27:39 in 1965 was a quantum leap forward, not a plateau. While it took others a while to catch up, they did so because they knew it was possible. For the young runner of today (say Ritz for example), you can be sure that his sights are not set on 27:22, but much faster. This is progression folks, plain and simple.
RRIIGHT! That is what I said. I said that times (WRs!!!) had plateaued for a long time by the '80s, because of that 27:39.
27:39 Clarke '65
27:38 Viren '72 (7 years)
27:30 Kimobwa '77 (5 years)
27:22 Rono '78 (1 year)
27:13.81 Mamede '84 (6 years)
19 years to move 25+ seconds.
I don't content that the WRs should then move 25 seconds in the next 19 years (which would be 26:48 by 2003). I DO contend that IT IS UNLIKELY that it would fall 51 more seconds from the rabbited on modern tracks-by the world's greatest time-trialist-Fernando Mamede-27:13 in just 10 years (1988-1998) from just the harder training and better form and better rabbits you johnny-come-latelys keep droning on about.
I am not the only one who thinks so and we have thought this for a long time:
You don't need to swallow this, but don't try to convince me .