Breaking records and writing history often require being in the right place at the right time. At their core, these feats are also often targeting what has been seen as impossible—or rather, what just hasn't been done yet. Eliud Kipchoge must understand these concepts all too well, having come just seconds shy of breaking 2 hours in the marathon during Nike's endeavor to perfect the "right place, right time" requirements. Many of us watched, awestruck by his discipline, and understood that Eliud had stepped into a whole world of what is yet to be done. To some in NYC, this sparked the idea of breaking 2 in a whole new way—as a team, with 10 or more people connecting the loops of a track all the way up to 26.2 miles.
With that thought, the BREAKING2NYC experiment was born. The Lost Boys Track Club and Brooklyn Track Club pooled some of New York's fastest runners into a team, and a second group, who came to be known at the Other Guys, followed quickly after. Their mission: a marathon relay of 105.5 laps on a 400 meter track, averaging a rapidfire pace of 4:35 per mile or faster.
We were in the right place at the right time to be a part of such a great event. When asked to join the team of 10 by the captain of the Other Guys, New York Custom PT's own Greg Laraia, we were too excited to stay back.
Both teams were successful in their attempts, setting an unofficial world record on Saturday, June 10, at the East River Park Track. The Lost Boys/Brooklyn TC finished in 1:54:07.36, and the Other Guys clocked in at 1:54:29.37. For us, it was an incredible demonstration of the power of the NYC running community. Moreover, it was a demonstration of how one runner's achievements—in this case, Eliud's—can spark others to seek and achieve what hasn't been done before.
While Eliud may not have broken the physical sub-2 barrier, he did something that is arguably more valuable: he shattered the mental barrier that such a feat was not possible. Perhaps this condition—the belief in what can be done—was the single detail that Nike could not have possibly controlled in its experiment, and perhaps this will push the next person to cross the finish line before the clock strikes 2:00:00.
Below is a chronicle of our day at BREAKING2NYC.
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