Seb Coe on The 2 Hour Marathon: “It’s a tall order but it’s certainly within the scope of a man.”

February 28, 2015

Double Olympic gold and silver medalist, 11-time world record holder and 2012 London Olympics chairman Sebastian Coe is running to succeed Lamine Diack as the next head of the IAAF.

We’re honored that Coe has chosen as the venue to make his case for the presidency to the U.S. track and field and world (and mid-d and distance fans across the globe). Recently, Coe sat down for an interview with Brendan Foster, the 1972 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist and founder of Nova International, and talked about his vision for the sport moving forward. The interview, which has been broken up into five parts, was released exclusively to We’ll released one video for five days straight.

Article continues below player

The fifth and final video, which is just 1:12 long, appears below. We’ve provided a transcript of some the day five video below the video.

Video by FilmNova Sport Production –

Seb Coe on Whether a Sub-Two Hour Marathon Is Possible:

“Oh sure, I don’t think it will be within the next six months. It’s a tall order but it’s certainly within the scope of a man, (and) probably not too far ahead to be running sub 2 hours…

“I think it will have the same kind of aura about it (as the sub-4 mile), wouldn’t it?

“You’ll probably find that it will hover around 2:01 for four or five years and then somebody, one day, in a moment of madness, euphoria and outstanding talent is probably going to run under 2 hours.”

Seb Coe (Age 58) When Asked By Brendan Foster (Age 67) If They’ll Be Around When Sub-2 Happens

“I certainly hope so. I don’t know where you’re planning to go.”


Other Days:
Day 1: Seb Coe States His Case For The IAAF Presidency (Intro & Summary)
“There’s not a sport in the world that has that universality (213 nations), that global reach [of athletics]. It’s tougher to get a medal in a track and field championship than any other sport. But the sport has its challenges. I think we recognize that we’ve struggled, valiantly on occasions, but we have struggled to connect with the next generation…I take great exception to people from outside our sport trying to redesign our sport because they don’t fundamentally understand the nature, the history and the philosophy of it….If I’m in a position to shape the future of my sport, why on earth would I not want to do that?”

Day 2: Seb Coe On Why Trust In The Sport Is Critical/Why Drugs Must Be Eradicated “Fair play starts at the very top of the sport… The tone and style is set from the top… It’s absolutely vital that people believe in our sport….The spectators going into those stadiums have to go to know what they are watching is real…We have to be open about this… I’ve always, always preferred to the face short-term embarrassment than the long-term genteel decline… This is not a war we can lose.”

Day 3: Seb Coe On Growing The Sport Commercially For The Athletes
“We’ve got a sport, I think we’ve got to create a movement…. There are millions of people around the globe that run. I don’t think enough of them see what they do as being related in any way with Usain Bolt does. I think we’ve got to create a running movement…What sport is better placed to actually make a difference [with obesity] than athletics?…We need to do more to explain the fee structure and income structure. I’ve never had a problem about appearance money. I think we should be really open about that. I don’t think we should be too coy or shy.”

Day 4: On Marketing The Sport Across 213 Member Federations – One Size Doesn’t Fit All Coe advocates moving money from Monaco to the member federations who know what works best locally. “We have to put the member federations in the best possible position to deliver the sport in the way they know there is a local interest….We’ve got to find the key drivers of growth for the sport and we’ve got to be able deliver that sport in a much more flexible way.”

Day 5: On The Possibility Of The Sub-2 Hour Marathon


Filed Under: