrees. The rain was holding off. The wind speed on the track measured 2.0 meters per second – the maximum allowable by the rules for setting official records.
If altitude was a factor, there would have been a buttload of PRs among the competitors and there should have been more closer to and maybe over the old record.
The wind was only 4.47 mph, hardly enough to account for a 22 inch crushing of the WR.
Here are both the qualifying and final results.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:51 PM
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From here.

If altitude was a factor, there would have been a buttload of PRs among the competitors and there should have been more closer to and maybe over the old record.
The wind was only 4.47 mph, hardly enough to account for a 22 inch crushing of the WR.
Here are both the qualifying and final results.

I'm not sure what you're arguing. Of *course* altitude was the key factor. The max allowed tailwind sure didn't hurt, but altitude was key. As for PRs and such:

The silver medalist in Mexico was Klaus Beer. He jumped 8.19m. He beat his 1964 record by almost a full meter (7.27m). He had never cleared 8 meters before Mexico City.

Beamon himself had never jumped more than 8.33m before Mexico.

The bronze medal winner was Ralph Boston. He didn't come close to a PR in Mexico but he had stopped improving on his jumps all the way back in 1965 at 8.35m. Mexico was his third Olympics (Rome in 1960, Tokyo in 1964) so reasonable to suspect that age had taken its toll. Ditto Ter-Ovanesyan, who was a year older than Boston; he had jumped 8.31m more than five years previously, in 1962, and only managed a 7.99m in 1964 (Tokyo). He did set a new PR of 8.35 in 1967....in Mexico City.

Fifth place was Lepik, from what I can find his 8.09m in Mexico City was a PR.

Sixth place was Crawley. Don't see any record of him breaking 8m other than Mexico City.

Seventh place was Pani. He jumped 7.97m in Mexico, appears to be a PR.

And so on. So we did have what appears to be plenty of PRs and such, although I haven't spent a ton of time going through the minutia.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:45 PM
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There was certainly something in the air in 1968.

The men's triple jump record had stood for 8 years, then in two days it was broken 5 times by 3 different athletes. I read somewhere there were also a suspiciously large number of jumps with the maximum 2.0m/s wind speed, the suggestion being that perhaps it was a bit sticky. No evidence to back this up though.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:48 PM
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The thing about Beamon's jump was that it was at high altitude (there's a reason the Olympics haven't been held at altitude since Mexico City...), and he had a big tailwind. Beamon's jump looked unbeatable simply because of how much farther he had jumped versus the record at the time, although some people at the time thought Carl Lewis might make a run at it.
Carl Lewis was 7 in 1968
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:50 PM
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Posting this, just thinking folk in this thread might be interested.

My wife and I just hiked down the Grand Canyon and back (not rim to rim.) Our path was around 7 miles down and 8 miles up (different trails). (Rim-to-rim is 21 miles.)

We are in our late 50s, and we took our time. 6:45 down and 8:45 up. It was considerable effort.

We we're ASTOUNDED to hear the record rim-to-rim was around 2:40. And fastest time ever for 42 miles rim-to-rim-to-rim is under 6:00.

Suffice it to say it is DEFINITELY not a paved course...
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Old 09-18-2018, 04:50 PM
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Posting this, just thinking folk in this thread might be interested.

My wife and I just hiked down the Grand Canyon and back (not rim to rim.) Our path was around 7 miles down and 8 miles up (different trails). (Rim-to-rim is 21 miles.)

We are in our late 50s, and we took our time. 6:45 down and 8:45 up. It was considerable effort.
We just did the hike to the top of Half Dome and back in a day, and our pace and exertion level sounds similar to yours. Likewise I'm amazed at the times the super-fit hikers achieve.

I've run a few marathons with just OK amateur-level times. And though I'm more endurance-oriented than a sprinter, it amazes me that these world-class marathoners average per mile a time that's quicker than I can sprint just one mile. Eliud Kipchoge in the marathon mentioned above averaged just under 4:40 per mile - your average home treadmill doesn't have a setting that fast (~13 MPH).
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Old 09-18-2018, 09:47 PM
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We we're ASTOUNDED to hear the record rim-to-rim was around 2:40. And fastest time ever for 42 miles rim-to-rim-to-rim is under 6:00.
R2R2R - 5h 55m 20s

R2R2R2R2R - 22h 48m

R2R2R2R2R2R2R - 2d 20h 10m

I have a bunch of friends who've done R2R2R, and it sounds like it would be a fun day.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:30 PM
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My wife and I just hiked down the Grand Canyon and back (not rim to rim.) Our path was around 7 miles down and 8 miles up (different trails). (Rim-to-rim is 21 miles.)

We are in our late 50s, and we took our time. 6:45 down and 8:45 up. It was considerable effort.
South Kaibab Trail on the way down, Bright Angel Trail coming back?

Congrats. Hell of a canyon, ain't it?

Quote:
We we're ASTOUNDED to hear the record rim-to-rim was around 2:40.
Damn! It took me two days.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:45 PM
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Carl Lewis was 7 in 1968
Sheesh. Pedantic much? I clearly was referring to when Carl Lewis was active, not 1968.
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:51 AM
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We took a day off at the bottom - soaked in the creek (138 in the sun!) The next day, we got up at 5 for breakfast, to beat the heat in the gorge. At breakfast we met a guy who had started at the N Rim at 2 a.m. that a.m., and was continuing up to the S. Mind boggling.

Yeah - S K down, B A up. Just an amazing experience. Words fail. And it kinda ruins you for other experiences. After, we drove to Sedona and were like, "Yeah, those are some attractive little rocks!"

But I gotta say, in my late 50s, w/ my history of knee/ankle/foot fractures/surgeries, I think I pretty much hit my limit. Especially in that heat. Down was MUCH tougher for me than up.

Of course, idiot that I am, my sister and I are biking a century at the end of the month...

I was a mediocre hurdler in HS. Think my fastest mile was around 5:20. And my sole marathon was 4:00:50 (after a 13 minute elbow-to asshole 1st mile!) The pace worldclass marathoners run is mindboggling. A couple of years ago after watching Chicago on TV, I decided to go for a 26 mile bike ride. I was impressed at how hard I had to push it to BIKE the 26 miles in 2 hrs!

Telemark - you sound like some ultramarathoner friends I've known. They repeatedly told me their toughest challenge was boredom. Not sure my pins ever would have stood that, but they sure couldn't now. At this point, my main goal is to keep the old carcass moving... So I'll see you in the pool!
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:07 AM
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Telemark - you sound like some ultramarathoner friends I've known. They repeatedly told me their toughest challenge was boredom. Not sure my pins ever would have stood that, but they sure couldn't now. At this point, my main goal is to keep the old carcass moving... So I'll see you in the pool!
I don't know if I have much by the way of ultramarathoning left in me, but I've still got a few deathmarches to go. Slow and steady, that's more my pace.

My best half marathon is still ahead of the new marathon WR, but my marathon time (I've only done one) is more than double.
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:55 AM
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I read somewhere there were also a suspiciously large number of jumps with the maximum 2.0m/s wind speed, the suggestion being that perhaps it was a bit sticky. No evidence to back this up though.
There is a thread on the Track and Field News site that covered all of the 2.0 wind readings. It looked like the guy recording the wind readings just put down the first digit. Thus anything from 2.0 to 2.9 was entered as 2, which was later transcribed as 2.0. It is most likely that Beamon's (and most others) jump was above the 2.0 m/s legal wind.

There were gaps in the single digit recordings, likely due to the main guy taking a break. The other guy recorded the wind readings correctly to one digit after the decimal point. I took a look over there, but I can't find the thread.
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Old 09-19-2018, 10:28 PM
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We took a day off at the bottom - soaked in the creek (138 in the sun!) The next day, we got up at 5 for breakfast, to beat the heat in the gorge. At breakfast we met a guy who had started at the N Rim at 2 a.m. that a.m., and was continuing up to the S. Mind boggling.

Yeah - S K down, B A up. Just an amazing experience. Words fail. And it kinda ruins you for other experiences. After, we drove to Sedona and were like, "Yeah, those are some attractive little rocks!"

But I gotta say, in my late 50s, w/ my history of knee/ankle/foot fractures/surgeries, I think I pretty much hit my limit. Especially in that heat. Down was MUCH tougher for me than up.

Of course, idiot that I am, my sister and I are biking a century at the end of the month...
I hiked down South Kaibab in one day, spent the night at Phantom Ranch, and hiked up North Kaibab the next. Same as you, I was on the trail at about 6 to beat the heat. Got to the North Rim about midnight. So maybe this was your limit, but you made it. I tip my cap to you.

I've ridden centuries and hiking the Canyon was much tougher. That could just be me; I rode my bike everywhere when I was a kid so maybe I just have the body for that more than for hiking.

Having experienced the Grand Canyon from side-to-side, I think about going from end-to-end someday. That would be a heck of a rafting trip.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:02 AM
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...

I've ridden centuries and hiking the Canyon was much tougher. That could just be me; I rode my bike everywhere when I was a kid so maybe I just have the body for that more than for hiking.

Having experienced the Grand Canyon from side-to-side, I think about going from end-to-end someday. That would be a heck of a rafting trip.
I'm hoping the century is easier. Doing my last 65 mile training ride today - then taper. Feel I haven't been putting enough miles in as I did before my marathon.

Talked to some rafters on the river. They said 7 days was $2500 (IIRC). But if you had flexibility, near the departure dates they sell extra seats for as low as 50%.

Saw a Nat Geo presentation of some guys who HIKED the canyon end to end (NOT in 1 go.). THAT did not look like fun! No trails, no water. Whether true or not, they said more people had walked on the moon than had completed the trek.
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:51 PM
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Posting this, just thinking folk in this thread might be interested.

My wife and I just hiked down the Grand Canyon and back (not rim to rim.) Our path was around 7 miles down and 8 miles up (different trails). (Rim-to-rim is 21 miles.)

We are in our late 50s, and we took our time. 6:45 down and 8:45 up. It was considerable effort.

We we're ASTOUNDED to hear the record rim-to-rim was around 2:40. And fastest time ever for 42 miles rim-to-rim-to-rim is under 6:00.

Suffice it to say it is DEFINITELY not a paved course...
Walmsley is a beast. I wouldn't call him the Eliud Kipchoge of ultrarunning - that'd have to be Kilian Jornet - but he broke the course record at the Western States Endurance Run this year. Despite losing about ten minutes to a mother bear with cubs, near the end of the race.

But if it's badass runners you want, Kilian Jornet's 2017 Hardrock 100 has to be up among the most amazing feats I've ever heard of. He fell around mile 13 and dislocated his shoulder. Got up, wrapped the arm in his race pack, then ran nine miles to the next aid station.

Where he got the shoulder taped up, and ran the last 87 miles to finish the race. And by "finish the race", I mean of course, "before anyone else did". He ran 87 miles with a dislocated shoulder and won the race.

Amazing.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:12 PM
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The pacers are in the low pressure area. It appears the pacers are larger than a typical world-leading marathon runner and would not be able to sustain that pace without help. Their size is providing more than the usual shielding for Kipchoge. Plus the formation is not typical of real world race pacing. The car (and laser designator) also provide inhumanly precise pacing.
Not to mention that Kipchoge et al were getting their nutrition and hydration from crew on bicycle, sparing them from having to break formation for an aid station. The Breaking 2 project was primarily about marketing the shoes Nike made for the athletes - a general release version of them went on sale soon after the race.

Which is not to take anything at all away from Eliud Kipchoge. No question he's the greatest marathoner in the world right now. But I find his win at Berlin to be more impressive than his run in Italy.

As for me, I'm patting my back that my half marathon PR is still less than his marathon record. By almost 15 minutes!

I just can't imagine running sub-five minute miles 26 times in a row. My marathon PR is 3:49:50, and I thought I was going to lay down and die at the end. 2:01:39 is just beyond comprehension.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:28 PM
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I've done most of a century (got > 80 twice but my bike broke down both times), and just this May I ran to Plateau Point and back in 4 hours and change, and for difficulty I'd have to give it to .. whichever is hotter. I could have gone to the river and back the same day had it not been unusually hot for May. I was exhausted at the end but that was all due to the heat. I was powerwalking up the trail for 4/5ths of it and even then I was keeping up with everyone else.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:28 PM
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I just can't imagine running sub-five minute miles 26 times in a row. My marathon PR is 3:49:50, and I thought I was going to lay down and die at the end. 2:01:39 is just beyond comprehension.
Make that sub 4:40 miles. Sub 5 these days is-dare I say it-pedestrian.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:26 PM
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If you haven't seen it, the Breaking2 project (Nike's project aimed at breaking the 2-hour barrier for the marathon) is a wonderful hour of your live.
Thank you for that, it was great. I love this quote, spoken somewhere around the 33:00 mark (roughly):

“If you don’t rule your mind,
it can rule you.”

— Eliud Kipchoge
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:23 AM
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Make that sub 4:40 miles. Sub 5 these days is-dare I say it-pedestrian.
Well, if you want to get pedantic, I can't imagine me running sub-7:00 miles for in any race; 7:10 is my road PR for a mile. (Set last night, as it happens...). I could have kept it up for maybe another half-mile.

26.2 at sub-4:40? It's like we're different species.



And ISWYDT.
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:35 AM
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We just did the hike to the top of Half Dome and back in a day, and our pace and exertion level sounds similar to yours. Likewise I'm amazed at the times the super-fit hikers achieve.
Half Dome — that is a great hike. Highly recommended.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:48 AM
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The Boston Marathon released their cut off for the 2019 race, 4:52 under BQ. This meant that many thousands of runners who met their BQ times weren't fast enough to gain a bib. As a result, they're dropping qualifying times across the board by 5 minutes for 2020.

I'm not sure if this means that times are getting faster across the board or just that more people want to run Boston so the fast people are applying. Either way, it's getting tougher to qualify each year. Since 2013 the qualifying times (which don't guarantee you a spot) have come down 11 minutes.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:19 PM
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I had no idea this was a thing - for the London marathon (and I think most races in the UK), you have to meet strict standards to qualify for an elite spot, but it's open season for everyone else, whether they are aiming for 2:30 or 6:30. Of course, for really popular races like London that means you are at the mercy of the ballot, and you might apply several times without getting a spot (and they don't refund your entry fee!), for most it's just first-come-first-served until they reach capacity (if they do).

I was also amazed at the 2020 qualifying times - sub 3 hours for males aged 18-34. No fun runners welcome, it seems!

Here is the link: https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/enter/qualify
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:56 PM
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NYC marathon has even more strict qualifying times, at least for runners under 40 or so - https://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/plan-...ying-standards

NYC has a lottery system so a limited number of non-qualifying runners can get in. Boston also has 3000 charity runners who raise $35+ million dollars total for many local charities. You need to get a bib from one of the official charities and raise a minimum of $7500, some have higher amounts. Those bibs are still quite competitive and difficult to get.

Boston also can only have 30000 runners for a variety of logistical reasons, NYC has more than 50000 IIRC.

Last edited by Telemark; 09-28-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:31 PM
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Posting this, just thinking folk in this thread might be interested.

My wife and I just hiked down the Grand Canyon and back (not rim to rim.) Our path was around 7 miles down and 8 miles up (different trails). (Rim-to-rim is 21 miles.)

We are in our late 50s, and we took our time. 6:45 down and 8:45 up. It was considerable effort.

We we're ASTOUNDED to hear the record rim-to-rim was around 2:40. And fastest time ever for 42 miles rim-to-rim-to-rim is under 6:00.

Suffice it to say it is DEFINITELY not a paved course...
I hiked the Inca Trail in Peru a few years back: four days and it was fairly strenuous (one day was a nightmare, the rest were just good workouts). There's a marathon on the same route, and people have run it in like six and a half hours. Totally mind-blowing to me.
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Old 09-28-2018, 05:03 PM
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Not to get too off-track from the marathon record - here are other crazy distance records...

Tahoe Rim Trail (165 miles): 38.5 hours.

John Muir Trail (210 miles): 2 days, 19.5 hours.

Pacific Crest Trail (2,660 miles) 52 days, 8 hours.

Ahh, to be young!
  #38  
Old 09-28-2018, 05:17 PM
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Not to get too off-track from the marathon record - here are other crazy distance records...

Tahoe Rim Trail (165 miles): 38.5 hours.

John Muir Trail (210 miles): 2 days, 19.5 hours.

Pacific Crest Trail (2,660 miles) 52 days, 8 hours.

Ahh, to be young!
Good little documentary for a Mt. Rainier circumnavigation fkt, 93 miles in 18 hours, 52 minutes: https://youtu.be/RH4Zq6j0hZQ
  #39  
Old 09-28-2018, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
NYC marathon has even more strict qualifying times, at least for runners under 40 or so - https://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/plan-...ying-standards

NYC has a lottery system so a limited number of non-qualifying runners can get in. Boston also has 3000 charity runners who raise $35+ million dollars total for many local charities. You need to get a bib from one of the official charities and raise a minimum of $7500, some have higher amounts. Those bibs are still quite competitive and difficult to get.

Boston also can only have 30000 runners for a variety of logistical reasons, NYC has more than 50000 IIRC.
Having run NYC and Boston, I'll weigh in here.

Boston has a long rich history, having started in 1897. Prior to the 1970s, it was a relatively small race by modern standards. In the early 1970s, the number of entries was around 1000. As the race was getting bigger, Boston chose to require a qualifying time. The initial qualifying time for men under 40 was 2:50. I believe (but have no supporting info) that the race could only keep roads closed so long due to the noon start, so they probably didn't want recreational 5+ hour runners. The qualifying times have changed over the years, and charity runners have also been included, in order to fit a field size that is manageable. Current qualifying time for under 35 men is 3:05, though the accepted time is around 3:00.

New York has qualifying time for "elites", but probably only a few thousand enter that way (I'm guessing on the number). The huge majority of runners in the NY Marathon enter through a lottery, with no qualifying requirements. There are also charity runners, who raise money for certain charities to gain entry. The time qualifiers for elites allows the faster runners to gain entry without going through the lottery. If this didn't exist, the world class men would finish between 2:05 and 2:25, then there would be a trickle of runners for the next half hour. Not good for spectators.

The reason that NYC and Boston have different entry caps has to do with logistics. NYC starts on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge that separates Staten Island from Brooklyn. It has two levels of about 10 lanes for runners to start. Boston starts on a two lane road in Hopkinton, which is a relatively small town west of Boston. Both races have three waves of starts (I think), so the total number of runners can get quite large. For Boston, since the majority of runners have a qualifying time, the corrals in the starting waves are ordered by qualifying time. This makes the start relatively orderly. NYC puts the elite qualified runners at the front of the first wave.
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:13 PM
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The Tokyo Marathon also has a lottery system, with well over 300,000 people entering for one of the 30,000 slots. I missed out this year (my first year to apply). I have friends that have missed out seven times in a row. One of my wife's friends is 0-for-6 while her husband has gotten in three times in a row.

The Fuji Marathon in late November appears in many ways to be a nicer (if slightly less-flat) marathon that was very easy to enter.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 09-28-2018 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
I had no idea this was a thing - for the London marathon (and I think most races in the UK), you have to meet strict standards to qualify for an elite spot, but it's open season for everyone else, whether they are aiming for 2:30 or 6:30. Of course, for really popular races like London that means you are at the mercy of the ballot, and you might apply several times without getting a spot (and they don't refund your entry fee!), for most it's just first-come-first-served until they reach capacity (if they do).
I've entered the ballot for London maybe 6 or 7 times but have never got an entry. Don't know if it changed this year (I missed the entry deadline) but I didn't have to pay a fee to enter the ballot.

London is one of the cheapest marathons in the UK at £39. A bargain, if you can actually get in it
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Old 09-29-2018, 12:34 PM
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There's always the Do-It-Yourself Marathon:
1. Find a 400m track where the inside lane is not blocked off
2. Find the starting line for the 200m
3. Go 5m in front of that
4. Start running
5. When you reach the finish line, run another 105 laps

If the inside lanes are blocked off, then, presumably, the lane lines are permanently marked, as the only reason to block off the inside lanes is to prevent casual runners from wearing them down too much so they can be kept in condition for track meets, and there is a way to calculate how far you have to run in a particular lane.
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Old 09-29-2018, 01:09 PM
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I used to live just a quarter-mile off the Boston Marathon course in Wellesley. I've ridden the whole course on my bike.* In fact I once rode from Wellesley to the start, then the whole course, then back home; 52 miles, at least. It'd be great to do it someday when it's closed to traffic, but the streets are there all year. It's not very hard to follow.


* You have to cheat a little bit. There's a one-block stretch just before the finish that's the wrong way on a one-way street.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:46 PM
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I ran Boston in 2011 (charity bib), and worked the starting line from 2014-2016 as a corral wrangler. There are now 4 waves, kicking off 25 minutes apart; 10:00, 10:25, 10:50, and 11:15. The first wave is very professional, they've all been through this rodeo before. The second wave is mostly the same. The third wave is a mix of good older runners and young runners doing their first major marathon. Most are nervous and difficult to control in the starting corrals. Wave 4 is the wild West. Many charity runners are running their first marathon or are in near panic. It's amusing to watch, but difficult to wrangle. I've mostly worked the last two corrals, so people are nervous about running through the field in front of them, or worried about taking 5 minutes to hit the starting line.

Right now there's the usual grumbling by runners who made their BQ times but were cut off, some by as little as 1 second. They think there are too many charity runners, or that first timers should get special dispensation, and are upset that the 2020 times are 5 minutes faster.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
Not to get too off-track from the marathon record - here are other crazy distance records...

Tahoe Rim Trail (165 miles): 38.5 hours.

John Muir Trail (210 miles): 2 days, 19.5 hours.

Pacific Crest Trail (2,660 miles) 52 days, 8 hours.

Ahh, to be young!
Hiked 85 miles with a 33,000'+ elevation gain Lamosangu to Everest Base Camp (18,000'+) in 18 days.
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Old 09-29-2018, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
I ran Boston in 2011 (charity bib), and worked the starting line from 2014-2016 as a corral wrangler. There are now 4 waves, kicking off 25 minutes apart; 10:00, 10:25, 10:50, and 11:15. The first wave is very professional, they've all been through this rodeo before. The second wave is mostly the same. The third wave is a mix of good older runners and young runners doing their first major marathon. Most are nervous and difficult to control in the starting corrals. Wave 4 is the wild West. Many charity runners are running their first marathon or are in near panic. It's amusing to watch, but difficult to wrangle. I've mostly worked the last two corrals, so people are nervous about running through the field in front of them, or worried about taking 5 minutes to hit the starting line.

Right now there's the usual grumbling by runners who made their BQ times but were cut off, some by as little as 1 second. They think there are too many charity runners, or that first timers should get special dispensation, and are upset that the 2020 times are 5 minutes faster.
Nowadays, they have a chip in their shoelaces that gives them their real times. Back in the 1980s, when I was a runner and followed the sport more closely, I heard stories about back-of-the-packers taking as long as 15 minutes to cross the starting line.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:32 AM
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Nowadays, they have a chip in their shoelaces that gives them their real times. Back in the 1980s, when I was a runner and followed the sport more closely, I heard stories about back-of-the-packers taking as long as 15 minutes to cross the starting line.
As part of my duties for the 2016 marathon, I carried the sign that indicates the end of the corral to the spotters/timers. Since we were in the last corral, I was the last person to cross the starting line that year. It takes about 5-7 minutes from the sound of the gun until I crossed, but there are some lingerers near the back taking pictures and enjoying themselves so it may be quicker for the earlier waves.

But even with everyone knowing that their time is based on the chip they're still nervous and anxious. The first two waves aren't, but the last two feel the need to get across the start line ASAP. I think there's also a lot of juggling to get past slower runners that worries them. The first two miles of Boston is a fairly steep downhill and some runners like to go out fast. Plus, some have been waiting close to 3 hours in the runner's village and just need to GET MOVING!
  #48  
Old 10-01-2018, 06:03 AM
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I've entered the ballot for London maybe 6 or 7 times but have never got an entry. Don't know if it changed this year (I missed the entry deadline) but I didn't have to pay a fee to enter the ballot.

London is one of the cheapest marathons in the UK at £39. A bargain, if you can actually get in it
Thanks for the correction and I apologise for the misinformation - I thought I had heard it was £90 to enter the ballot and no refunds, clearly I was mistaken.

I do believe they had a system whereby if you are unsuccessful in the ballot 4 years in a row, you are guaranteed a spot if you enter the next year, but not sure if that still applies.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:26 AM
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The thing about Beamon's jump was that it was at high altitude (there's a reason the Olympics haven't been held at altitude since Mexico City...)
Well, they haven't avoided a high altitude location since then because they don't want records broken. They're avoided it because there just hasn't been any other realistic applicant city at that high an altitude.

There aren't a great many cities that could host a Summer Games, and damn few of them are at high altitude. Mexico City is by far the highest city in the world that could, realistically, host an Olympics - I don't think Bogota or Kathmandu are putting in bids anytime soon.

Hell, they're running out of cities to host the Olympics at all. 2024 and 2028 will be in Paris and Los Angeles because no one else wanted them.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:21 AM
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