The big athetics news of the weekend so far has come from Japan and USA. (Surprisingly unnoticed as yet by our hard-core band of social media athletics gurus!)
In Japan the 76th and final annual Lake Biwa Mainichi marathon threw up some amazing statistics.
The first forty finishers all crossed the line in under 2hrs 10 minutes. The winner was Kengo Suzuki in 2:04.56 –
yes, he was in top gear especially in the final stages – a national record by 33 seconds. Seemingly he took off in the final kilometres and ran 14:39 from 35-40k. “Behind him, the results were staggering as 5 Japanese men broke 2:07, 15 ran 2:08 or faster, 26 broke 2:09 and 40 broke 2:10.”
In USA around 20 marathoners have run under 2:10.
Maybe it begs the question, are there 40 athletes in Mayo currently who can run a sub-3hr marathon?
Meanwhile over in USA on Saturday evening an 18-year-old clocked a stunning 1:58.40 at the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas breaking several records in the process.
And running unpaced.
Athing Mu took more than two seconds off the official world U20 record and 0.63 off British champion Keely Hodgkinsons‘s unratified 1:59.03 from earlier this year.
Mu improved her best 800 time 2:01.07 by over two seconds.
It puts additional perspective on the recent form of Irish women athletes as they head to Torun for the European Indoors this week.
Sonia O’Sullivan has also added balance to the expectations of some commentators ahead of Torun in her recent Irish Times column. She outlines the difference between paced times and championship races in terms of tactics and heats.
Club runners have made thousands of circuits during track training at Claremorris and Castlebar over years pre Covid-19. Is it not now an opportunity (when the time is right) to define some of these sessions as graded-meets where members and others can determine their pbs over 800 or 1500 metres? Once a month summertime weekday evening? As they say if you want to run faster, run in faster races.
Or possibly use the Claremorris 5k course on a regular basis throughout the year for races open to members/non members in addition to the one-off Summer Series?
Food for thought maybe while we rock around in this 5k limit limbo-land.