30 September 2013

New Men's Marathon Record!

Kenya's Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich won the Berlin Marathon in world-record breaking fashion.  He shaved 15 seconds off the record set almost exactly two years ago in the Berlin Marathon by fellow Kenyan, Patrick Makau Musyoki (click here for my 2011 post on that).  Kipsang's time of 2h 03' 23" for the 42.195-km (26 miles 385 yards) race meant an average speed of 20.519 kph (5.700 m/s or 12.750 mph).

Each day, we see progress in humanity's athleticism.  When will someone sneak under two hours in the marathon?  When I was born in 1970, the men's record was held by Ron Hill of the UK.  His time was 2h 09' 28.8".  Now 43 years later, the record is just 06' 05.8" less time.  To get below two hours, another 03' 23" needs to be shaved off the record.  How many years had to pass for 03' 23" to be shaved down to the current record?  A time of 2h 06' 46" would have been the record by four seconds when Ethiopian Belayneh Dinsamo ran 2h 06' 50" on 17 April 1988.  Dinsamo held the record for a little more than a decade.

It took just over a quarter century to knock an amount of time off the record that will have to be knocked off the current record to see a time under two hours.  Will we have to wait another quarter century???

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