How fast is marathon world-record pace? You might fall over when you find out
The Tumbleator is a giant treadmill that will be on show at the London Marathon this weekend. It is set to Eliud Kipchoge's speed, which is frighteningly fast.
Some numbers can be difficult to understand. For example, the human body is composed of approximately 40 trillion cells. Earth is 150 million kilometers from the sun. The world record time for a marathon is 2 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds.
Eliud Kipschoge's record of 26.219m, which he set in September last year when he won Berlin Marathon for the 4th time, is fast. How fast is it?
This weekend is the big day for this year's
You could go to your local track to try and run a 400m loop, which is about equivalent to a quarter mile, in 69 seconds. Then, run another 104 laps with that speed. You could also try to run a mile in 4:37 seconds, and then add another 25. You could run the 42.195km in either case at world record pace.
The most innovative way to understand Kipchoge’s marathon pace is by using an enormous treadmill with carbon fibre rods and flexible matting, originally intended for television gameshows or stunt work.
The Tumbleator is a device that will allow you to experience the speed of elite runners this weekend in London.
The Tumbleator is about 2m wide by 6.5m in length. It was unveiled at an expo ahead of the London Marathon 2017 where anyone could challenge themselves to run 400m at "world-class marathon speed", according to
The British company who built it.
This is about 20km/h or 13mph. For most mortals, this is a sprint. The result was predictable and literal: the Tumbleator welcomed weekend athletes on its springy surface, before spitting them out at the back when it ramped its speed.
It didn't take long before the giant treadmill became associated with Kipchoge. This was because the 38-year old was always faster than anyone else. In 2018, he broke the world record for the Berlin Marathon, finishing in 2:01;39. The Tumbleator was first unveiled at the Chicago Marathon a few months later. A new group of runners were able to experience Kipchoge’s pace for 200m.
What is the pace like for the man on the road? Kipchoge says, 'I enjoy that pace', after running the Boston Marathon Monday. He will not be participating in this year's London Marathon. 'My preparation is sufficient to run at that pace.
Danny Coyle, of the National Marathon Association, says that the power of the marathon and what makes it different from other sporting events is its community feel.
Abbott World Marathon Majors
The majority of humans will not play in the World Cup, or drive a Formula 1 vehicle or stand on Centre Court at Wimbledon. Coyle says that when you run a marathon, you are running the same distance of 26.2m as some of the world's best athletes.
The Tumbleator has provided amateur athletes with a way to bridge the gap from themselves to elite runners, even if it is only for a few seconds. "And it looks like fun, right?" Coyle. Who doesn't like a giant treadmill?!
Mo Farah was unable to resist the siren song from the Tumbleator before his appearance in the 2019 London Marathon. Farah, a four-time Olympic champ, tumbled twice. Coyle claims that even the best athletes in the world struggle with the Tumbleator.
Kipchoge won the race a few days later. Farah came in fifth.
Kipchoge won 15 out of 18 marathons that he entered, and 10 major world marathons. This is unusual.
Sixth place in Boston
Since switching to this event in 2013 from the 5,000m. He will be defending his Olympic title at the Tokyo Games in 2021. Last year, he shaved 30 seconds off his world record. He has officially recorded four of the fastest marathons in history.
Kipchoge often uses exclamation points to punctuate his sentences. "For someone to slip, that is a challenge!" This means that they have to do more work.
Kipchoge runs up to 140m or 225km a week in training. Although this might seem like another astronomical figure, Kipchoge isn't entirely unrelatable. He said that most of his runs are slow. Slow for him, however, is slightly faster than 4min20sec per kilometre or 7min per miles.
He said, 'We try to run as easily as possible.' It's good to have our minds think more, and for our muscles rejuvenated and ready for the following day.
The man whose name has become synonymous with Tumbleator rarely runs on a treadmill. I prefer to be outdoors. This article was originally published in
The New York Times