EDI­TOR’S LET­TER

Runner's World (UK) - - Editor's Letter - @Rw_ed_andy

THERE IS NO INHERENT REA­SON WHY THE IDEA of a man cov­er­ing 26 miles and 385 yards in less than 120 min­utes should be so ap­peal­ing to an au­di­ence be­yond fans of elite marathon run­ning. But, like the as­cent of Ever­est and the four-minute mile be­fore it, the sub-two-hour marathon has cap­tured the wider pub­lic’s imag­i­na­tion, stand­ing as a pow­er­ful metaphor for the tri­umph of hu­man ef­fort against seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble odds.

The first con­certed shot at the record took place in Italy, in May, with Nike’s Break­ing2 pro­ject. As our be­hind-the-scenes fea­ture on page 54 de­tails, it was an at­tempt to see what would hap­pen if you com­bined the best sports sci­ence and equip­ment, a care­fully con­sid­ered lo­ca­tion and precise tac­tics with three of the best marathon run­ners in the world. It’s fair to say that Eliud Kip­choge’s time shocked a lot of ob­servers, me in­cluded, and has blown the doors of pos­si­bil­ity wide open.

The event at­tracted crit­i­cism from some purists, who ar­gued that the stage-man­aged na­ture of it went against the true spirit of race run­ning – and it’s true that Kip­choge’s epic ef­fort won’t stand as a world record be­cause it wasn’t done in a recog­nised race environment.

But ul­ti­mately this at­tempt, and the oth­ers that will surely fol­low, are good for the sport, as they give marathon run­ning an ex­cit­ing new di­men­sion that make it of in­ter­est even to non­run­ners. It’s run­ning’s very own space race. ANDY DIXON EDI­TOR

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