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Human performance expert Dr. Michael Joyner weighs in on the odds we’ll see sub-2

Ahead of this weekend’s highly anticipated attempt at a sub-two-hour marathon, our own Chris Chavez hopped on the phone with the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Michael Joyner, one of the world’s foremost experts on exercise physiology and human performance, to get his predictions on what might go down in Monza.

Here’s a quick preview of what Dr. Joyner would set the weekend’s betting lines at, as well as a reminder that even improbable things do happen:

The wild card to me, is the weather. I think it’s wonderful that they decided to do it in May, it’s kind of an homage to Roger Banister, and try to have it be as close to his date of breaking four-minutes as possible.

But I think you just don’t know what the weather’s going to be like in terms of wind and temperature, and I like to look at it more like a book-maker–and you see sometimes on Twitter I post an over-under.

I would put the over-under at 2:01:30, that’s my best guess. You know, maybe 2:01:20. And then I think there’s a 5 or 10%, maybe a 15% chance, that they break 2:00:00.

But then again what were the odds that Donald Trump was going to win? What were the odds that Brexit was going to win? And what were the odds with 15 minutes to go in the Super Bowl that the New Engalnd Patriots were going to win? So 10 or 15%–or last year that the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to come back–so I think 10 or 15% are not insignificant odds in an athletic event, because there’s so much left to chance. 

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