I was reading Alfons Juck's EME news updates today, and saw the piece on Mo Farah and the focus on the two hour marathon. Actually, the article said, he was looking at the possibility of the two hour marathon. Hopefully, that only took a few minutes...
Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net
I have one thought on that: Would you please stop the insanity?
Let Mo Farah run some marathons and be successful at it. The world record is 2:03.23 at this time. To take three plus minutes off the world marathon record at this time makes little sense. Such a day requires everything perfect: perfect pacing, perfect weather, perfect hydration and near super human athletes.
Paul Tergat, former world record holder and one of greatest distance runners of the 20th century noted for Letsrun.com that a serious attempt on the two hour marathon is close to ridiculous.
Sebastian Coe is the champion of the London Olympics and a great sports politician. His comment on Mo Farah being "ambitious" is kind, it does not say that the two hour marathon is imminent. Sir Roger Bannister notes that Mo Farah is a most versatile athlete, and he notes that Mo Farah will not achieve this record in the coming year.
Can the world record drop? Yes, but a two hour marathon?
Taking the world record down fifteen seconds is one thing,
taking the WR down by three plus minutes is just not realistic.
Stop focusing on merely world records, and focus on the competition! Mo Farah and Kenenisa Bekele had a fantastic half marathon at the Great North Run.
Mo Farah is a fantastic athlete. It does him a disservice however, to put pressures on him to run a two hour marathon-it is unrealistic.
Let's enjoy the competitions. And know that every marathoner in the world wants to show Mo Farah how hard 26.2 miles is. And, many of them will try.
That will make for great racing, wonderful for the sport, but this two hour marathon goal is just something not based in the world of reality.