If you take the mile splits from every race I’ve ever run and ranked them from slowest to fastest, you’ll see a 5:50-something mile pace twice: at the end of two separate 5ks. Those are my fastest recorded mile splits ever.
This guy pictured, Patrick Makau of Kenya, averaged more than one minute faster for each mile of a marathon, the Berlin Marathon, to set the world record of 2:03:38.
His average pace was 4:43 min/mile.
Think about that for a second.
His marathon pace is faster than most people’s 5k pace. Or mile pace. Or 1k pace.
Makau broke the 3-year-old world marathon record held by Haile Gebrselassie by 21 seconds. Each of Makau’s 5k splits were under 15 minutes. I’m happy to run one 5k under 20 minutes. He went sub 15 eight times, and he went a blistering 14:29 from 35k to 40k.
The bloggers over at The Science of Sport have some interesting posts about Makau, including a breakdown of his splits and a debate about the future of marathon running. The early speculation is that we will see someone run a sub 2 hour marathon in 2044.
That’s in 33 years. I’ll be 76 years old. At that point, I’ll be happy if I can still get dressed by myself in less than two hours.