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Sunday, November 3, 2013

CAN THE MARATHON RECORD DROP BELOW 2 HOURS?

In case you missed it, and live in New York City, you gained an hour because the nation is no longer on daylight savings time.  The NYC - Hawaii time difference is now 5 hours.  It was 6 hours yesterday.  Hawaii doesn't go through this nonsense.

Kenyans swept the New York City Marathon, which last year was cancelled by Hurricane Sandy.  Those Boston Marathon finish line explosions this year added to the drama, but 47,000 runners began the race.  It actually took longer for this mass of humanity to cross the starting line (about 2.5 hours) than for the champions to finish.  2.5 million watched.

Priscah Jepto completed the race in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 7 seconds, winning $500,000.  The first American woman was Adriana Nelson, at #13, but she was born in Romania.

Geoffrey Mutai ran a 2:08:24.  I think he only won $130,000 (the Boston Marathon has a first place prize of $150,000).  Much lower because the NYC Marathon was also the conclusion of the World Marathon Majors for females.  However, there is a plethora of other financial awards, ranging from just showing up to shoe contracts.

This was the third time Kenya has accomplished winning both races.  The only other country to do this was the USA in 1977.  Interestingly enough, the first American male was Ryan Vail, in 13th place.  As in tennis and a few other sports, Americans seem to be falling back.

The current marathon record is 2:03:23 by Wilson Kipsang, yes, of Kenya, set just last month at the Berlin Marathon.  The past five records have occurred here.  The last U.S. citizen to hold the record was Khalid Khannouchi in 2002, but he was born in Morocco.

Remember the four-minute mile barrier?  Roger Bannister of the United Kingdom finally ran 3:59.4 in 1954, and the record is now down to 3:43:13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morroco in 1999.  The women low is by Svetlana Masterkova of Russian at 4:12:56.

When will the marathon record drop below 2 hours?  According to scientists, the fastest a human can run this distance is 1:57.  If breached, chances are this will occur in Berlin or London.

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