Eliud Kipchoge is the GOAT, Paula Radcliffe is Too, Josh Kerr Runs Fast, But Nick Willis is Still King
The Weeks That Were In Running, April 9 – April 22, 2018
April 24, 2018
After a one-week hiatus because the Boston and London Marathons happened within six days of each other, the Week That Was is back. If you missed our coverage from Boston or London, catch up now:
Stat of the Week I / Eliud Kipchoge is The GOAT
8 – number of marathons won in a row by Eliud Kipchoge (9 if you count Breaking2) with seven of them being majors, the most ever by an elite man.
In case you are wondering, no other elite men’s pro has ever won close to that many marathons in a row. The record for most men’s Abbott World Marathon Majors won in a row before Kipchoge since the series officially began in 2006 was just three (achieved by Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Sammy Wanjiru, and Wilson Kipsang). Messageboard poster Wu Ming had a great post on the messageboard where he said that the record number of elite wins for any man before Kipchoge was just six, achieved by Abebe Bikila, Frank Shorter, and Bill Rodgers (ARRS.net lists six men who have won 10 or more marathons in a row, but none of them were faster than 2:14).
Longest Elite Men’s Marathon Win Streaks, According To Wu Ming
Eliud Kipchoge has won 8 in a row and counting (9 if you count Breaking2)
Abebe Bikila’s longest win streak was 6 (from his marathon debut in 1960, ending with his 5th at Boston 1963)
Frank Shorter’s longest win streak was 6
Bill Rodgers’ longest win streak was 6
Derek Clayton’s longest win streak was 5 (from his marathon debut in 1965, ending with his 7th at Mexico City OG)
Haile Gebrselassie’s longest win streak was 5
Toshihiko Seko’s longest win streak was 5 (from his Fukuoka win in 1979, ending with his 14th at 1984 OG)
Jim Peters’ longest win streak was 4
Rob de Castella’s longest win streak was 4 (from his Fukuoka win in 1981, ending with his 5th a 1984 OG)
Sammy Wanjiru’s longest win streak was 3
Stat of the Week II / Putting Paula Radcliffe’s World Record in Context
2:15:25 – Paula Radcliffe‘s women’s world record in the marathon
2:15:52 – fastest time recorded in a marathon by an American man in 2018 (Wilkerson Given in Houston)
2:15:54 – winning time of the men’s race at the 2018 Boston Marathon (Yuki Kawauchi)
2:16:46 – winning time of the men’s race at the 2018 Commonwealth Games marathon (Michael Shelley)
If you missed the dramatic/scary footage of Callum Hawkins passing out at the Commonwealth Games, watch it here: LRC Callum Hawkins Collapses From Heat Exhaustion In Commonwealth Games Marathon As Spectators And Officials Stand Idly By.
Stat of the Week III / The TV Coverage Of The World Marathon Majors Is Not That Great Yet Again
5:04 – amount of time between the finish of the women’s race and men’s race at the 2018 Boston Marathon.
30:46 – amount of time between the finish of the women’s race and men’s race at the 2018 London Marathon.
We’ll say it until someone listens to us. There needs to be more time between the finish of the races to make them good on television. The close finishing times make the races virtually unwatchable on TV as inevitably one sex’s broadcast screws up the proper coverage of the other. Did viewers of the Boston Marathon get to see Yuki Kawauchi do the unthinkable and catch up to Geoffrey Kirui? No, they did not. They saw that Kawauchi was gaining on Kirui but they never showed us the actual moment of them running side-by-side as they switched to the women’s finish with no picture in picture. Did Kirui respond? Those of us not in Boston can only assume the answer was no as they never saw it. (For the record, Kirui had no response).
The solution is simple. Short of only having an elite men’s race one year and an elite women’s race the next, one race should be finishing when the other race is nearing halfway.
If they are worried about closing down the streets for a certain period of time, just start the first round of pros with the wheelchair racers, but start the elite men first as they run faster than the elite women. If the elite men had started with the wheelchair racers in London, the gap between the finishes would have been 1:19:14. If the elite men had gone first in Boston and started with the wheelchair racers, the two races would have finished 1:21:56 apart, which would have been ideal. Yes, we know you wouldn’t want to start them at exactly the same time — maybe 30 seconds apart as it takes a while for the wheelchairs to start moving.
So if you work for a World Marathon Major, please print this section out and hand it to the person in charge as we’ve had enough.
And one more thing, for people paying for pay per view streams on NBC Gold how about they have a stream of the men’s race and a stream of the women’s race in addition to the international feed? Those feeds exist, might as well make them available to those who pay.
Not Everyone Ran Slower In Boston This Year
With the cold rain and the wind, the winning times were slow this year in Boston. 2:15:58 on the men’s side and an incredible 2:39:54 on the women’s. So clearly the elites ran a heck of a lot slower this year than last. That being said, it’s interesting to note that both the 1000th and 5000th finishers for both the men and women ran faster in Boston in 2018 than 2017. Remember, 2017 was a warmish year in Boston (70 in Hopkinton and 73 in Boston) so it appears to be that while the elites prefer the heat to 40 and rain, the masses do better in the cold than they do in the heat — at least until when you get way back in the pack.
|% 2018 vs 2017||104.90%||109.13%||100.95%||98.99%||98.47%||100.00%|
|% 2018 vs 2017||112.71%||109.81%||100.29%||98.42%||98.88%||103.70%|
If you want to see the 1st, 10th, 100th, 1000th, 5000th, and 10,000th finishing times for both the men and women for every Boston from 2007 to 2018, check out this spreadsheet. If you compare this year’s times to a scorching year like 2012 when it got as high as 87 at the finish, you’ll see that the masses did much better this year than in 2012 and clearly seem to prefer the cold as compared to the heat.
|% 2018 vs 2012||102.49%||106.93%||96.73%||91.72%||88.03%||84.63%|
|% 2018 vs 2012||105.31%||104.06%||92.86%||90.86%||86.84%||N/A|
*Only 8,895 women finishers
Sarah Sellers Wasn’t The Only Person To Negative-Split Boston
Speaking of Boston splits, we were blown away that Sarah Sellers negative-split the race to finish a shocking second in the women’s race. After all, the first half of Boston is more downhill than the second, so it’s hard to negative-split to begin with — let alone in a race where you are freezing your butt off. So we went back and crunched the data to see if any other fast runners negative-split the race. The answer is yes.
At 2:44:04, Sellers had the 263rd-fastest chip time in the race. Of the 261 men that finished ahead of her, 16 of them (6.13%) negative-split the race.
Here they are:
Runner/Age/City/Half Split/Finish (Chip Time)
Jesse Anderson 28 Flint 1:14:50 2:29:19
Jack Klecker 26 Boston 1:18:34 2:36:29
Bronson Venable 27 Warwick 1:19:24 2:37:10
Samuel Berger 24 Dallas 1:18:45 2:37:14
Scott Easey 27 New York 1:20:12 2:38:15
Richard Powell 29 Syracuse 1:19:22 2:38:33
Travis Buse 24 Chicago 1:19:48 2:38:50
Gregory Ingle 22 Mason 1:20:31 2:40:30
Steven Childres 26 Baltimore 1:20:56 2:41:17
Dan Stanton 34 Chicago 1:21:02 2:41:29
Daniel Krystek 27 Philadelphia 1:21:28 2:41:45
Dustin Sneed 22 Carrboro 1:21:04 2:41:47
Matthew Johnson 25 Fayetteville 1:22:04 2:41:57
Michael Williamson 26 Erie 1:21:54 2:42:18
Bowen Peard 25 Medford 1:22:23 2:43:47
Liam Hillery 25 Providence 1:22:17 2:43:52
We imagine many of them are LetsRun.com visitors, so if you managed to negative-split Boston this year, please tell us how you did by posting on the messageboard or emailing us.
The Men’s Collegiate 1500-Meter Record Book Gets Rewritten
We don’t like how Track & Field News compiles their collegiate all-time top 10 lists. They only count marks recorded at meets up to and including the NCAA championships — marks run in Europe in the summer don’t count. Every mark recorded up to and including the NCAA meet of your senior year (or before you sign a pro contract if you go pro early) should count. We’re sorry, but the way the college season is now with guys running rabbited time trial after time trial during the regular season, those meets are little different than what guys used to get in Europe back in the day. One example is the mark that they consider to be the American collegiate record — Kyle Merber‘s 3:35.59 from 2012 — which didn’t even count for NCAA purposes. While Merber ran the time before the NCAA championships his senior year, it happened after the regional qualifying window had closed. For NCAA purposes, it was simply an exhibition.
Regardless, last week three-time NCAA champ Josh Kerr of New Mexico ran a new collegiate 1500 record (according to TFN, at least; we think a better term would be regular season collegiate record) of 3:35.01 to crush everyone at the Bryan Clay Invitational. While Kerr won by more than second, the guys behind him still ran fast as Syracuse’s Justyn Knight is now the 7th-fastest collegiate 1500 man (according to TFN) at 3:36.07 and Ole Miss’s Robert Domanic the 9th-fastest at 3:36.33. Oregon’s Sam Prakel cracked the US top 10 collegiate list at #7 with his 3:36.84.
Here are the updated TFN top 10 1500 lists for the men after last week’s action.
10 Fastest Collegiate
10 Fastest American Collegiate
Now, it must be pointed out that others have run faster. For example, Jim Ryun ran 3:33.1 for 1500 in the summer after his sophomore year at Kansas in 1967. Matthew Centrowitz ran 3:34.46 in 2011 before he went pro (2010-11 was his fourth year at Oregon, but he had outdoor eligibility remaining). Bernard Lagat ran 3:30.56 the summer after his senior year (but if we were in charge, marks after your senior year NCAA championships wouldn’t count).
The fastest mark by a collegian appears to be the 3:32.68 by 21 year old Nick Willis after his sophomore year in 2004 (h/t message board poster thenorth) . Nick Willis turn 35 today. Happy birthday Nick.
The Big Stars (Mostly) Delivered At The Commonwealth Games
We imagine many US visitors missed the Commonwealth Games as with the 14-hour time change and the Boston Marathon coming up, it was hard to follow. So we thought it would be good to give you a CliffsNotes version of what happened. The biggest takeaway is that the big stars that did show up did exactly what you’d expect at the Commonwealth Games: put on a show. (Though there were two notable exceptions).
How the stars fared at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
World 10,000 silver medallist Joshua Cheptegei won the 5,000 and 10,000 in impressive fashion (with Mo Ahmed taking silver in both races). He went sub-4 over the final 1600 to win the 5000 and then ran a championship record of 27:19.62 to win the 10,000. It’s worth noting that Kiwi Jake Robertson, who ran 27:28 on the roads at Crescent City last month, didn’t medal but he did set a New Zealand record of 27:30.90 for 5th.
Elijah Manangoi and Timothy Cheruiyot went 1-2 in the 1500 just like they did at Worlds.
Olympic and world champ Conseslus Kipruto was in total control of the steeplechase, as shown here.
Caster Semenya crushed everyone in the 800 (1:56.68; Margaret Wambui was 2nd in 1:58.02, former NCAA star Natoya Goule ran a pb of 1:58.82 for 3rd) and 1500 (4:00.71 pb, 2nd place was 4:03.09) as she set championship records in both events.
World champ Hellen Obiri won the 5000 in 15:13.11.
Olympic 100/200 champion Elaine Thompson failed to medal as she was only 4th in the 200-meter final in 22.30. To be fair to Thompson, however, winning would have been very tough as the race was won by another big star: last year’s World Champs 200 bronze medalist (and Olympic 400 champ) Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who ran 22.09.
The second big name that didn’t deliver was the Oregon Track Club’s Nijel Amos. The 3rd-fastest man in history was dead last in the 800 final in 1:48.45 (Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal won in 1:45.11). Speaking of the Oregon Track Club, let’s get to our quote of the week.
Quote of the Week (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“Everybody just thinks he’s going to run out there and he’s going to go back to his old ways. He got cooked in the Kool Aid up there (in Eugene) and we have to get the Kool Aid out of the system and put the speed back into the system. And that’s happening.”
-former UC Irvine coach Vince O’Boyle talking to Scott Reid in an Orange County Register article about how Olympian Charles Jock has returned to his old collegiate coaches (O’Boyle and Jeff Perkins) after being dropped by Nike. Both O’Boyle and Jock said they think the 28-year-old Jock can run 1:43 but it’s going to take some time.
Recommended Reads / In Case You Were Wondering, Tim Don — The Ironman WR Holder Who Broke His Back — Ran 2:49 in Boston
Prior to Boston, we featured the following article as a Recommended Read which got the top spot in the NYTimes Sunday sports section:
Amazing Story On Ironman World Record Holder Tim Don, Who Is Expecting To Run 2:50 In Boston Just Six Months After Literally Breaking His Neck When He Was Struck By A Car Don was lucky he didn’t die after having what is known as a hangman’s fracture. The normal options for recovery wouldn’t allow him to be an athlete anymore, so he opted to go through what the doctor calls “medieval torture” by having a metal halo screwed into his skull for three months.
Well, we looked up Don’s result and he ran 2:49:23 in Boston.
Here are our other Recommended Reads from the last two weeks.
- How it Happened – A Behind The Scenes Look at Yuki Kawauchi’s Win in Boston
- Amazing Story On Ironman World Record Holder Tim Don, Who Is Expecting To Run 2:50 In Boston Just Six Months After Literally Breaking His Neck When He Was Struck By A Car
- LRC Meet The Real Life Forrest Gump: Rob Pope (82nd Place In 2:36) Has Nearly Completed Gump’s Epic Quest Of Five Runs Across America
- A Must Read: At 43 Years Old, Irish Marathon Champion Gary O’Hanlon Is Running Faster Than Ever And Looking For A Sub-2:18 In London O’Hanlon was a promising young runner, but was hit by a car when he was 17, leaving him with multiple surgeries and unable to compete until he was in his 30s. Even then he says he “might have run twice a week and hit the pub five nights a week.” It wasn’t until he lost his job as an electronic engineer that he really committed to running as he had the financial incentive to race up to three times in a weekend to pick up prize money.
- The Guardian Profile On Sarah Sellers Covering Her Journey From A Potentially Career-Ending Injury To 2nd Place In Boston Sellers had a funny exchange with a race official at the finish line where she had to be told multiple times she finished second before she believed it.
- LRC 15 Years On, Paula Radcliffe Reflects on Her 2:15:25 Marathon World Record We caught up with Radcliffe in London, where she gave us the inside story of how her fabled record came to be.
To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.
Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages
To see the actual quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.