The fastest marathon time ever achieved was just recently run by Eliud Kipchoge.
The physical aspect of the achievement, his running just over an average of 4 minutes and 30 seconds per mile for 26.2 miles, is incredible.
We're fascinated by the running mind.
We're fascinated by his mindset related the pressures of attempting this feat, in a unique setting, and with the world watching.
And, we're interested in the mindset of those supportive of, and those who seem to take issue with, his statement, now a hashtag, that "No Human is Limited."
This was a unique attempt at achieving what would be the fastest marathon time ever recorded.
It didn't occur during a race. There were no other competitors.
Instead, there was a highly-regarded team of pacers, incredible athletes in their own right, who would rotate, in waves, providing draft and support for Eliud.
There was also a pacing vehicle, but more than that, there were laser-pointed targets for each of the pacers, running ahead of Eliud through the majority of the race.
The only times these targets were not present were during the sections in which the runners were moving through the rotaries, or roundabouts, within the course.
Hydration and nutrition were also provided differently than they might be during an officially-sanctioned marathon race.
Rather than the runner adjusting course to an aid-station type table, moving away from the most direct line toward the finish, Eliud was provided his hydration and nutrition by supporters on bike, who would move to him, rather than the other way around.
As this was not an official race with other competitors, there was no adapting to strategies of other runners, no jockeying for position, or other mental or physical "games."
There was the roar of the crowd, the pacers, the support team, the laser pointers, the years of training that made this attempt a possibility, and the pressures of the entire world watching.
Of course, Eliud's physical ability to run 14-minute 5k distances, back to back to back (and so on), throughout this attempt is an incredible feat.
However, we believe that the pressures experienced here must have been that much more extreme than those experienced in traditional racing.
We mentioned what there wasn't (all the things usually present in a normal marathon race).
And, where those elements are not there you, (in this case, Eliud), are completely exposed. There is nowhere to place blame or excuse, not that he would.
It all comes down to his own physical strength and mental fortitude (shout out to The Endurance Society).
He'd attempted to achieve the fastest marathon time before, in both official race and regulated environment, and failed.
Even that is dependent upon one's definition of failure. We're of the mindset that (either):
So, for many, having tried without having achieved, the minutes, hours, and days leading up to the next attempt can be filled with self-doubt.
Self-doubt often leads to one's own defeat before the next attempt has even begun.
It is not only that, but that in this attempt, no distraction exists. Eliud, alone, is the attraction.
We've never seen Micheal Phelps enter the pool alone, in similar fashion (not that he wouldn't).
We've never seen Allyson Felix on the track, in similarly-hyped fashion (not that she wouldn't).
We can't speak for them, but we're fairly certain that these athletes and many others, would relish similar opportunity.
It is likely they would fair well (in their individual realms of expertise), as they've likely found that consistent achievement is rarely based on physical talent alone, but requires diligent attention to the development of appropriate mindset.
We've never seen hundreds of thousands of people logged in across the globe, some during the wee hours of the morning, to watch one man's solo "hit or miss" of something never before achieved in the athletic world.
This attempt, and Eliud's achievement of the fastest marathon time, isn't just about the sports world.
This is about inspiration, for recreational athletes, competitive athletes, for non-athletes, for men, women, and children.
This is for any one person who has ever dreamed or had a goal, whether personal, professional, athletic, academic, or otherwise.
And, then there is Eliud's assertion that "No human is limited."
Many have taken offense to this, pointing to the many resources that he had at his disposal, and expressing that this alone proves limitation.
We don't believe that is what Eliud was referring to, however.
We don't believe that Eliud's statement was to say that anyone can run a sub 2-hour marathon time.
We don't believe he is saying that anyone is capable of each thing that other human beings might be, or of the things that others may have already achieved.
What fun would that be, anyway, if we were all capable of the same feats in pursuit of any world records? We are each unique, and our differences should be celebrated.
We believe that Eliud's statement speaks to the fact that, despite our differences, each one of us is highly capable.
We're capable of developing a growth mindset, setting goals, attending to our efforts and attitudes, and showing up each day to work diligently toward that of which we dream.
Yes, some have within their reaches, more and different privileges than others.
Yet, we are all capable of significant achievement, and meaningful progress toward our goals.
We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Whether they're about Eliud Kipchoge's fastest marathon time attempt, about mindset, or about positivity.
We're looking forward to reading what's on your mind!