Derek Clayton who held the World Marathon Record for 14 years, says shoes and pacemakers is why today's times are so fast

DID YOU KNOW: On June 12, 1965 Japan's Morio Shigematsu broke Abebe Bikila's world marathon record clocking 2:12:00 at the Polytechnic Marathon near London. Then on December 3, 1967 Australian's Derek Clayton shattered that record clocking 2:09:36 at the Fukuoka Marathon. Derek was training over 250 miles a week and was clearly the world's best marathoner at that time. Then on May 30, 1969 he ran a marathon in Antwerp, Belgium mostly on cobble stones. He clocked 2:08:33 beating his own time by over a minute. Skeptics throughout the following decades would speculate that the course must have been short. Yet only 11 days before his historic run in Belgium, Derek ran at high altitude and won a marathon in Turkey May 19th clocking 2:17:26. “I had to run faster than I'd planned. If I hadn't run in Turkey I would have run 2:07 in Antwerp," Clayton said. "Maybe the course was short but Derek had nothing to do with that," says Bob Anderson, MBR & RW founder and a good friend of Derek. "Any way, worse case scenario is that Derek held the world record he set in Fukuoka until Ron Hill ran faster (2:09:28) on July 23, 1970. That is two and half years. Best case scenario, Derek held the world record for 14 years, until Robert De Castella ran 2:08:18 December 6, 1981 at Fukuoka. Derek was one of the world best marathoners of all times, the first under 2:10. Yet even today when Derek's name comes up there is talk about the possible "short" course. I think it is about time we give him the credit that is due." Yes, times today have gotten a lot better but there are two things that are clearly different today. "...the shoes they are wearing...and something I am dead set against, pacemakers," says Derek.

posted Thursday April 19th
by Bob Anderson