Sports marketer Peter Abraham:


Pro Publica writer and the author of The Sports Gene David Epstein:


And LetsRun founder Robert Johnson:

While we really should wait for more details to come out. My initial thoughts are

1) This is totally stupid and pisses me off beyond belief. We are nowhere close to a legitimate sub-2 attempt. You don’t just take 3 minutes off a marathon world record legitimately. We are more than 6 seconds per mile off pace.

So if it’s done, it’s either because of an a) illegal course (downhill/downwind) 2) illegal aid (wind machine pushes the runner) .

The sport should be about competition - not gimmicks.

And this is a gimmick. Based on the current progression of the marathon world record, it won’t be run under two hours in IAAF-certified conditions for another two decades, or maybe more. This isn’t Roger Bannister and John Landy competing to break the four-minute mile; that record was within reach, and attained on a normal track during a relatively normal meet. Nike entering the race only confirms what we already knew: it’s about ego and the tremendous things money can buy, rather than athletic competition.


Correction: This article originally stated that Lelisa Desisa is living in exile in the United States. He’s not; marathoner Feyisa Lilesa is.