2019 is coming to an end and what a year it has been. Many records have been broken and athletes around the world have been redefining what’s possible in running and inspiring others to do the same.
Let's look back at the some of the most inspiring moments of 2019 and the numbers and statistics that tell the story.
The number of miles Jasmin Paris ran at the Montane Spine Race where she smashed the former record by an astonishing 12 hours. She completed the brutal non-stop route along the full Pennine Way in 83:12:23.
Laura Muir smashed the British 1 mile record as she stormed to victory at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in 4:18:75 (the third-fastest mile in history). She went on to finish 5th in the 1500m at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha a few months later.
The number of gold medals collected by Team GB at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. Both medals won by female athletes: Dina Asher-Smith (200m) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Heptathlon).
Jan Frodeno set a new world record at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Frodeno’s time of 7:51:13 gave him his third Kona title and broke the previous course record of 7:52:39 held by Patrick Lange by 1 minute and 26 seconds. The German swam 3.8km in 47:31, then cycled 180km in 4:16:03 and finished with the marathon in 2:42:43.
Eliud Kipchoge's unofficial marathon world record in Vienna. Kipchoge became the first human in history to run a sub-2-hour marathon on Saturday 12th October 2019, completing the 26.2 mile course in 1:59:40 secs at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt. The use of rotating pacemakers, delivery of hydration by bicycle, and lack of open competition, mean the feat does not count as an official world record and is not recognised by the IAAF.
But this nonetheless was a moment of history that showed the world that ‘no human is limited’!
Brigid Kosgei eclipsed the 16-year-old women's marathon world record held by Britain's Paula Radcliffe, at the Chicago Marathon in October, shaving more more than 1 minute off Radcliffe’s time. Another incredible performance from Kosgei who continues to demonstrate that a sub 2:10 marathon time might one day be possible!
Ugo Ferrari's new 24-hour elevation gain world record. It was in a forest in France that the French man achieved 36 return journeys of the same hill, clocking a total of 15,012m of elevation gain and 108km.
Jim Walmsley set a new 50-mile world record at the 2019 Hoka One One Project Carbon X 100K Challenge outside Sacramento, California in May. He ran 50 miles in 4:50:08. That's an average pace of 5:48 per mile!
He kept going, having originally aimed to break the 100k world record as well as the 50-mile record, but paid the price for his early efforts and didn't manage to beat the 100k record as well. He still finished in 7:05:24...
Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei's set a new 10k world record in Valencia earlier this month, breaking the previous one (held by Kenya's Leonard Komon) by 6 seconds. He ran the first 5k in 13:24 and averaged 4:17 minutes per mile (2:40 minutes per kilometre)! A fantastic end to a great year for Cheptegei, who was crowned 10,000m world champion in Doha in October, and 10km cross country world champion in Denmark in March.
Running shoes continue to evolve, thanks to the continuous development of innovative shoe technologies. The X factor – the carbon fibre plate – perhaps a best kept secret no more, with running brands from Nike to HOKA manufacturing carbon-plated speed machines in the Vaporfly 4%, Vaporfly NEXT% and Carbon X, to propel the runner forward.
Controversial or not, this tech seems to be the future for fast running shoes. The research and development around biomechanics and running economy is deeply interesting and exciting and we're looking forward to see what advances 2020 will hold.
A new year and new decade
With so much sporting goodness to look forward in 2020, including the Tokyo Summer Olympics, we can't wait to see what running feats and achievements the coming 365 days will hold!