Posted by: Joe English | February 3, 2012

Marathon — Will the Marathon World Record Continue to Fall?

running-advice-bugWhen it comes to marathon running world records, we go through eras of both stability and great change. Today we’re in an era of change with the world mark dropping fast. The current crop of runners, both young and old, are taking advantage of advances in training methods, modern science and perhaps a bit of luck to keep the barometer of marathon running speed falling downward.

Patrick Makau Breaks the Marathon World Record

Looking at records of the fastest marathon times ever recorded, including both certified world records and world’s best performances, the top four fastest times in history were run in 2011 and eleven of the twenty fastest times ever were run in either 2011 or 2012. Add 2010 to the list of 15 of the fastest times in history are on the list.

Two races in particular produced a crop of incredibly fast times. Last April’s Boston Marathon, with perfect conditions and a tail winds, saw Geoffrey Mutai and Moses Mosop run well under the world record at the time in 2:03:02 and 2:03:06 respectively, narrowly missing breaking the 2:03:00 mark. It was just 2009 when Haile Gebrselassie break the 2:04:00 mark for the first time and you have to go all the way back to 2003 to find the first time that broke the 2:05:00 barrier.

The times at Boston were not recorded as official World Records because of the net drop in elevation of the course in Boston so the marks set there are considered world’s fastest times instead. But looking at the World Record itself, this past Fall saw even more action. At the Berlin Marathon is 2011, Patrick Makau took a whopping 21 seconds off the then World Record, scorching the course in 2:03:38. Just a month later, Wilson Kipsang almost broke it again in the Frankfurt Marathon running 2:03:42.

And just this past weekend, the Dubai Marathon produced stunning times. There four men ran under 2:05:00 for the first time in a single marathon. Ayele Abshero won the race in 2:04:23 with Dino Sefir, Markos Genti and Johnathan Mayo all running under 2:05:00 as well. That means that four of the top 20 fastest times in history were run in the same race this past weekend.

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