Event analysis  // Posts categorised as Event analysis

The pursuit of the sub-2 marathon: Where to next?

Where do we go next? Now that Eliud Kipchoge has taken us to the brink of a sub-2 hour marathon, have the boundaries of human endurance been recalibrated? Can we expect a 1:59 soon? Or did the Nike staged event simply move some of the boundaries aside? This piece looks at potential benefits, and asks whether we should expect to see a speeding up, or a slowing down, in the foreseeable future?

Read more…

Eliud Kipchoge 2:00:25

Eliud Kipchoge has run a marathon in 2:00:25, coming within sight of breaking the 2-hour barrier. How did he do it, and what might we expect in future? This post analyzes the splits, the tactics and the prospects for the 1:59:59 in the future.

Read more…

On the recalibration of world records: Brief thoughts

A proposal to recalibrate the track and field world records by removing all records set prior to 2005 has caused considerable controversy. I offer some views on the proposal, and explain why the step is probably necessary, but should not be 'abused' as a sign of a new generation.

Read more…

The sub-2 hour marathon attempt: The pacing strategy

The Nike-Breaking 2 attempt will happen in Monza this weekend. I don't think a sub-2 is possible, but what will be fascinating is to see a) how they go about pacing the attempt, and what happens if it starts to fall away; and b) what the collective advantage is of all the tactics employed. I predict 2:01:55 at best, a DNF is also a real possibility. More thoughts here.

Read more…

On the Jamaican clenbuterol positives: A procedural failure and credibility black hole

An explosive new investigative report has revealed that numerous athletes have tested positive when their samples from Beijing 2008 were retested. They include Jamaican male sprinters, so dominant in those Games. The IOC and WADA however did not act, suggesting the cases are all contamination, not worthy of pursuing. How viable is this, and what does it mean for already bottomed-out anti-doping credibility?

Read more…

The “2-hour marathon” season begins

Kenenisa Bekele kicks off the 2017 Marathon season in Dubai, with what is a potential world record. It's the year of the "Breaking-2" after Nike's announcement last December. This article is an expanded version of one I wrote for an SA Newspaper on Jan 15th, 2017

Read more…

The sub-2 hour marathon in 2017? Thoughts on concept

Nike's announcement that they're backing three top marathoners to break the 2 hour marathon barrier in Spring 2017, is the latest installment in the sub-2 hype. Relevance and legitimacy aside, what would it take, product and course wise, to achieve? I look at shoes and downhill running to illustrate the concept of physiological barriers and how they might be shifted.

Read more…

The Rob Young Investigation: Key findings

Earlier this year, ultra-marathon runner Rob Young was accused of cheating during his attempt to break the TransAmerica record. His sponsor, Skins, commissioned an independent investigation, which Roger Pielke and I completed and which was published yesterday. This post presents the data portion of our report, confirming that Young did in fact, travel in a vehicle for large periods.

Read more…

IAAF to-do list: Invite in, step aside & break the orbit

The IAAF response to the doping scandal has hardly been reassuring. Nor was its position when the allegations first emerged. What is the solution, though? Maximum transparency, and a leading role in creating unparalleled transparency might finally break this orbit. Here's a few thoughts on how

Read more…