Sub 7 IM Project

Wind assist - this is a sail boat going at 72mph - if you could get some of that it would help? There are places in the world where wind speed and direction are pretty predictable at certain times of year - Walvis Bay in Namibia for example where sailing speed records have been attempted. All you need is a really smooth 112 mile road pointing in the right direction, then another 26 miles. And oh no lions and stuff. So that’s sorted then.

Fairly pointless if it’s assisted in any way, or the course and wind is chosen and too favorable. Only interesting if it can be done, but that’s all. It’s like running a marathon with pacers, cars, lazers and funky shoes. Interesting, impressive, but not realistic or relevant to everyday runners and competition.
Look at the hour distance record on the bike. There is one for funky bikes and equipment, then the one for the standard equipment so the real athletic ability is measured, not the technical advances and marginal gains.


On the flip side to that point, how do technical innovations in sport come about? We’re not still riding on penny farthings and running barefoot. It’s because someone has mixed engineering, athleticism and ingenuity to give us what we enjoy and rely on today. Carbon, tri bars, any type of running shoe, wetsuits etc etc

ETA - Re-read that, and it comes across as a bit spiky. That wasnt my intention, I’m just trying to trigger debate. I’m not doing too good this week it would appear, as @poet found out yesterday.


In any way? Well it’s interesting to see what’s possible, like Kipchoge. I’m not sure anyone knows Ironman times well enough for sub 7h to be a grand spectacle though.

Looks like there will be drafting in all legs.

Rubber Dinghy Rapids!


Jan Frodeno’s actual record of 7:35:39 hours in Roth :.

45:22 / 4:09:22 / 2:40:35

I think they’re treading a really fine line. Enough assistance to hit their targets but not so much that it becomes farcical.
There’s only so much assistance available in running so even in the Sub2 attempt there was credibility to the achievement even if it didn’t meet the rules for an official record.
A thicker wetsuit has already been mentioned but if they went down the route of paddles & fins for the swim or recumbents/motor pacing for the bike it would be a step too far and lose credibility.
Did anyone see the Guy Martin program when he broke the bike speed record basically riding inside a shed attached to the back of a truck?


Agreed, although the “standard equipment” is still pretty funky by all normal standards. Clothing, bike materials, cockpit all significant advances over 20th century tech.

Biggest problem I see is getting anyone to care. Sub-2 is a concept most people can understand and all runners can appreciate the magnitude. Before this thread I couldn’t tell you what the IM record was and how far sub-7 was from it, and I’m a triathlete. AB may have mass appeal, but his non Olympic exploits have not resulted in huge media coverage, I can’t see anyone picking this up and running with it, so to speak.

The Relay was always a big thing in Roth; I don’t think anyone beat 7h there, even with Kenyan runners brought in.


Maybe they will pull it forward if/when Tokyo is canned. Agreed it’s the sort of thing to get better coverage as a lockdown project when there is no real racing going on.


Yeah, but Ali will probably try to break away off the front of the pack with Jonny :rofl:


Not very, he will still average about 1:08-1:10 / 100 even fully trained. He’s not got the technique to go much faster and has trained for a decade to hold that pace at low aerobic cost.

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Definitely out of left field this. Ali is a racer, indeed some had doubts he’d take to long course at all due to long times being solo without the cut and thrust hand to hand combat of draft legal ITU.

Obviously times are changin’ etc, but this just seems odd. Anyone who knows enough to follow this will be well aware that a target ‘time’ for IM distance is a minor interest in a new sport over varied courses, it’s not a Kona win and that it will look ‘odd’ due to the assistance required.

The Sub 2 was a fascination because as the record inched closer over the decades people speculated about when/was it even possible etc.

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The fastest Roth Relay time I can find is 7:04:56…in 2009.


The relay competition seemed to be at it’s peak in the late 00s. I remember getting passed in 2008 by a Kenyan, going like the clappers! (Relay started last). Given the relay runners are fresh, I have a hard time seeing how they’re going to skin this Sub-7 cat.

Maybe with LCB/Wurf/Brownlee as a Relay…

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It seems hard to think he could go faster than any of those times but there’s no point if it was in easy reach. He should be much better long course athlete at the end of it though. Jonny too. Hopefully the coverage will continue and give LCB more UK publicity.

Assuming that the cycling time above was non-drafting, I assume there could be big savings to be made there with a group of pro cyclists pacing.

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Hmm yes maybe achievable with a suitably incentivised peleton of pro cyclist.

In TDF don’t you sometimes see footage of the peleton barreling along at 50kmh+ with the front riders banging out 400W but riders in the full draft doing more like 200W?

If they were carried along at 51kmh/ 200W for 3 and a half hours, I could see Blu or an uninjured AB going on to run sub 2h40 and breaking 7h


way less, the people in the draft will spend a lot of their time freewheeling.


Game on then :+1:

I just went out for a ride and was thinking about how fast it would be possible to go if you got really ridiculous about it.

“Special wetsuit” with boat hydrodynamics, 70kg of lift, paddles and flippers

Ride around a race track in full draft of a purpose built vehicle, Guy Martin style.

T2 by helicopter to start of a downhill mountain road marathon. There’s one near Grenada with 2000+ m of elevation loss and an average grade of -5%

I reckon sub 5 hours would be possible. Not saying it would be the purest athletic feat, by any measure!

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They would need to employ a large group of pro-level cyclists though, that could pack ride at that sort of speed & draft.