Impossible Really is Nothing, Thanks Adidas

Tom DessaletCorrespondent ISeptember 5, 2006

IconThe human body has limits, right?
The current marathon World Record is 2:04:55 by Kenyan Paul Tergat, who ran his blistering time in the 2003 Berlin Marathon.  After seeing Tergat glimpse the two hour milestone, and influenced by other running-related benchmarks (Roger Bannister's four-minute mile, Dean Karnazes performing 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, etc.), I decided to determine whether or not sub-2 can be done.

Not by running of course.

Certain scientists have tested the human body and decided 2:01:30 is the fastest time in which a human could complete a marathon.  Other research points to the year 2012 as the inevitable point on the graph where the X variable equals 2 hours.  Surely this is just a mathematical estimation as to when we should get there.  But until Ryan Howard, Reggie Bush, Justin Gatlin (oops), Sidney Crosby or some other phenom sets his mind to it, sub-2 is just a dream.  Damn Kenyans never even broke 2:04, pssh!

After that slight digression, the question remains: will anybody ever do it?  Still more research indicates that running-god Haile Gebreselassie will break 2 hours, as he has been slowly cranking out world records from 5k (he ran 12:44.39 in 1995) on up.  A recent 58:55 finish in the half-marathon was also a world record for Gebreselassie.  It seems inevitable that this man should someday break the marathon mark.  But will it be fast enough?

Scientists say no. I say yes.

There are many milestones that humans set as arbitrarily "out of reach."

Nobody will ever hit 61 homers again.


Ok, 70.

Nobody will ever run a 4-minute mile.

Jim Ryun did it in his junior year in high school, well after Roger Bannister broke the mark in 1954.

Nobody will ever score 100 points in a game again.

Well, Kobe scored 81—but Dajuan Wagner (remember him?) scored 100 at Camden High School.  Cheryl Miller hit 105 in high school as well.  She was not playing 1-on-1 against her brother, Reggie, interestingly enough.

Nobody will ever eat 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

HAH! Takeru Kobayashi gained 30 pounds in one year after proving he could finish off nearly 5 dozen dogs (ok, 53.75, and a couple more during a photo shoot later).

The point I'm trying to make is that records are made to be broken and when they are, record-setting athletes expose the ignorant, na'ive thoughts we once held.  So, Haile Gebreselassie, Takeru Kobayashi, Ryan Howard, Vern Troyer, and co.:
Go run some 2-hour marathons, have some 80-homerun seasons, eat 60-hotdog meals, high-jump over small buildings, run 3-minute miles. Keep pushing the limits of human ability, because although we aren't sure we can continue to surpass historical accomplishment, it sure is fun to try.