The 2-hour marathon debate

The men’s world record in the marathon hasn’t been broken in two years, but the intriguing conversation continues of “When will there be a marathon time under two hours?” Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie holds the mark of 2:03:59, in the 2008 Berlin Marathon (Sept. 28). He held the previous mark of 2:04:26 on the same course in 2007.

Exercise physiologist Ross Tucker, who has a Ph.D. and works for the University of Cape Town in South Africa, also co-authors the blog The Science of Sport. Last week he had two in-depth posts on the prospect of a sub-2 hour marathon. Tucker looks at significant data, yet predicting is inexact. He projects the sub-2 hour marathon could come in 11 years, 25 years or 80 years — so no time soon. (The women’s world record of 2:15:25 by England’s Paula Radcliffe, was set in 2003.)

The posts are The Sub-2 Hour Marathon? Who and when?

And The Sub-2 Hour Marathon: What physiology will it take?

Grandma’s Marathon has a course record that was set 29 years ago — 2:09:37 — by Dick Beardsley. The News Tribune took a look at the prospect of a two-hour marathon in a 2009 story here.