I once thought that two hours for a marathon (26.2 miles) was beyond the limit of human achievement. No more. In the Berlin marathon today, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge, 33 years old, ran that distance in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds, breaking the world record by a full minute and 18 seconds. If Kipchoge could do that, then it seems possible for someone to break his record by about the same time, taking it near two hours even. (See the excerpt below: Kipchoge’s come close under optimal and non-record-qualifying conditions.)
Further, Kipchoge ran the last ten miles without anybody near him. The second-place finisher, Amos Kipruto, also from Kenya, finished nearly five minutes behind: 2:06:23.
To see what an achievement that is, Kipchoge’s time is the equivalent of running 26 straight 4 minute, 38 second miles (see the Atlantic for more about his win and other remarkable ultra-athletes). A…
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