Kipchoge has no real physiological point of difference from many other small, slight, super-fit Kenyans. His domination appears to result from his adamantine commitment, both in training and in races, and his self-belief. “It’s not your legs that run,” he explained to me one sunny morning at his training camp in the forest of Kaptagat, in Kenya. “It’s your heart and your mind.”
I didn’t expect anything less than excellent reporting and compelling writing from Ed Caesar’s definitive Breaking2 dispatch for Wired magazine, and despite his own arguments to the contrary, the 6,000+ word piece did not disappoint. Ed spins an intriguing tale around Eliud Kipchoge’s 2-hour marathon in Monza while weaving in various tidbits of insight and inspiration that any dedicated runner can appreciate. I also appreciated his honest reporting around hot button topics such as technology, drafting and doping—“When I spoke to Travis Tygart, head of the USADA, he said that Nike could easily have asked the IAAF to institute a tougher antidoping regimen for the three athletes involved in the project. Nike declined to do so, for reasons the company never satisfactorily explained to me.”—that kept this from turning into a PR puff-piece.
+ If you’re new to the shakeout (or just weren’t paying attention the first couple times around), be sure to check out my “Going Long” interview with Ed from back in January. I enjoyed looking back and seeing how his finish product(s) matched up with the intentions he laid out almost six months ago. “I’m writing a huge magazine story after the event as well, which will hopefully clear up what happened at which stage and who was doing what and all that kind of thing. … I’m going to follow the athletes as much as I can. I am going to ask as many questions as I can. I’m going to do as much travel and as much inquisition as I possibly ferret out how the thing is going to be put together. … I’m neither for or against. I just want to see what happens.” Bravo, Ed.
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