Monday, 23 June 2014

Could we have predicted Paul Giblin's new West Highland Way Record?

Paul Giblin ran another awesome race this year, setting an almost impossible to believe time of 14:20:11, eclipsing what was a jaw dropping 15:07:29 performance from last years' race.  We could go one for a very long time coming up with superlatives, but with this quick post I'll just pass on an observation, that for sure Paul will have been aware of going into this year just what he could do.

Look up Paul's Athlete Profile on the Power of Ten and four race times stand out as being surprisingly well correlated.

This similarity or the WHWR/100k ratio is uncanny, it's only 0.03% different, if we use the 2013 WHWR/100k ratio to estimate this years 2014 WHWR performance from the 2014 100k performance we get a time of 14:19:57, just 14 seconds faster than what Paul actually delivered on the day.

Just how stupendously close the 2013 and 2014 ratios are has to be coincidence, but, but... but... we have to conclude that Paul's time this year's amazing WHWR performance was on the cards the day he rolled up at ran 7:10:31 at the 100k UK championships back in 3rd of May.

Paul must have known as well that he was in the shape of his life, he might be pinching himself of just how well he raced, but it was all there waiting to happen all he had to do was execute flawlessly. And the man did.  RESPECT Paul RESPECT :-)


Now what might happen if we combined Paul talent for running tough ultra trail routes with Steve Way's record breaking 100k performance from the same 3rd of May 100k UK champs race... we get a predicted time WHWR time of 12:37:32.

Now this is all just numbers, Paul has a unique talent for running tough trails and converting his 100k performances to WHWR times, this is feat that Steve Way himself is unlikely to be able to achieve without lots of time in the mountains and running the WHW route.

I think it's time to start thinking about truly stupendous WHWR times, sub 14hr is totally possible, sub 13hr will one day be done.  Paul has proven beyond doubt that records are there to be broken, the impossible wafted aside as he thunders past.  The barn door has been blown open, the potential is there.

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