London 2020 - Kipchoge versus Bekele and the Alphafly versus the Vaporfly

#1
After a summer with no Olympics and the cancellation of Boston, NYC, and Chicago I am pumped to get my marathon fix on.

There is a lot to unpack in this one...

The stage is set for an incredible battle between Kipchoge and Bekele. Two seconds separate their "official" best efforts and it will be interesting to see if they will be running simply for position or if they're going to take a crack at lowering the mark of 2:01:39. Given that these guys haven't raced yet this year I am hoping we will see something amazing.

Kipchoge has announced he will be running in a snazzy Kenyan colorway of the Alphaflys and Bekele announced that he is still having issues and will be running in the Vaporflys, so the shoe controversy continues!



I am a little disappointed that the course will be run on a 2.15km loop... having just recently run a half-marathon on a 2.5 mile loop I can tell you that the scenery gets boring pretty quick. This will work out to just short of 20 laps for the runners and I am curious to know if this will help or hurt them?

The men's race will be airing at 5:15 am my time... otherwise there's a replay at 2:30pm
 
#2
After a summer with no Olympics and the cancellation of Boston, NYC, and Chicago I am pumped to get my marathon fix on.

There is a lot to unpack in this one...

The stage is set for an incredible battle between Kipchoge and Bekele. Two seconds separate their "official" best efforts and it will be interesting to see if they will be running simply for position or if they're going to take a crack at lowering the mark of 2:01:39. Given that these guys haven't raced yet this year I am hoping we will see something amazing.
Maybe so! Given we have seen nothing of anyone's form, I wouldn't be surprised to see any of the following: WR, well off WR, someone other than these two winning.

Kipchoge has announced he will be running in a snazzy Kenyan colorway of the Alphaflys and Bekele announced that he is still having issues and will be running in the Vaporflys, so the shoe controversy continues!
Like certain workouts or altitude training, the shoes themselves have differing levels of responders among the population -- not everyone gets the same effect from the same shoe.

I am a little disappointed that the course will be run on a 2.15km loop... having just recently run a half-marathon on a 2.5 mile loop I can tell you that the scenery gets boring pretty quick. This will work out to just short of 20 laps for the runners and I am curious to know if this will help or hurt them?
Good question! I get a feeling they'll be eyeing the rabbits and each other rather than the landmarks. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Looking at the turns on the course, it could be a detriment if conditions are humid enough to render the road surface wet. If conditions are close enough to ideal, being able to run the same loop continuously which excludes the usual bridges (or any other significant climbs) from the course could set up really fast performances.
 
#3
I caught another article following a press conference yesterday and it seems that the organizers have the rabbits aiming for a 61 minute half, so looks like they've got their eye thoroughly fixed on a ~2:02 finish. There was some light (friendly) sparring between Kipchoge/Bekele where Kipchoge suggested he is hoping to take the early pace out as fast as he can manage and Bekele suggested he is looking forward to running a negative split. I think we are in for a good show!

Bekele did also note his concerns with the corners. Nothing major but if you were obsessively trying to min/max the effort (along the lines of breaking 2) that it would not be ideal to have so many turns. On the other side of the coin, Kipchoge mentioned that the shorter loop will give them more frequent access to fluids.
 
#4
That's too bad that Bekele had to drop out, I'll still tune in but I was definitely super excited to see the showdown with Kipchoge. I think it should be a relatively smooth win for Kipchoge.
 
#5
That's too bad that Bekele had to drop out, I'll still tune in but I was definitely super excited to see the showdown with Kipchoge. I think it should be a relatively smooth win for Kipchoge.
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... looks like will probably have to wait until the Olympics to see them square off.

Only one other athlete has run a time under 2:03, so this is pretty comfortably Kipchoge's race to win. I suspect with Bekele out he will be more inclined to run for position but I wonder if his appearance contract has any sort of incentive for hitting a certain benchmark? Independent of that I think that Kipchoge is a little miffed at all of the criticism his INEOS run has draw as an "unofficial" time and he may be looking to silence those critics. I think there's an almost zero percent chance he runs under 2:01 but we might see the WR lower.
 
#6
This definitely helps lower his nerves. Regardless of his dominance since switching to Marathon running I'd imagine he still has anxiety about the dominance Bekele had over him on the track earlier in their careers. Bekele has had DNF's before so I think it's the right thing to do if he was even feeling the slightest of issue in his calf. An early race DNF would probably have been more anticlimactic and hurt him more.
 
#8
Hah - I hope Seidel was able to find that bubble beer. Great effort by her and Hall.

I watched it live and I was admittedly pretty groggy, but I sat up when I heard the announcers say the pace had slowed down to 5+/mile... either something was wrong or things were getting overly tactical. As it happened, it was both. It is a shame that Kipchoge wasn't 100% on the day but it goes to show you that not even the best are immune from spanners in the works on race day. Credit to Kitata, Kipchumba, and Lemma for running a good race despite the conditions and putting on an exciting final 2k.
 
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