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Editor trolled for ‘toxic’ article that termed Kipchoge’s 1:59:40 run ‘fake’

By Amina Wako October 14th, 2019 2 min read

“History’s best marathoner has broken a mythical time barrier. But it doesn’t count as a world record,” those are the words of Paul Bisceglio, an associate editor at The Atlantic.

“To sustain this blistering pace, Kipchoge ran under conditions that had been painstakingly and exclusively arranged to push him beyond the two-hour barrier. The INEOS 1:59 Challenge was not a race by any strict definition: It was simply Kipchoge, joined by a rotating phalanx of pacesetters, rocketing along the pavement against the clock,” he writes on in his article titled, The Greatest, Fakest World Record.

“Such an extensive level of support, combined with the fact that Kipchoge wasn’t actually competing against anybody, pushed the event outside of official marathon conditions and prevented his performance from counting as a true record. The organisers were fully aware of this; the event, as Outside magazine aptly referred to it, is perhaps best understood as an “exhibition marathon,” the article continues.

In Bisceglio’s the planning that went into the event was a fantasy of perfectionism.

“The organisers scouted out a six-mile circuit along the Danube River that was flat, straight, and close to sea level. The pacesetters, a murderers’ row of Olympians and other distance stars, ran seven-at-a-time in a wind-blocking formation devised by an expert of aerodynamics,” he says in the article.

Although at the tail end of the article Bisceglio lauds Kipchoge as world marathon’s version of Michael Jordan, his article was not well-received by many of Kipchoge’s fans.

“Good God, the tone of this article is so bitter I couldn’t help but think the author is a bit jealous he will never get close to a pace this fast,” @FakeFan50 tweeted.

“Never have I seen so many words put together to make an incoherent argument. ‘He had unfettered access to his favorite carbohydrate-rich drink’  Are you saying mursik gave him unfair advantage? Screaming!!!!,” commented @AfroMelanated

“Didn’t we reach the moon using the most optimal setup the first time? Yes. Not counted ? Doesn’t matter. We reached the f***ing moon. The man didn’t run using roller blades. THE BARRIER HAS BEEN BROKEN. And we all know what that means. More and more people would be able to do it,” said @carlosqdeguzman

“What a garbage take. Marathon WRs are always going to be “tainted” by the conditions, course, etc. Calling the achievement “fake” is offensive,” @kenhesser said.

“The whole article reads like contrarianism. That they created the optimum conditions for the run doesn’t take away from the achievement,” tweeted @ItsAndyRyan.