The fall of 2018 has been a season of record-breaking runs. On the men’s side, the half-marathon world record, marathon world record and Canadian marathon record all fell within six weeks of each other.
On the women’s side, Canadian ladies have been taking names, with a new set of faces emerging as real contenders. Notably, Rachel Cliff came within striking distance of Lanni Marchant’s Canadian record in her debut run in Berlin. Cliff clocked 2:28:53 and the Canadian record is 2:28:00.
In light of the record-breaking fall on the roads, the University of Toronto Track club ran a world-record-paced workout, and I hopped into the men’s workout, running one of their repeats at world-record pace.
I threw on a pair of Vaporfly’s, started my watch and set out to run one kilometre in 2:53. To be clear, that’s what Kipchoge ran for 42.2K to set the world record.
If you were to run alongside Kipchoge, how long would you last? This is what 2:01:39 pace translates to for various distances.
I'd probably be spent at about 700m. With some hard training, I could maybe make it a full 800m. pic.twitter.com/FlWmIi3mLk
— Jon Mulkeen (@Statman_Jon) September 16, 2018
I’m a national class 800m runner with a personal best of 2:02. I’ve been running competitively for six years. I could only keep this pace for one kilometre–even with shoes that some consider to be a measurable advantage. For this pace on the track the shoes were perfect.
The men on my team, some of them national medallists, could only maintain this pace for four kilometres, with two minutes rest in between. A 2:01:39 marathon isn’t just fast for your average runner, it’s fast for almost anyone on planet Earth. If the UofT track club ran this workout relay-style, meaning, trading off every kilometre, we might have been able to reach 20K at world-record pace. But individually, the men reached four kilometres at pace, and that’s with rest.