World Records and Whatnot

I went on an 18 mile run this past Sunday, my second in three weeks. Not for any particular reason, I was just in the mood to go far. I’m technically training for a half marathon at the moment (the Long Island Half Marathon, a tradition in my family), but I have yet to see a training plan that calls for such long runs.

It’s a nice feeling- scratch that, a terrible feeling, but nice in retrospect- when you have just a few miles to go during a long run, and your legs get that sense of heaviness just before they begin cramping, letting you know you’re approaching your physical limit. Granted, many people can go considerably further than 18 miles, and I could too at a slower pace and some training, but 18 ain’t bad. To think I once couldn’t make it a mile, that’s a hell of an accomplishment. It’s satisfying to know that I have the ability to push my limits further and further back, and that I have yet to reach my full running potential.

Now, enough about me. There’s been running in the wind. First of all, Geoffrey Mutai has crushed the world record for the marathon with a blazing time of 2:03:02. But, unfortunately, the time will not be recognized as an official world record due to the point-to point course and net elevation drop in the Boston course (Boston Globe). This can easily be argued both ways, but my stance is this: if Boston is really a hard course worthy of world-record recognition, Mutai can do it again (or close to it) on an easier course such as Berlin. Either way, winning Boston in that kind of time is a remarkable achievement that cannot be marred by any technicalities, at least in my book, and hopefully Mutai feels the same way.

Also in the news was the race to the finish line between the Kenyan Caroline Kilel and the American Desiree Davila, which culminated in a two-second win by Kilel, one of the closest women’s races in Boston history (The New York Times). American Kara Goucher also placed fifth, in a race not long after she gave birth. In the men’s race, American Ryan Hall placed fifth in a time of 2:04:58. The Americans seem to be catching up in long distance running, at last.

All in all, this was one fast race.

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