Just last week, Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run 26.2 miles in less than two hours, squeezing in at one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds. For many non-runners, it can be hard to put that time in perspective. It’s fast, yes—less than four minutes and 34 seconds per mile—but just how fast is it? And how hard might it be for other athletes to match?
Nick Symmonds, a 35-year-old middle-distance runner who’s competed at the Olympics, wanted to illustrate those questions in a new video. The title, “Olympian Collapses While Trying to Run World Record Marathon Pace,” might be something of a giveaway, but it emphasizes just how amazing a feat Kipchoge (who’s 34) accomplished.
In the video, Symmonds says his personal best mile time is 3:56. He recruits William Leer, who runs a 3:51 mile. “We’re good runners,” says Symmonds, then joking, “We should be able to go 23, 24 miles at that pace!”
The two take to a backwoods road in Oregon, with Symmonds narrating as they try to keep up with Kipchoge’s time. “For me, at this pace, this feels like an all-out sprint,” he says. Just 90 seconds in, his heart rate is nearly 200 bpm. He hangs in to cross the 1000 meter mark, but collapses soon after, at 1029 meters in two minutes, 55 seconds. “I was ready to call it after a minute,” he gasps from the ground. Still catching his breath, he tips his hat to Kipchoge: “That has got to be the greatest accomplishment by a human being in the history of the world.”
Watch the video here:
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