A man broke 58 minutes in the half marathon on Sunday.
Four men, in fact.
Has it sunk in yet?
Or had it already begun to sink in before Kibiwott Kandie (57:32) outdueled Jacob Kiplimo (57:37), Rhonex Kipruto (57:49), and Alexander Mutiso (57:59) to win in Valencia? Times that previously belonged to the realm of fantasy suddenly don't seem so unbelievable because of the supershoes on athletes' feet.
"We’re not a sport where [world records] get sort of thrown around like confetti,” World Athletics president Seb Coetold LetsRun this week. “It is important that when a world record gets broken, that it is broken as a result of outstanding jaw-dropping athletic talents. And I’m still of the belief that in large part that is why we’re seeing those records.”
Not everyone agrees with that assessment, however. Kandie, Kiplimo, and Kipruto are monster talents, undoubtedly. But what of Mutiso, a virtual unknown who ran faster than any man in history prior to Sunday?
Technology has always evolved, of course. But comparing times through the years -- one of the neat things about running -- is becoming increasingly difficult. We accept, as fans, that we can't totally compare times from 2020 to 1950. Now, however, we can't compare times from 2020 to 2015.
How does the sport deal with that? That's one of the things Coe addressed in our chat. But there are no easy answers. The game has changed. And it's still taking some getting used to.
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