A Marathon and a Meridian

Six years ago Dennis Kimetto was farming a small holding in rural Kenya, yesterday, in Berlin, he became the fastest ever marathon runner taking 26 seconds off the record set a year ago over the same course by Wilson Kipsang and becoming the first runner to break 2 hours 3 minutes for the distance – finishing in an amazing 2:02:57.

Kimetto running at Berlin in 2012 – Wikimedia Commons

As for my own running, it was a little more modest. I unintentionally did my longest run since running a somewhat slower marathon in the spring; I was following the line of the Greenwich Meridian from the edge of London back to Greenwich for a series of posts next month but got slightly lost in Surrey before I even started and then failed to allow enough for the twists and turns of the ‘route’, so by the time I got home I had run over 18 miles rather than the expected 13 or so. As a result, I had to ‘skip’ one of my interval session but my tempo run at the end of the week was much better than expected.



7 thoughts on “A Marathon and a Meridian

  1. WalkToRio

    5 extra miles?
    And here I was whining because they made me do an extra km on Sunday.
    I hope to live to see the day they break 2 hours for the marathon. It’s interesting in a really good way, to see that rarely marathoners are caught down the dark road (doping) unlike race walkers, this year at least 5 Russians, mostly girls, have been caught. All of then former world champions or part of the top 3 in either Olympics or World Championships.
    Have a nice week!

    1. runner500 Post author

      The extra 5 miles was a combination of poor map reading, forgetting that I had to get to the starting point from the end of the bus route and not taking into account that the meridian follows a straight line but the roads, parks etc don’t.

      Every year a bit gets shaved off the record in Berlin, so maybe if we hang around for 20 years or so it might get down to sub 2 hours, but it went for 10 years in the 1990s without moving so who knows.

      While many sports have cleaned up their acts I still worry about the lack of an effective out of competition testing regime in Kenya and Ethiopia – mainly because their federations don’t seem to be able to afford it.


    I once ran out for 18 and ended up running 13, but not the other way around. That never happens. Well, not never, but not by 5 miles. Good work! I was rooting for Shalane Flanagan for women’s division. She did great.

    1. runner500 Post author

      We’ve all cut runs short haven’t we….? I realised after 5/6 miles that I had underestimated the distance a bit (well a lot) so slowed down and just plodded on.

      Shalane Flanagan did really well didn’t she? American women have been competing well against he Kenyans and Ethiopians in the distance and middle distance events this year though – Emma Coburn in the steeplechase and Jenny Simpson in the 1500m seem to have had really good seasons.

  3. Jim Brennan

    I’ve had the same experience when I skip a run or am too busy to train and then go out and have a better than expected long run. It’s a good feeling.

    1. runner500 Post author

      It was quite a good feeling, although this week’s long run, 13 miles, was a bit of a struggle towards the end – it confirmed that I am not quite ready to do a hilly 20 mile off road race that I had thought about for 10 days time. Good luck with your race at the weekend.

  4. Pingback: A View From Mile 8 | Running Past

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