2-Hour Marathon Pace: Watch Us Try (and Fail) to Run It

Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge blew the running world’s collective mind last month when he ran 26.2 miles in less than 2 hours. We put our editors to the test at his pace to see how an average person can run a sub-2-hour marathon.

To run a marathon in under 2 hours, one has to maintain a pace of about 4 minutes 35 seconds per mile. That equates to about 13 mph.

If you’ve run track and field, you know that 4:31 is a heck of a good time for a high school mile. Shoot, it’s not a bad pace for an 800m run!

So how would our three adult, fairly athletic editors make out at a 4:31 pace? We used a Yuba Spicy Curry e-bike fitted with a speedometer to set the pace. And then the editors ran.

Eliud Kipchoge marathon record
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For an Average Runner, Sub-2-Hour Marathon Pace Is Crazy-Fast!

Watch the video above to see us struggle hard to hold this pace. And for context, all three runners are fit! Adam runs to work regularly. Mary rock climbs a few days a week. And I completed the Leadville 100 ultramarathon last year.

And we’ll all tell you — wow! Running a sub-2-hour marathon is a superhuman feat. Hats off to Kipchoge!

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.