Breaking 2 hours

For most of us, even the thought of breaking that 3 hours is already a big deal. So when you read about challenges to break the 2 hour mark, for mere mortals, it is like a page out of a Marvel's Comic book. Are these guys for real? 

Therefore when Eliud Kipchoge astounded the world with his 2:00:24 in Monza, Italy. Heads were turned. Jaws dropped. Pulse raised. The world got on her feet. And for the first time, it finally dawned on us that such 'impossibility' could actually become a reality! It is actually within reach!

Sure it was not counted as a world record with the in-out pacers. Imagine if he did make the sub 2, what would they say? Personally, let's not get too hung up on technicality. But I would let the man of the hour Eliud Kipchoge speak for himself. (See Video). After all, no one is more qualified. 

Now just let the idea sink in. The actual pace that one has to run in order to achieve sub2 is 4:34.5 min per mile. That is 2:51.56 min per km. (68.6 seconds per 400m!) I could not even complete half of a km at that kind of speed. The closest world record done by Dennis Kipruto Kimetto was at a 2:54.8 pace. '3 seconds' may not seem like a lot to us, but trust me, it is a world of difference!

Why sub 2? Here's Runnersworld's take on this topic. 

But what does this all mean to us mortals? You read about these kind of news and wonder: Which planet did these aliens come from? How can a 'human being' run at that kind of pace? How is this ever relevant to any of us? 

I could only attempt to address the last question. As for the former, I believe it is anyone's guess. 

Seriously, why do we scale Mount Everest? Why do we bother to explore the deep? Why do we venture into space? Why this insatiable quest for the impossible? 

Simply, I think it lies in our genes. We are hard-wired for 'greatness'. 

No matter what level you are at, the fact that you took up marathon running is already proof that you were aiming for something greater in life. I think it is more than just ticking off your bucket list. Somehow, it is about discovering and fulfilling that innate potential. It is your destiny. 

Yes it will test your limits. You will need to explore all the possible means to achieve it. You will need devotion and perseverence like no other. No matter how ridiculous it may seem, you will need to move beyond that comfort zone. That is the price. 

And you'd gladly pay for it. Defying the logic of its practicality. How does this ever make sense? Does it put food on the table? Does it pay the rent? What is waiting for you at the finish line? Face it, for most of us, there is no 'glory'. No meaning. But why do we ever put ourselves through it? 

Yet, we strive. Destined for greatness, we reach for the impossible. 

Perhaps we may never reach Eliud Kipchoge's kind of greatness. Not remotely. But each of us carries a brand of greatness that is all our own. This kind, only you can decide for yourself. It is the glory of being your very best; living to the fullest for which you were created.  

If life is merely an accident, where there is no meaning nor purpose beyond the colliding of atoms and molecules; and Big Bang a mere freakish scientific phenomenon where everything just comes into being, our existence would be inconsequential. Why bother talking about this greatness? It would be irrelevant. 

But if I am right, then this would explain why we strive for such greatness. It then begs the pertinent question: "Who created us?" Surely God who fashioned us in His image would have something to do with it. I would let you decide that for yourself. 

Nevertheless, whatever your religion, we humans have this innate drive that propels us beyond those limits. Limits that is not confined to mere survival instincts. But that which comprises of greatness. I think this is a healthy goal. Not necessarily to deify ourselves, or draw attention to ourselves, but at the end of the day, at the conclusion of our lives, we can honestly say: I have lived this life to the fullest. I have achieved greatness in measures that I can be absolutely proud of. I have not wasted this life time. 

Let's all reach for that. 


  1. 这是很矛盾的。 我们都想成为心中最好的那一个。 偶尔,又觉得自己是无能力。

    1. Yup, Annie. Life is a contradiction. Pain and gain etc. You have to embrace both. And can't really deny one or the other. Growth, I'm afraid, will require both.

  2. To greatness - not to draw attention to ourselves, but to have lived this life to the fullest!

    1. Yes, Vincent. Grow into it. Lock, stock and barrel. That means pain, disappointments, tears, etc too. Can't have one without going through the other. That is the law of cause and effect. The end result? Yes, you said it well: Life to the fullest! Here's to more years of that!


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