Will The Marathon World Record Be Broken… in Paris?

Bekele holding off Mo Farah

Bekele holding off Mo Farah

Kenenisa Bekele will be making his marathon debut in April. Unfortunately, it won’t be in London, as many had hoped. It will be in Paris, one week earlier, on April 6.

Kenenisa told Agence France-Presse, “I want to run a world record in my first marathon.” But is this possible? Let’s review the facts:

– The current World Record in the marathon is 2:03:23
– The current course record in Paris is 2:05:11
– The fastest marathon debut ever is 2:05:50 (Evans Rutto) 2:04:16 (Dennis Kimetto)
– The last 11 marathon World Records have been set in either Berlin, London, Chicago or Rotterdam (this dates back to 1984)
– Bekele’s only half marathon time equates to a 2:06:35 marathon, according to McMillan; however, his 10km time (track) equates to 2:03:19

Honestly, the evidence is stacked against Bekele. However, while he may not pull off a world record, he may at least be able to accomplish the fastest marathon debut ever and a record on the Paris course. It will be interesting to see what the pacemakers do and watch how he attacks the course. Finally, if he is able to accomplish the unthinkable and set a World Record, it may not be his for long. In London, one week later, Wilson Kipsang, Emmanuel Mutai, Geoffrey Mutai and Mo Farah, just to name a few, will be toeing the line with their own world-record aspirations.


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5 Responses to Will The Marathon World Record Be Broken… in Paris?

  1. Dan says:

    I’m skeptical about Bekele’s ability to notch a world record marathon run in his first try. But I want to correct one of your stats. The fastest debut marathon ever on a record-eligible course was Dennis Kimmeto’s 2:04:16 at the 2012 Berlin Marathon. On a non-eligible course, it was Moses Mosop’s 2:03:06 at the 2011 Boston Marathon. So a SUPER fast marathon on your first attempt is possible, but a world record seems a bit ambitious.

  2. Interesting information! I don’t follow much of the running news, but now I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. 🙂

    • Jason says:

      I think the London Marathon is webcast live (at least it is in the U.S.) – you should check it out if you have the chance – it’s exciting!

  3. Pingback: Your First Time… | Must Love Jogs

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