If a flat 5k loop marathon course was laid out somewhere where there was no wind, 55deg temps, and the 5k of road had a synthetic track surface laid over it . . . essentially making the marathon an 8 lap track race + 2.2k . . . then maybe, possibly, someone somewhere at sometime could break 2 hrs.
However, running on a track surface probably would not count for marathon record purposes.
Otherwise, baring future illegal performance-enhancing genetic engineering, don't look for the marathon record ever to drop below 2:02.
Disagree. Marathon can definitely get down into 2:01, maybe even 2:0x range as it is. However, I doubt the race necessary for that to come together will ever occur.
The reason being is drafting. At the 12-13mph pace of 2:00 territory there is between 1-2% savings to be gained following. 1% gets you to 2:01:45, 2% gets you to 2:00:30.
Now, there is usually decent pacing till 20-25km so really you're only looking at half those savings, but that still have us looking at 2:01:xx, with the very outside potential of 2:00:xx if an even more talent, special athlete comes along that could run 20-30s better than Kimetto.
The problem obviously is getting this to happen. Ideally you'd want to get the pacemaker to 30km+, which would mean you would need to have several strong pacemakers working together sharing the work at the front to carry through 30km. From there, there would need to be sufficient incentives to get the top guys all working together taking turns at the front cycling through till say 40km or 41km, at which points its no holds barred racing to the end.
Are we going to see this? 1 in a billion maybe. Being generous. It would require either huge incentives or some massive effort toward collaboration AND would require each of the top guys to be having a solid enough day to help rotate through up till 40km.
Sub 2 is totally out of the picture, as most agree.