Why Joburg runners have a performance advantage – Business Day

The feat won’t be recognised as an official record because of the contrived setting with a rotation of seriously competitive pacesetters.

Let’s face it. Very few elite athletes, never mind the masses, will compete with so many environmental and support odds stacked in their favour.

The fine line between technology and sports performance harks back to the records set in Speedo LZR Racer swimsuits that were eventually banned. Speedo famously said that 98% of medals at the 2008 Olympics were won by swimmers wearing the LZR. It was controversial, no doubt.

However, to be fair to all the great athletes who wore the swimsuits, it’s not as if Joe Soap from the Linden public pool was suddenly able to give Michael Phelps a run for his money.

Kipchoge’s achievement was a marketing and publicity extravaganza funded by a British billionaire. There’s no hiding from it — his official marathon world record is two minutes shy of what he clocked in carefully curated conditions in Vienna.

However, while regarded as officially unofficial, the splits he ran in proving a “sub-two” is possible, are astounding.

Designer conditions and technology aside, he ran at a pace so fast, most people would struggle to maintain it for longer than a few seconds, if at all. Even if they had lasers to chase.


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