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Magazine question: will 7:30hrs ever be broken?

Morning all

Unusually for recent times the sun is shining in Brizzle, though our local weatherman assures us it won't last and rain is on its way. A shame indeed.

But that backdrop doesn't answer the debate we've been having in the office since Marino Vanhoenacher (7:45:58 at IM Austria, 3 July) and Andreas Raelert (7:41:33 at Challenge Roth, 10th July) shattered Luc van Lierde's 1997 Ironman record of 7:50:27.

That debate centres around how quick can the IM men go and why in 2011 have the records tumbled so significantly?

Is it the depth of competition in the IM men's field – we're talking Alexander, Henning, McCormack (if he comes back!) – that's raising the benchmark?

Or is it advancements in gear? (A shot of Vanhoenacker on the bike at Austria is the epitomy of aero advancements – Scott Plasma 3, Zipp 900 disc, 404 front tubs…)

Or can High 5 (Vanhoenacker) and PowerBar (Raelart) claim the honours thanks to perfect nutrition strategies?

Or is it simply that Mother Nature and the design of both courses combined for optimum long-course speed?

So with all that in mind, we're keen to hear your thoughts… and will all the above combine for a man to break the magical 7:30hr mark?

Have a splendid day
James the Ed


  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    Yes,but it may take a while,eleven minutes may not seem much,but equate that to mile pace and it is a huge increase in speed,at the top end of the sport.
    They did say sub 8 wasn't possible once.
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    A very open ended question 'ever' is a long time, but still the answer must be 'maybe'. It is unusual to have huge chunks taken out of times, the progression is usually quite small, although triathlon is still a young sport, human capacity is still human capacity & if we accept that the performances we see are ummmm unaided, as it were, then as mentioned 10 minutes plus to come off is a significant amount of time.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    It will also only ever be course dependant,get a nice stretch of water,a long downhill stretch of road(there is a 160km stretch in the Himalayas),a decent run route and sub 7.30 or better.
    Ironman Nepal anyone???
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    It'll take a "freak of nature". Someone who is physically a departure from the norm like Usain bolt did to sprinting.

    Or better drugs.
  • willieverfinishwillieverfinish Posts: 1,381
    There will come a time when humans simply reach the limit of physical possibilities.

    Then the multitude of external factors come into play - weather, the course, nutrition, kit etc etc.

    I do however think that 7hrs 30 could be broken in an IM relay. These are becoming increasingly popular....... Could 7hrs 20 be broken ?

    It's aged old question that we all want answered.
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180
    I can only see it happening if there was a flat (or slightly downhill) point-to-point race with a tailwind for the whole thing. I can't see much more gain being made in the swim, and currently the only way that any of the really quick runners wil be able to get to the start of the run before the stronger bikers would be a team scenario where the pace line (legal) of best bikers all work for the best runner
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    It's a no-brainer for me. Look at the improvements made to the women's records thanks to Chrissie. So yeah there's a lot of factors out there, but better training science, nutrition, equipment, and throw in a freak (in a good way) like Chrissie and boom 7:30's easy. It'll be broken in 5 years. You heard it here first.
  • jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    A couple of the posts have mentioned the term'freak',in the nicest possible way as termonolgy to an outstanding athlete,whom is a league apart from the other mortals.
    Big Mig was classed as one,now his records are surpassed,So was Luc Van Lierde,again his records have fallen,Mr Bolt will be surpassed and it goes on as we evolve,the only barrier is the one we make ourselves by saying it can never be broken,then someone does and so begins another round of Chinese whispers of pharmacutical improvments.
  • QuitterQuitter Posts: 160
    So.....if ICI/SmithKleinB/Monsanto sponsored an athlete just to see what could be achieved....some sort of 9ft guy with gills n webbed feet thats unethical yes?

    Like an Unlimited class. The only rule would be apposable thumbs....on your hands.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Yep, twice a day...Oh I see what you mean.

    yes it will, 10 minutes is a lot or time to take but then, that's pretty much the amount that has been knocked off the record this year. given the right course, the right conditions and the right athlete hitting their absolute peak, then yes it will happen. I would estimate that it will take an athlete who is clearly head and shoulders above the rest of the field, like Chrissie is in the womens field - hell, give her the right course and maybe Chrissie can do it herself!
  • sonofsammosonofsammo Posts: 191
    Acheievements are relative to their point in time.
    What's common place now was amazing decades ago.
    Therefore it stands to reason that what seems impossible now will be achieved in the future.
    7:30 will definitely be broken - it's just a question of who/when.
  • Yes it will.... not this year though.

    Ill break 7:30 at IM NZ in march.... keep your eyes peeled!
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    by hussler. » 18 Sep 2011 19:14

    Yes it will.... not this year though.

    Ill break 7:30 at IM NZ in march.... keep your eyes peeled!
    If 220 print this then your foocked.....
  • IM records are broken every year so eventually it will be broken.

    Similar to whether the 2hr marathon will be broken? Cut 21 seconds off the record in Berlin!!!!
  • shadowone1 wrote:
    by hussler. » 18 Sep 2011 19:14

    Yes it will.... not this year though.

    Ill break 7:30 at IM NZ in march.... keep your eyes peeled!
    If 220 print this then your foocked.....

    haha Yeh I know!!! awesome! ill just hide somewhere near the finish line prob a couple of miles out and jump out on the lead man (prob Cameron Brown) and put a potato sack over him, tie it up, nick his kit and put it on, pay off the cyclist that tails the lead man to keep quiet.... then run in and cross the line right on cue........ with the commentator saying here comes the winner of IM NZ.... Camer.....Errrrr Jason Walkley.... in a new WR of 7hrs 29mins and 59secs...... lol
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