The GOAT is back.
What can we say about that performance by Kenenisa Bekele, we were treated to some of the magic that made him a legend on the track. And before going a step further let's acknowledge the greatness of Wilson Kipsang. The guy has broken 2:05 for the past 7 years and the average of his 5 fastest times are sub 2:04. I honestly thought he was on the decline a little after seeing his performances since running 2:04 in London back in 2014. But he made this race, and Bekele would have not run nearly that fast without Wilson keeping the pace going after the rabbits dropped.
What was amazing was that they ran as fast as they did with a very uneven 61:11 first half. I expected the whole pack to slow significantly after seeing 11 men through that fast. you'd think they would want 61:25-30 and then keep it rolling, and certainly not going out in a low 2:40 first K. It's a testament to just how great both athletes are that they could absorb such a hot early pace.
What I found interesting and Andrew Jones, over on the Trackie.ca boards mentioned this as well in one of the treads. Bekele is unsure of himself still in the marathon, especially going through that fast. He likely could have broken away at 38k when he first got back on the shoulder of Kipsang but the track runner he is told him to stay on his shoulder until he was sure he could close it out. And that he did, going 2:47, 2:49 and 30 seconds for the last 195m. We saw him drop the arms, get loose and then rip the way we used to see the last 400 of championship 5 and 10k's. It was such a treat and a race that will go down as one of the best ever over the distance.
So the question now becomes, what could Kipchoge have done in that race and will we see the 3 titans of the marathon square off in London next April? I personally feel like Kipchoge would have squeezed the pace down when Bekele was off the back and that he'd have kept that 35-40k split around 14:30, not letting it get to 14:59 like Wilson did, enabling Bekele to claw back. I'm just speculating here but I feel like Kipchoge could have gone as quick as 2:02:30 if not faster. But, that's just speculation. What we as fans need to hope for is that Bekele stays clear of running Dubai, gets a good healthy stretch of training in and comes to London in the spring in that type of shape or a bit better. He has now run a super fast time and knows he can tolerate it. Even though I think Kipchoge could have run faster, I DO NOT however, think he could have closed the last 2.2k as fast as Bekele did so we could have an epic battle on our hands this spring. He and Kipsang will want to make it fast, obviously a WR attempt and not let it slow at all between 30-40 and hope they drop Bekele.
I don't know what's going to happen but I think this could be the very best Marathon of all time. It's also fair to say that Stanley Biwott could get himself into low 2:03 shape for that race as well. He was in the 2:03's this year on that course. So let's all keep our fingers crossed the good folks at London lay down some big appearance fees and get some sensible pace makers.
My week in training.
I'm really clicking right now. Kate and Peter Bazeley moved back in town so having them and John A. around all the time even my easy runs are super solid and I'm rolling some great workouts. Most notably the half marathon from Fogo last weekend. I actually went 5 seconds quicker through 5km in a 20' segment on a rolling course then I did only a couple weeks ago. I'll go out in Toronto at 31:50 through 10k and work from there depending on how I feel. 32:30 last year didn't feel bad and I negative split the back half ever so slightly so I'd like to be about a minute or so quicker this year overall. 67 mid would be great. I'm not in 66 shape so I don't want to force it and blow up. If this goes well I'll talk to my coach and make a plan for a big race in January. I'd like to debut in the marathon next year if I'm fit so if things go well maybe Huston for a debut, or if he feels that's not a good idea I'll do the half there. I'm only looking towards Scotiabank and National Cross right now but after that and some downtime I'll make some plans. Either way, as I sit here and type this I'm confident I'm fitter then I was this time last year and I ran some big PB's at that time so I'm excited to explore things this fall and run some PB's.
Monday - 93' with 4X15" strides
Tuesday - 90' with 4X15" strides
Wednesday - 66' with 5X1K off 2' recovery "hard". 2:58, 2:52, 2:55, 2:53, 2:46
Thursday - 90' with 4X15" strides
Friday - 47' with 4X15" strides
Saturday - 122' (20.3 miles) with 20/15/10 @ 5:06/mile or 3:10/K avg in a half marathon.
Sunday - 61' easy, legs a little heavy.
Alright ladies and gents. That's it for this week. Next week we will break down Chicago. Onward!