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For years Australian elite marathoners were getting faster and faster. In 1950, the fastest marathon time was two hours, 40 minutes and 49 seconds. By 1986, more than half-an-hour had been knocked off the time. That was the year Rob de Castella, also known as Deek, ran the marathon in two hours, seven minutes and 51 seconds. It was an Australian national record — that is, the fastest marathon time anywhere in the world, run by an Australian. But that was the last time the record was broken in Australia and to this day de Castella holds it. Despite all the advances in technology, sport science, nutrition, materials and understanding of human physiology, not a single male Australian runner has been able to beat it.
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