In a recent article posted on the IAAF website, statisticians A. Lennart Julin and Mirko Jalava looked back at the year of marathoning in 2011. Several records were broken, some phenomenal negative splits were run, and that marathon wall that used to exist at 30-35K seems to have a hole in it.
There are several reasons for these records being set, including great weather, competition, prize money, etcetera. One of the most interesting reasons noted was the fact that elite runners are foregoing the traditional route of competing on the track until their late-20′s, then polishing off a storied career with a stab at the marathon.
The final point in the article concerning Kenya domination is noteworthy. The top 20 times (on record-legal courses) in 2011 were recorded by Kenyan athletes.
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