On @breaking2; What does it really mean? Seven Deep thoughts from RunBlogRun


Deep Thought #1: Eliud Kipchoge is the finest marathon racer in the world. After his 7/8 marathon wins, and his run on Saturday, May 6, it is clear to this writer that Eliud Kipchoge is the zen master of the marathon. His development as a fine athlete should be studied by all. Starting with cross country, then, moving to the track, the World Champion gold medalist at 5,000 meters spent a decade on the track. After that, he took nearly four years to build up to the marathon, and has run quite well, interviewed quite well and represented his country, his sport and his brand quite well.

Deep Thought #2: One of finest TV sports broadcasts that I have ever seen. The streaming video on twitter was fantastic. I was watching it from Doha, Qatar and never was there a break in the streaming video! Paula Radcliffe and Craig Masback provided the information we needed, plus the well done behind the scenes pieces were fascinatin and geeky. My only miscue was that I wanted Craig Masback to acknowledge that Eliud would be close, but not there. In retrospect, I wish Craig and Paula would have told the viewers, many who are marathon newbies, that this was a terrific effort and that Nike's marsshot (I do not like moonshot, that is for another time) was an amazingly emotional success.

Deep Thought #3: The pace making precision was fascinating! I was, to use a friend's word, 'mesmerized' by the anal retentiveness (and this is high praise) and obsession with scientific method that was used in the pace making, among other things. The retenue of famous pace makers, from Bernad Lagat to Chris Derrick just showed the strength of Nike's portfolio of global athletes. The pace making helped immensely, but in the end, Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles at nearly 4:35 per mile pace.

Deep Thought # 4: @breaking2 was an unprecedented marketing feat! I was concerned that, as some time, this would be a combination of an Amway and shopping network infomercial. This was well done, well practiced and successful. From Runners World to Adweek, Nike recieved tons of love from the media world. Reading tweets, which were overwhelmingly supportive. The theme was the recognitition of the effort, the celebration of the sport of running and the number of Nike icons all in one place (did you see 1984 Olympic champion Joan Benoit Samuelson holding the tape?). There was only about two minutes that I felt the Nike VaporFly was pushed too hard, and quite frankly, that was pretty darn good, as Nike had just provided me nearly three hours of running geekness.

Deep Thought #5: This was a huge success, why did some folks seem so dour? I thought Eliud would run 2:01:30. Others said 2:02:30. Half of our survey answers said over 2:02. Eliud Kipchoge and the team that supported him, from drinks to shoes to pacing, it was tremendous. Nice to see dear friend Tony Bignell speaking on CNN and on the show about the innovation work on the footwear. A fine shoe geek, the highest praise I can give a footwear person. There seemed to be some controversy about Eliud Kipchoge getting drinks, yet he took his drinks from an IAAF approved table, from those on course and what I can see from video. Lelisa and Tadesse took their drinks from bikes. Some had thought they had taken them from motorcycles.

Deep Thought # 6: Yes, there was drug testing! Eliud Kipchoge was drug tested, as were Desisa Lelisa and Zerzenay Tadesse by NADO ( they are Italy's USADA), as were two rabbits. On Saturday night, May 6, at 9 pm local time, it has been confirmed, WADA visited and tested runners 1 and 3. It should also be noted that Eliud Kipchoge, Desisa Lelisa, and Zerzenay Tadesse are all under Abbott World Marathon Majors protocals, which mean that they are being tested numerous times out of competition. That, remember is part of the deal if you run World Marathon Majors, which means you are tested all year long. The IAAF/World Marathon Majors has strict testing program for all those who are considered elite marathoners and compete in Abbott WMM events. While @breaking2 was not an Abbott WMM, all three marathoners are part of the WMM programs.

Deep Thought #7: On Hydration. This effort had sports hydration products that were focused on the needs of the individual athletes. I will spend more time to learn about these, for an upcoming blog. Lelisa and Desisa took their fluids from a bicyle, not a motorcyle, per observers on site. I was also told by two observers that Eliud Kipchoge took his fluids from official water station, which was set up per IAAF rules.

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