For the first time ever, a sub two hour marathon has been achieved. October 12th, 2019, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. Although it’s the fastest time ever, it will not be considered a world record.
To run a two hour marathon you have to run a pace of four minutes and 35 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles. The median marathon time for men is four hours and 22 minutes according to Running USA, which is over double the time it took Kipchoge.
“The average mile time it took Kipchoge astonishes me; at my best I can only run a 5:42 mile, and that’s only for two to three miles,” said Daniel Shoaf, junior.
Kipchoge’s time will not be recognized as a world record due to it not being run under open marathon conditions and also had a rotation of professional pace-setters. This means the event was meant for Kipchoge alone and he was not competing with other runners. The fastest official marathon time is 2:01:39, also held by Kipchoge during the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
Another controversial issue with his time was his footwear. He wore Nike’s Next% shoe, which has a special type of material in the sole that has more spring and a carbon fiber plate in the middle of it, making the response to a stride even greater. Studies have shown these shoes make the wearer up to 4% faster, which many believe gives users an unfair advantage to runners wearing other shoes.
The first official record for the fastest marathon was set in 1908, and was set by Johnny Hayes who ran a time of 2:55:18, which is almost an hour shorter than the current record. The record has slowly been improving over time due to better preparation and better technology such as shoes.
Professional runners will often run over 100 miles a week while preparing for a marathon. In comparison the Athens Drive Cross Country team runs around 20-30 miles a week during their season.
With this run, many runners are hoping to improve their own time with the technology and preparation similar to Kipchoge used during his run. Hopefully with this news, people around the world also start running to improve their health and abilities.
“The shoes Kipchoge used during his record really interests me; however, I feel like it would give runners an unfair advantage in their competition, so it’s a touchy subject,” said Shoaf.