The race starts in a little less than 2 hours. I'm going to go take a nap and hopefully wake up before the halfway mark but thought I should start this thread.
The weather for Paris looks to be less than ideal.
The temperature will be 56-60 degrees but with very high humidity (86% to 80%) and it will be windier than one would like.
The wind will come out of SSW between 9 mph and 12 mph which means they'll be running with a cross wind based on the course map. They'll be running directly into the wind on miles 8.5 to 9.5, 17.5 to 19.5 and 22 to 23.
It's interesting to think what a good performance for Bekele will be.
Victory is obviously the first goal. Then time.
But what's a great time for a debut?
It's worth noting that the professional 26.2 debuts of both Haile Gebrselassie (former WR holder at 10,000 and eventually the marathon) and Sammy Wanjiru (Olympic champ) were very similar - 2:06:35 and 2:06:39.
Former 10,000 and 26.2 World Record Holder Paul Tergat debuted at 2:08:15.
The Paris course record is 2:05:12.
The fastest debut ever on a loop course is 2:04:15.
I spoke with John Kellogg earlier tonight before looking at the forecast and asked him what he thought Bekele might do. He was bullish and said sub 2:05. He thought a 2:04:35-2:04:55 performance was possible.
After finding the weather forecast, I called him back and he revised it.
For those of you watching, 2:05:00 pace is 4:46.05 per mile. Being an international race, the splits might be km only and 2:05:00 is 14:48.73 per 5km or 2:57.75 per km.
John Kellogg said:
"I'm going to go with 2:05:15 to 2:05:30 since it's going to be muggy. Now at that temperature (high 50s), muggy conditions aren't that big of a deal, but it's not ideal - and that's assuming he's in sub-2:04 shape on a perfect day with rabbits and a faster course. He might be on 2:04-flat pace for 30k with the rabbits, but when they drop out - and they normally go about 30k - he'll have to run into the wind by himself."
"Now I have no idea what type of shape he's actually in. I'm assuming he thinks he could run around world record pace if everything was perfect, which is a stupid assumption for just about anyone but Bekele, right?"
3:00 per km projects out to 2:06:36 so you definitely want to be seeing sub 3 per km.
Please post the opening splits as they occur for those of us that miss the beginning.