What does a 2-hour marathon look like?

The two hour marathon is a hot topic, following on from a BBC radio four documentary which asked whether it would ever be achieved, I thought I’d shoot a quick video to illustrate the speed necessary to complete a marathon in 2 hours. Previously we’ve covered the subject ourselves in one of Leon Foster’s posts, and the Science of Sport blog has looked marathon’s in detail several times.  I hope this video illustrates the kind of sustained effort necessary to achieve this awesome feat.

Simon Choppin

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About wiredchop

Simon Choppin Simon’s sports engineering career began at the age of six when he loosened the wheels of his skateboard in order to make it go faster. While the experiment was chalked up as his first failure, his resulting dimpled skull has provided an aerodynamic advantage in more recent sporting pursuits. Academically, Simon completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Mathematics at Nottingham University before joining the Sports Engineering Research Group at Sheffield to start his PhD. His main interests include work with high speed video, mathematical modelling of various sorts and experimental work involving machines with big buttons. As a sportsman, Simon has an unfortunate lack of talent for anything requiring skill, tactical awareness or the ability to learn from mistakes. He does however seem to posess the ability to move his legs around for a long time until other people get tired, for this reason you’re most likely to see him on a bike of some sort or running up a hill in offensively small shorts. Simon was fortunate enough to have a stint at the Guardian newspaper as part of the BSA’s media fellowship, which gave him the idea for this blog. Other than this, his writing experience includes his PhD thesis and various postcards to his Mum.

6 Responses

  1. John

    it would be interesting to look at the stride frequency and length for the different speeds. and then look at the number of strides for the whole marathon!

  2. Why is the 2-hour marathon labeled 20.8 km/h? The course length is 42.2 km, which gives an average of 21.6 km/h. Is there an assumption that the first kilometers are run much faster?

    A question I have is: what percentage of total opposing forces is air resistance?

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