Track. It’s winner take all. Give 110% and you’ll get that medal. Fastest person to the cake gets all the gravy. And that’s just how we like it. It’s a fun sport where the objective is to cover a predetermined distance faster than your foes. Simple as that. Mano a mano, and the clock’s just there for show and record-keeping, eh?
Generally, yes, but sometimes…no.
And this is where you professional athletes or shoe companies looking to get your paws on a bonafide American Record ought to start paying attention.
Because there’s a comparably soft AR still on the books, set by none other than Boston Billy Rodgers himself: the hour run; he covered 20,547 meters on a track in Boston in 1977.
For context, that’s 4:42 mile pace, which is nothing to sneeze at. If Rodgers had maintained that pace for about 550m more, he’d have run about a 1:01:34 half marathon. In 2016, only one American man ran a half marathon faster than that — Luke Puskedra ran 1:01:29 in Houston.
But you gotta think running 4:42 pace on a flat track, on a crisp Palo Alto night(or some other place with stupid nice weather), cheered on by a bunch of nerds who are into that sort of thing, would be considerably easier than doing so on the roads, which are: curvier, hillier, more dangerous(!), and more difficult to maintain your pace.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that an athlete who’s recently demonstrated sub 1:03 half marathon form, who is now sharpening up a bit for the 10,000m or who has shown a steep improvement curve for the half, should be considered a suitable candidate to crack Rodgers’s longstanding AR.
This post is really more of a plea or a hot tip than it is anything speculative. At present time there aren’t any high-profile hour runs set up at any major meets this outdoor season. But for the entrepreneurial runner, finding such an opportunity could prove lucrative.
You’d be setting an American Record, which even if it’s not an impressive one, still yields press, as demonstrated this indoor season (no shots at Kyle Merber, Ford Palmer, Johnny Gregorek or Graham Crawford).
Furthermore, you’d be breaking an American Record held by one of the heads on the Mount Rushmore of American road racing.
This last part is for meet directors.
If you have any interest in setting up an AR attempt for the hour run at your event, and it’s on a sanctioned track and you have the logistical end sorted out, let the Citius Mag Marketing Machine help you track down five to six fit and able-bodied 1:01-1:03 guys without sponsors, who could afford to cash in on some major face time.