We’re Surrounded!

No doubt you’ve heard about the amazing act of athleticism that occurred on October 12, 2019, when Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran a marathon in under two hours – the first time this has ever been done. His pace of 4:34 per mile can be explained many ways, and all of them are mind-boggling. Basically it’s what would be an all-out sprint for most of us. And he kept it up for 26.2 miles.

What you may not know is that Kipchoge ran the distance under very controlled circumstances. It was a special closed course, there was a laser image on the ground for him to follow so he wouldn’t have to run even a foot longer than necessary, an electric car (no exhaust fumes) kept the perfect pace for him to follow, etc.

Here’s another unique aspect of this event that has application to all of us. During the sub two-hour marathon, Eliud was accompanied by a rotating group of 42 runners, each of which stayed with him for several miles. These people, known as “rabbits”, formed an inverted “V” shape around Kipchoge, helping to break any wind resistance and creating a drafting effect for him. (See the photo that accompanies this article. Kipchoge is of course the runner in white.)

The lesson for you and me is not a new one, but its truth is reinforced in a big way through this historic moment – If you want to do great things, surround yourself with good people. Kipchoge did that literally, and it was no doubt a major factor in his success.

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in life, I hope you’ll remember this principle and run with it.

Photo by MPR News, posted in accordance with Fair Use laws. No copyright infringement is intended.

4 comments on “We’re Surrounded!Add yours →

  1. A good lesson about surrounding yourself with good people. You could also call it an unfair advantage. Don’t get me wrong – I love unfair advantages in business. Not so sure about unfair advantages in sports. Still an amazing accomplishment. I did the math – I could have kept up with him at that pace for approximately 300 meters.

  2. Eddy Semprun says:

    Brilliantly written… as always!

  3. Terry Bernard says:

    Thanks, Steve. It’s a great illustration.

  4. Susan Simpson says:

    What a wonderful example of that truth. Thanks, Steve.

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