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casual commentary
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/7/2011 1:17PM - in reply to den bosch Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
He ran a comparable performance at Beijing. Samuel also ran an opening 5k of 14:08 at London in 2009 which, combined with a lack of competition, explains the 2:05. If Samuel was running with Geoffrey, Emmanuel, Patrick, Wilson, and Moses he would be running in the 2:03s and 2:04s this year as well.
well..
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/7/2011 2:48PM - in reply to runnerrerr Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

runnerrerr wrote:

Sammy sat back a number of times after his some of his surges. Sammy eventually killed everyone but he did not lead from the gun.

This is what some people forget. Sammy didn┤t run at an even pace. It almost looked like he was out on a fartlek workout.
sub3over40
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/7/2011 4:04PM - in reply to well.. Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Quote: Sammy sat back a number of times after his some of his surges. Sammy eventually killed everyone but he did not lead from the gun.

Quote: This is what some people forget. Sammy didn┤t run at an even pace. It almost looked like he was out on a fartlek workout.

What was beautiful about that race was how Sammy just seemed to be in a zone and oblivious to the rest of the world. It was like the other runners were not there and he was running against himself. It reminded me a lot of Joanie Samuelsons race in the 1984 Olympics. The both looked like they were off by themselves on a hard training run. It's sad that he is not part of this new era in marathoning. Watching him and Mutai race would be magic.
Paul The Runner
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/7/2011 4:16PM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Sammy Wanjiru Beijing victory was greater because it was the olympics. He actually sprinted at the very beginning to take the lead. Although he often pushed the pace, Deriba Merga and Yonas Kifle helped him on several occasions. Beijing race was run not only in hot and humid conditions but also the pace was uneven. There were multiple surges with some mile splits in 4:30 - 4:40 range. In NY 2011 the first 30k were run at even pace and in ideal conditions. Early surges hurt you and your performance more than late surges. I must admit the way G. Mutai surged with nobody able to hold on was impressive. But Sammy was daredevil and a showman, waving to the crowd during the final lap and then sprinting the last 200m.

When Sammy run his 26:41 10k PR at the age of 18, it was the same race in which Kenenisa Bekele run 26:17 WR and Sammy was the only one to keep the pace with Bekele and his pacemakers through the first 5k and then even a few laps alone with Bekele after the pacemakers dropped. You can watch it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfva_H4RBPU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0aOfzHvoqQ&feature=related

Sammy once allegedly run a fartlek during Kenyan 10k trials in Nairobi, surging repeatedly ahead of others and slowing down later.
GoPre123
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/7/2011 8:49PM - in reply to Paul The Runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I think if Pre had run yesterdays race, he might have run 2:05-2:06 at least. He was only getting started at Munich
Smitty
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 9:09AM - in reply to wejo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'd be interested to see what kind of coarse record G.Mutai could put down at Chicago. He should run it next year.
categorically
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 10:19AM - in reply to rekrunner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
rekrunner -
Thanks for the insightful commentary. I'll definitely be reading more at the ARRS site. It seems pretty cool.

Lots of interesting stuff there. Like - What could possibly make Singapore's marathon 5:28 slower than average?
Shoebacca
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 10:35AM - in reply to categorically Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm going to pull out the "I was at Boston and New York this year" card and comment. His 2:05:06 in New York is more impressive to me than his 2:03:03 in Boston. The tailwind in Boston made a huge difference probably worth a couple of minutes. New York had the perfect temperature, but the wind was basically a complete non-factor either way. It made the Queensboro Bridge near mile 16 almost totally unbearable, but otherwise it was pretty ignorable one way or another.

The hills and surfaces in New York are far worse than Boston. Boston just has a few nicely paved hills that come here or there. New York is fairly rolling in areas and the ground is a concrete patchwork that can be bad on the legs, plus there's always a concrete bridge coming up just when you get complacent. That bridge at 16 is brutal and then the road from 16-20 is a fairly terrible surface. I'm totally shocked that even Mutai could run a 2:05:06 on that. I think it's better than his Boston run and better than Makau's run in terms of difficulty. Sammy's run was at the Olympics, which gives it a whole other dimension, plus what everyone is saying about each race being its own great moment.

If I'm Athletics Kenya, Geoffrey Mutai is the first person I'm putting on that team. I don't envy the decision those guys will have to make, but I suppose it's a good problem to have. The odds of Kenya getting the gold are huge.
agapius mackwamba
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 10:39AM - in reply to rojo Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Greatest marathons ever - by an oldtimer.

Wanjiru Bejing #1 by a hair over Steve Jones Chicago 85 - both of those were game changers. People forget Jones' run - and it's easy to do in an age of instant gratification - but everyone tough was there and gunning for him. Deek, Lopes, Kigen - and Jones ran them off his heels by 4 miles. Yeah, he barely missed the WR, but it was a statement of power that changed how people thought the marathon could be run. Sammy's win beats it because it was the Olympics, and all things being equal, championships trump. Again, no one thought 2:06 possible in that heat or air - Geb didn't even start because it was supposed to be so awful. And there's Sammy, just banging away at the end.

3rd is Joan Benoit- Samuelson - LA Olympics 84. Not just a game-changer in terms of race strategy - just a flat out indication of what women could do. Recall that there had never been a women's race longer than 3000 meters in the Olympics before. It was a huge moment in the sport, but go back and watch the race. At 3, Joan just accelerated and everyone let her go - a truly brave move. At 18, when everyone realized she was not coming back (remember, wshe was 3 months removed from knee surgery) I distinctly remember the cameras showing the faces of the others, Waitz, Kristiansen, Mota - there was just this "we're running for 2nd" look that was awesome.

4th Wanjiru-Kebede Chicago 2010. I was at the 40K mark and Sammy was exhausted - on fumes. Could see it in his eyes. To come back like he did was phenomenal. And yes, potentially the best race commentary ever did help.

5th Shorter 1972 Olympic marathon. Perhaps not the greatest race, but in terms of a game changer - it lead to the first running boom, which begat Nike, which begat the ability to earn a living at running, which indirectly leads to the fine website known as letsrun.

I'd venture to say Boston 2011 was more impressive than NY 2011 - perfect day or not - because of the competition at the end. There wasn't one at the end in NY 2011.

I do agree on one point. Never never ever could I imagine NY's course record being faster than Chicago. So if you argue G. Mutai is the greatest marathoner on the planet, I agree there as well.

Mackwamba
good-one
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 8:19PM - in reply to agapius mackwamba Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Wanjuri's run at the Olympic still shocks me.

Hard to compare to Mutai's run in NY.

Honestly I really don't know which is better.

Boston was great but 20 MPH sustained wind at their backs makes you wonder what Mutai would have run on this past Sunday if thrown into those same conditions.

I mean Hall ran a 2:04 in Boston. That ought to tell you something. Not like he is a slouch or anything but I don't think he was in the same shape as he was when he ran that 59 minute half in Houston followed by that great run in London.

I think all the comments about non-paced Marathons are spot on. Get rid of the pacers! They make for boring races!

Who knows, after the ruling on the women's WR times they might wipe the board someday on pace aided records for men. Anything is possible as we have seen.
Assert
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/8/2011 8:30PM - in reply to Recommended Read Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Please stop over-rating Wanjiru. In his prime he was out-kicked by Martin Lel. In his prime he could not come close to the WR on many fast course (he ran both Chicago and London). Yes, he won the Olympics, but it was no more impressive than what Abel Kirui has been able to do at the World Championships.

Wanjiru was great. An Olympic Champion. But he was no WR holder. Not a chance.
ventolin^3
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 1:27AM - in reply to agapius mackwamba Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

agapius mackwamba wrote:and Jones ran them off his heels by 4 miles. Yeah, he barely missed the WR, but it was a statement of power that changed how people thought the marathon could be run


i'd be surprised anyone "intelligent" considered that run changing peoples' thoughts on how the M shoud be run

most back then considered the best way to run it is even pace, with even 1/2s

surprise, surprise, that's how most consider it shoud be run today - look at makau's wr splits

jones ?

he ran a dumb race with split of 61'43 : 2"'03'26 pace

simply put, he was likely in mid/high 2"06 shape that day & shouda run accordingly with a low/mid 63 split & he wouda got his mid/high 2"06
ventolin^3
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 1:36AM - in reply to gwalkerruns Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

gwalkerruns wrote:I meant Amsterdam....was hotter than China, same time.


you are still getting nowhere

amsterdam '06 was run in 2"08'52 & in '08 in 2"07'52

both much slower than sammy's gold run

& i have seen amsterdam races at least 1/2 dozen times on tv

it is a pancake flat, "easy" course for elites - the only impediment is some exposed areas adjacent to the canals where wind can be a factor, but that wind doesn't happen every year

if geoffey/moses/kipsang or makau ran it in their current form on windless day, i'd be shocked at anything slower than low-2"03
ventolin^3
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 2:13AM - in reply to Assert Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Assert wrote:Please stop over-rating Wanjiru. In his prime he was out-kicked by Martin Lel. In his prime he could not come close to the WR on many fast course (he ran both Chicago and London). Yes, he won the Olympics, but it was no more impressive than what Abel Kirui has been able to do at the World Championships.

Wanjiru was great. An Olympic Champion. But he was no WR holder. Not a chance.


you clearly hadn't followed sammy

he was just a fledgling M'er entering '08 hoping to get a berth for peking in london '08

he lost to lel, the best M'er in the world but looked somewhat intimidated by him & ran mostly with him without trying any big surges at the end

he got onto the team which was main aim

peking was his peak

afterwards it's been widely reported he was drinking heavily & hanging out with gangstas & despite this he still won big races but was shadow of his peking shape

it was reported that just before his death he was getting his act together & iirc was even going to go back to hermit like existence in japan

if he'd lived, he wouda possibly whipped himself into 2"04 shape ( flat course ) by now ( woudn't have got him onto london team if kenyans pick their team now ) & improved on that by next year ( but still mighta missed the team )
David Katz
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 6:00AM - in reply to ventolin^3 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I vote for Joan Benoit - 1984 Olympic Marathon
no way
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 7:09AM - in reply to David Katz Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
no love for Ingrid Kristiansen's 2:21, a record that lasted 13 years - ignoring Clayton's short course, who else in the modern era has done that?
Jeffster!!!
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 9:17AM - in reply to good-one Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

good-one wrote:

Wanjuri's run at the Olympic still shocks me.

Hard to compare to Mutai's run in NY.

Honestly I really don't know which is better.

Boston was great but 20 MPH sustained wind at their backs makes you wonder what Mutai would have run on this past Sunday if thrown into those same conditions.

I mean Hall ran a 2:04 in Boston. That ought to tell you something. Not like he is a slouch or anything but I don't think he was in the same shape as he was when he ran that 59 minute half in Houston followed by that great run in London.

I think all the comments about non-paced Marathons are spot on. Get rid of the pacers! They make for boring races!

Who knows, after the ruling on the women's WR times they might wipe the board someday on pace aided records for men. Anything is possible as we have seen.


The thing about Boston is that it did have a pacer- Ryan Hall. He may not have been paid to paceset and certainly didn't drop out but he essentially took on the role of a pacesetter. The only problems with pacers are if the field is not deep enough that there is only one racer following the pacer or if no one bothers to follow the set pace.
old coach man
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 9:50AM - in reply to Jeffster!!! Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I would go with 2009 in Rotterdam. Until that point only Haile had been under the WR of Tergat. At Rotterdam Kwambai and and Kibet both went 2:04:27 and Kirui was 2:05:05, ten seconds off Tergats old record. Makau came in 4th running 2:06:04.

Rotterdam race in my mind really started this most recent revolution in the marathon. Everyone came off the high of Wanjiru in Beijing. His race was unbelievable. Gharib was awesome and showed a ton of fight. Merga falls apart only to be passed by Kebede on the track. But Haile still had the record and in the first big marathon after Beijing two unknowns stop the clock 1 second behind Haile and a 3rd is only 10 seconds off the previous world best.

Since Rotterdam we have seen not only a huge drop in times by the winners but by the whole group of elites. Every race is stacked and they just go for it. Its awesome
Chris Wasnetsky
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 10:16AM - in reply to Paul The Runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Paul The Runner wrote:

Sammy Wanjiru Beijing victory was greater because it was the olympics. He actually sprinted at the very beginning to take the lead. Although he often pushed the pace, Deriba Merga and Yonas Kifle helped him on several occasions. Beijing race was run not only in hot and humid conditions but also the pace was uneven. There were multiple surges with some mile splits in 4:30 - 4:40 range. In NY 2011 the first 30k were run at even pace and in ideal conditions. Early surges hurt you and your performance more than late surges. I must admit the way G. Mutai surged with nobody able to hold on was impressive. But Sammy was daredevil and a showman, waving to the crowd during the final lap and then sprinting the last 200m.

When Sammy run his 26:41 10k PR at the age of 18, it was the same race in which Kenenisa Bekele run 26:17 WR and Sammy was the only one to keep the pace with Bekele and his pacemakers through the first 5k and then even a few laps alone with Bekele after the pacemakers dropped. You can watch it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfva_H4RBPU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0aOfzHvoqQ&feature=related

Sammy once allegedly run a fartlek during Kenyan 10k trials in Nairobi, surging repeatedly ahead of others and slowing down later.


Here is a picture of them shortly after 5000m (after the pace maker dropped out.. I'm guessing it's at about 5650 meters)

http://photorun.net/images_L/2005/TF/Brussells_GrandPrix/Bekele-Wanjiru-Brussells05.jpg
casual commentary
RE: If That Wasn't The Greatest Marathon Ever Run, What Was 11/9/2011 10:39PM - in reply to Assert Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You don't have a clue. Wanjiru let Lel win @ London 2008, it was like his 2nd marathon ever anyways and the only one he didn't win in a dominating fashion if you can't recall that.

Given a few good pacesetters on the Rotterdam course Wanjiru could have gone 2:03:30 at slowest.

Wanjiru not a WR holder? Not anymore, but setting 3 world records in the half marathon (59:16, 58:53, 58:33) at ages 18 and 20 respectively speaks for itself. Samuel competed. His back to back 500k purse winnings and Olympic GOLD hardware I'm sure were consolation enough that he didn't have the Marathon WR by age 24.
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