As Eliud Kipchoge celebrated his win at Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, where he smashed the world record by more than a minute, finishing in an astounding 2:01:39, a guy you work with had some thoughts on the Kenyan’s performance.
“Cool,” said the guy. “But, you know, if he’d run just a little faster for each of those miles—like, even a few seconds—he could have gone under two hours.”
“Just sayin’,” the guy added.
The guy then pulled out his phone.
“In fact, let’s do the math,” he said, opening a calculator app. “So this Kenyan guy would have had to run 1 minute 40 seconds faster to get a 1:59:59 finish.”
“So that’s 100 seconds, over… a marathon is 26 miles, right? So 100 divided by 26 is… 3.8 seconds. Not even four seconds faster per mile.”
“He was so close!” the guy concluded, shaking his head. “Too bad he didn’t go for it.”
The guy, who isn’t a runner himself, is known for his outspokenness on the subject—usually where your own training is concerned.
“If you’re training for a marathon,” he told you a few months ago, “your longest run should be at least 35 miles.”
“That way,” he said, “the marathon will feel easy.”