Special Conditions for Sub-Two Hour Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge is the first and only man to break the 2-hour barrier in the marathon with a time of 1:59:40. He set the marathon world record of 2:01:39 on 16 September 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds. It was the greatest improvement in a marathon world record time since 1967.

The special sub-two-hour marathon had some things that are not permitted for an official record
* There was a rotating team of pacing runners. Most did not start the race with Kipchoge. They helped him psychologically maintain the pace and provided 1-2% of lower energy for drafting
* The Nike shoe technology could also provide a few percentage points of benefit
* People of bicycles provided water. Kipchoge did not have to slow down for a water station.
* The track was nearly level and the cooler weather were more optimal for setting marathon records
* The course had minimal turns

On May 6, 2017, Eliud Kipchoge was involved in another special event to break the two-hour barrier which also used many pace runners and other special conditions. He had a time of 2:00:25. This new run was 45 seconds faster.

The new special time is 1.7% faster than Kipchoge’s official world record.

The shoe technology involves carbon fiber plates which help with the foot recoil while running. If Nike were required to permit other running shoemakers to adopt this technology then the shoe will not be banned.

Augmented reality systems for marathon training could provide marathoners with the rhythm and psychological benefit of faster pace runners. This could help them to remember and get used to running faster.

Marathon sporting events will likely start choosing flatter courses with fewer turns. Many of the gains for sprinters have come from improvements in the technology and the design of running tracks.

Marathons could also schedule and locate marathons during cooler times of the year and at locations closer to sea level.

There are about ten marathons in 2019 who have had sub-2-hour five minute times.

It seems likely that there will soon be official marathons with times below two hours.

22 thoughts on “Special Conditions for Sub-Two Hour Marathon”

  1. Wow, that's actually great! I used to enter marathons when I was younger, but then I had an injury, and I wasn't able to do most kinds of sports. And since I was a football fan, it was devastating for me. But it's been a while, now I do jogging in the morning, and I check sports news from this page to keep in touch with everything that's happening in the world of sports.

  2. There are some signs that endurance events while in ketosis might be the superior way. You are correct about the traditional way and running out of carbs to burn. If you are already keto though your body is ready and able to burn the fat and you don’t need to keep supplying yourself with carbs or face exhaustion. I would be very surprised if the 100 mile runner didn’t consume extra fat on the way, but in general it takes about 1 pound of fat (about 3500 calories) to run a marathon. If you aren’t in ketosis and run out of glycogen you don’t have immediate access to your fat reserves.

  3. I don’t see much of a difference. There’s always going to be people interested in sports, so the only way to abandon them is to ban them.

    Sports take a lot of cognitive ability, especially if you play them at a high level. I do agree with the other comments that augmented sporting events will be bigger in the future. But the traditional world of sport to see which athlete is the fastest or using a simple ball and getting together a team to compete against another, that’s not going to go away either.

    I am excited to see how technology will change sports in the future. I think it would be awesome and even useful to teach a robot to play a sport at a high level. It will be interesting to see what kind of things are possible with technology augmented athletes and how sporting agencies and regulatory authorities will have to handle those changes.

  4. Where’s the online form for requesting reimbursement for the 20 seconds of my life I’ll never get back reading this clown car drivel?

  5. No matter the augment, it still takes a ton of training and dedication on the part of the athlete. Yes, it’s not the same as a 50 years ago, but 50 years ago wasn’t the same as 50 years prior either. I’ve been at the top of a sport before, but today would not place well. Maybe with the new training techniques and gear I would be competitive, but who knows.

  6. One could similarly claim horse races became outdated once we learned how to make cars. But people love to race and compete any and every way they can. I can see augmented sports becoming a new set of categories in the future, alongside more traditional sport categories (and in a way, horse and vehicle races are already a form of augmented sports).

  7. Why are some people on here so anti-sport? People can have different interests and people can have more than one interest. I follow technology extensively and I also follow sports extensively. You don’t have to watch or play sports yourself if you don’t want to, but there’s plenty of people who do like them and to suggest banning them is just silly imo.

  8. Running races became outdated the second someone worked out how to stay on and guide a horse.
    It’s always been a sort of “let’s pretend we don’t have a better way to do this” and filled with rules and regulations to try to conform to the pretence.

    Eventually they’ll give up.

    I mean they already started to slip the moment they abandoned the original olympic ideal of doing all the sports naked.

    You don’t think that modern athletic shoes and clothes don’t give an advantage over doing the same event the original way?

  9. The sporting world is becoming so heavily augmented that it is nearly to the point of not being a competition by competitors but of augmentations. Personally, I’m for abandoning sports altogether, but if we just can’t do that, then let’s open it up and have fun building androids and sitting back with our popcorn watching what what we can get them to do.

  10. They did it just to break 2 hours. No it’s not valid, but it’s impressive nonetheless. The same guy holds the legitimate world record which he broke by over a minute. My brother is in his 30’s and he is a very good marathon runner. I asked him if 2 hours would ever be broken and he said he wouldn’t be around to see it. The record seems to be progressing a lot faster than most of the experts would have expected.

  11. Bike riding in particular is a heavy user of such tech, with the Tour de France for example filled with computers that monitor a rider’s power, speed and energy and allowing them to optimize their effort over a weeks long event.

  12. Good point, I am literally sitting here in my lycra getting ready to ride to work as soon as I finish my coffee.

    In my defense, the alternative would be to drive to work, and that takes longer and is even less interesting.

  13. It is good to know it is physically possible. Maybe a wrist watch that manage your speed to keep a runner at the optimal speed.

  14. This record is cheating because he had some additional help, he had runners helping as pace makers. They created artificial environment for him. I don’t know why they did it ? This record isn’t valid – I assume.

  15. Don’t know if a keto diet might have some benefits for a marathon, but note that 7 min/mile is almost half as fast (4.37 min/km vs Kipchoge’s ~2.84). That said, I also don’t know if that 7 min/mile measures only the running portions, or a grand total that includes walking and rests.

    P.S. If you think they run the whole 100 miles in one go and without eating, here’s an account of what’s it really like (tl;dr: they take breaks and eat along the way):

  16. The 100 mile record was beaten in 2015 by a man on a keto diet. 7 minutes per mile for almost 12 hours with no carbs.

  17. That’s a matter of personal taste. Personally, I enjoy running. But couldn’t be bothered to get on a bike.

  18. World record in 10km for men is 26:17.53, which is 2.63 min/km pace. World record for 5km for men is 12:37.35, which is 2.52 min/km. If one could maintain such pace for 2 hours, it should be possible to run a marathon in 1:45:00 to 1:50:00.

    The problem is the faster you run, the more power it requires, and we have limited energy stores that we can tap into during exercise. So people run out of energy too soon if they try to maintain such a pace. So one would need to maximize their running efficiency every way they can, and drink high-calorie energy drinks and eat energy bars while they run. Then maybe it could be done without some exceptional genetics that boosts glycogen stores way above normal.

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