Look people. I've got no problem with someone running 26.2 miles on a perfectly flat course (assuming no wind assistance) with a rabbit on a bike.
I'd be happy to see that but there is zero chance that someone does that and breaks 2:00.
Plus we know that's not what this is going to be because if it was then Nike would simply install a single incredibly gradual turn - one turn (maybe that takes twice as long as a normal turn on an outdoor track - so they'd end up near enough the start to be record-eligible.
Re-read Germano's quote, it says the course won't be record eligible. Re-read the Runner's World article. It claims there are "intellectual-property issues."
This is a marketing gimmick.
Here is the first email I sent to Sara Germano for her WSJ article yesterday. I pasted it in the other thread but some of you haven't read it.
She asked for 1) did I think it was a marketing gimmick 2) what was the reaction to the announcement by the running community and 3) what details did I want to know.
Here's what I wrote.
1) I'm very disappointed by today's announcement on some many levels.
I totally view it as a marketing gimmick. Anyone who understands the sport knows that we're not anywhere close to being ready for a legitimate sub-2 hour attempt on a standard course with a standard surface. The idea that one of these guys is going to do it in 2017 is just beyond stupid.
And if we are talking about doing it with some ridiculous amount of aid (downhill or downwind - perhaps they'll drive behind the runners with fan blowing on them), then who the heck cares? Under that logic, then Justin Gatlin is the world's fastest man
If it's only the time that matters, then I'm going to sponsor the first sub-4 minute mile by a woman as there clearly are a lot of women that could run a sub-4 minute mile if they ran it down a mountain.
The fact that the time and place hasn't been announced proves itâ€™s a marketing gimmick. Let people talk about it and generate the swoosh some free publicity for six weeks before announcing the details.
Perhaps what is most disappointing in my mind though is Nike has made this all about them. In the process of announcing this marketing gimmick, they've killed off one of the most anticipated marathon matchups in history - Kenenisa Bekele vs. Eliud Kipchoge - and killed off one of the greatest marathons on the planet - the London Marathon - for 2017.
Imagine for a moment that running is golf. The greatest in history Tiger Woods (Bekele) has been out injured. But suddenly he's back and on a tear and he's set to face Jordan Spieth (Kipchoge), who is totally on top of his game as well, at the Masters. The fans can't wait as they've never seen an in-form Woods vs. Spieth at the Masters. That's what we were going to get at London this year. Instead, we learn that there will be no Woods - Spieth dual at the Masters because Nike is paying Spieth to try out some new equipment and go for the lowest score on record in an exhibition.
The sheer amount of arrogance behind this announcement is also mind-boggling. So we're supposed to believe the people in the sports science lab at Nike - the same people who had no idea that Lance Armstrong was committing one of the biggest frauds in history for over a decade - are so much smarter than everyone else that they can get a human to run three minutes faster than before in the span of six months?
2) I don't know how the running community feels about it. I mean that's like asking how does the US feel about Donald Trump's election. But I'm pleasantly surprised though that on our forum, where many of the sport's most die-hard fans are, most people seem to be against the idea and realize it's a gimmick as shown here (link to other messageboard thread)
3) Yes, all of the details I need to know. I really want to know about the a) wind and b) elevation drop. If there is some unnatural wind tunnel created, then who cares? We already know that a 20 mph tail wind for a marathon can easily be worth 3-4 minutes (link to John Kellogg's Boston marathon prediction).
I then wrote her back and added.
One last thing about their arrogance. So the same geniuses that had this happening last year in Berlin
are suddenly going to figure out how to get someone to run 3 minutes faster in a marathon in the span of 6 months?
I then was asked a follow up question about whether it would be viewed as arrogant if it was UA or adidas sponsoring it.
Here was my reply.
Yes. It would be equally arrogant.
What is arrogant is not the idea (there is already another group seeking a sub-2) but rather the timeframe - the notion that it's going to be done this spring. I mean it's so stupid it's not even worth talking about.
3 minutes in 6 months? The world record has come down only about 6 minutes in 40 years. And they think they are so smart they can do half that in six months?
No. No. No.
What also is arrogant is the idea that it's going to be the shoes / technology that is going to be the reason why someone achieves this feat. What brand of horseshoes did Secretariat wear when he raced, what brand of bat did Babe Ruth swing when he hit his home runs? I couldn't tell you.
PS. I think I may turn that into an article for the HP.