Saturday, October 12, 2019

All the asterisks attached to the sub-two hour marathon performance

Kipchoge’s splits were remarkably precise, thanks in part to a rotating team of 36 pacemakers—many of them the world’s best distance runners—who ran in 7-person pockets around Kipchoge to keep him on schedule and shield him from the breeze. An electric timing car driving a controlled pace of 4:34 per mile projected green laser lines on the ground for them to follow. While he raced, Kipchoge was delivered energy gels and carbohydrate drinks by bicyclists riding alongside him. The bottles Kipchoge used were picked up after being discarded and weighed to determine exactly how much was consumed, and what his future intake should be.


The event was sponsored by British petrochemicals company Ineos and its billionaire owner Jim Ratcliffe, whose company’s foray into sports—Ratcliffe also sponsors cycling, sailing and soccer teams—has been criticized as a cynical attempt to distract from Ineos’s production of plastics and its plans to frack for natural gas in Britain.
Also this week:
Less than two weeks after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed down a four-year ban to Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar for three doping code violations, Nike has announced that they will be shuttering the team.


In deciding USADA’s case against Salazar, two independent three-member arbitration panels found that Salazar “trafficked testosterone, a banned performance-enhancing substance, administered a prohibited IV infusion, and engaged in tampering to attempt to prevent relevant information about their conduct from being learned by USADA.”