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Running 2018 Recap

With so many records falling across the disciplines, it’s been an eventful year in athletics. So here’s our pick of the best moments to round out the year.

If you’ve been living in a remote village in Outer Mongolia for the past six months, we’ll forgive you for being unaware that Eliud Kipchoge ran an average speed of 13mph (which equates to an insane 4:38 per mile!) at this year’s Berlin marathon to smash the world record. More to the point, though, by clocking a time of 2:01:39, he beat compatriot Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 best of 2:02:57, by well over a minute! There’s definitely something in the water in Kenya, and we’re willing to bet a sizeable sum that it’s a Kenyan who runs the first sub 2-hour marathon.

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The half marathon world record also fell this year courtesy of … yep, you’ve guessed it … another Kenyan! Abraham Kiptum came out of nowhere to set a time of 58:18 in Valencia. One to watch in 2019, no doubt.

Notably, both athletes wear the Nike Vaporfly 4% running shoe, which boldly claim to make you run more efficiently. Nike has been at the forefront of the campaign to break the two-hour barrier and the Vaporfly innovations are certainly proving fruitful, so watch this space! Nike Vaporfly 4 Flyknit

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Then there’s our favourite Olympian, Mo Farah, who set a new British record in London before going on to claim his maiden marathon win in Chicago. In only his third attempt, he secured a new European record with a time of 2:05:11 and proved that he’s just as competent at the long game. We caught up with Mo earlier this year before he broke Steve Jones’s previous British marathon record. Take a look here:

British marathon record attempt

We asked Mo about his attempt at the British marathon record

As one of the best distance runners of all time, Sir Mo Farah knows a thing or two about running shoes. A fact not wasted on Nike who have fully embraced Mo’s feedback when developing their latest Zoom Series shoes.

Back in Berlin, Dina Asher-Smith won 100m and 200m golds at the European Championships, breaking her own British records, before going on to win a third gold in the 4x100m relay. Exciting times for her and for GB women’s athletics. Roll on Tokyo!

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Next up, 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen made history in Berlin by becoming the youngest ever athlete to win the 1500m title. But that wasn’t enough for the brilliant Norwegian – the very next night he did it again in the 5000m and even showed his confidence by giving his brother, Henrik, a high five in the middle of the race!

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Decathlete, Kevin Mayer, also set a new world record, this time on home turf in arguably the most gruelling athletics event. In September at the Decastar meeting in Talence, France, Mayer surpassed American Ashton Eaton’s 9,045 total at the 2015 world championships in Beijing with 9,126 points.

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This next guy is just a machine. And to be honest – after climbing Everest twice in one week last year without oxygen – we’d go as far as suggesting he’s also crazy! Arguably the biggest star in ultra running, Kilian Jornet, smashed a 36-year-old Lake District record by completing the 106km Bob Graham Round in 12 hours and 52 minutes, besting the previous record time by just over an hour.

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From the insane to the inspirational (and still slightly insane), 51-year-old cancer survivor and inov-8 brand ambassador, Nicky Spinks, became the first person ever to complete a 116-mile Double Ramsay Round in the Scottish mountains. Summiting 48 peaks, including the UK’s highest, Ben Nevis, she did it in 55 hours and 56 minutes.

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Another Kenyan marathoner makes this list – surprise! – but this time because it was one of the most unorthodox finishes to a race by an elite athlete. Dramatically collapsing no more than five metres from the finish line, Michael Kunyaga literally crawls on his hands and knees to finish runner-up just three seconds ahead of compatriot, Duncan Koech, and still managing a personal best.

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Big shout out to Callum Hawkins here, who distressingly hit the wall and collapsed in first place just over one mile from the finish during the marathon at the Commonwealth Games. Thankfully, questions have since been raised about the lack of prompt medical attention, which will only help to improve the safety of runners going forward. Silver linings and all that. We’re just glad he’s ok. Speaking with him afterwards, he said his body showed no signs of fatigue and it came completely out-of-the-blue. Bizarre.

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Here’s to an even bigger and better 2019!

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