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Wanjiru vs. Geb: Who wins?

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  • Wanjiru vs. Geb: Who wins?

    It's pretty apparent that SW is either one of the best or THE best marathoner in the game right now. What he doesn't have is a made-to-order race/pace that will take him to the WR. What Geb doesn't have is a victory in an all-out, competitive race that isn't "set-up" for him to run a WR time trial.

    The question is, who is really the better marathoner right now (before Geb goes into the twilight, which could happen anytime given his age and the miles on his body)? In a championship race with no pacers, or, heck, throw some pacers in there, who would win?

  • #2
    Assuming both get to starting line 100% heathy- Sammy would out kick him at the very end, or slowly pull away the last couple kilo's.

    For Geb to win he would have to break Sammy and i just cant see that.
    phsstt!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SQUACKEE
      Assuming both get to starting line 100% heathy- Sammy would out kick him at the very end, or slowly pull away the last couple kilo's.

      For Geb to win he would have to break Sammy and i just cant see that.
      I agree... Geb would win if a Berlin '09 situation happened, where Kibet (who has a faster PR than Wanjiru actually) just has an off day and falls off the back. Geb has stated several times in the last few years that his current goals are just to get the world record in the marathon (and in other less run events), so he isn't exactly as "race" sharp, though he is more "time trial" sharp. Now if Geb decides to run in the Olympics, you know he will adjust his training accordingly, and then it will be interesting to see what happens.

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      • #4
        Geb-

        What is your favourite training session?

        I love to run in Ethiopia and look out and see eucalyptus trees and rivers. I love the freedom of just running in wide open spaces and seeing all of the countryside. This goes back to when I used to run to school, carrying my books in my arms. These days all my training is based around the marathon and so I have no more sprint.
        phsstt!

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        • #5
          Nobody knows who would win. I think people are dismissing Geb as a racer. Geb is one of the greatest racers of all time. Geb ran 26:51 last year on the track. Geb ran 27:06 to get 6th in last year's Olympic 10,000. This distinction between time trialer and racer can be overstated. I do agree that time (in the sense of chronological age) is on Wanjiru's side.
          However, one would have to think long and hard before betting against Geb under the pretext that he is no longer a racer. I do not know whether Wanjuri would have fared any better at 10,000 last year than Geb did, and if not, I am not certain why it is a foregone conclusion that Geb would be outkicked at the end.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SQUACKEE
            Geb-

            These days all my training is based around the marathon and so I have no more sprint.
            Yes, but this is a man who ran 3:31.76 indoors, so when he says he has no more sprint, this is not as deleterious as one might think. I am not certain who would win in a 1500: a 36 year old Geb or an almost 23 year old Wanjiru.

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            • #7
              Geb had a pretty wicked sprint (as does his successor KB). However, as well has Geb has run marathons he is not out there winning major races. Berlin does not attract the race crowd, although the latest edition had a better crew. London, the OGs, even NY and Chicago are the big races and he has not won any of them.

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              • #8
                Lets hope that they hook up soon before Geb rides off into the sunset.

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                • #9
                  Wanjiru always goes out hard and fades a little in the end. In Chicago, he built a gap on Goumri until halfway and kept it constant until 30k. After that Goumri was gaining on Wanjiru.

                  I imagine if Geb was in Goumri's position, he would have caught Wanjiru before the finish line.

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                  • #10
                    is that an all-time question or now?

                    Sammy eats Geb's lunch in a head-to-head at this point*, but if you employed the time-machine thingie......

                    (* like at some point in the '60s they asked Ty Cobb what he'd hit against modern pitching and he said, "about .350," and the guy said, "is that all?" and Cobb responded, "well, you've got to remember I'm 70-years-old")

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                    • #11
                      Ty Cobb, not wanting for confidence.

                      I believe I posed it as a "now" question. Sammy doesn't have a "then". Was Geb marathon material in the late 90's? That one is chock full of conjecture. Geb fans will say he could do anything he wanted and it would be hard to argue against them. Naysayers might say his form on the track wouldn't have held up in a marathon on the roads, but he transitioned pretty well once he decided to make the shift.

                      If I caught your tone correctly, I'd have to agree that a fit, young(er) Geb would be nigh on unbeatable in any thing from 5k to the marathon, provided he put in the proper training for said event.

                      Could a current Bekele beat a 1996ish Geb? Now THAT'S a tough one, because Bekele has the same cloak of invincibility hanging in his batcave. No one could drop either of them and on one could out-kick either of them.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pickle47
                        Geb fans will say he could do anything he wanted and it would be hard to argue against them. Naysayers might say his form on the track wouldn't have held up in a marathon on the roads, but he transitioned pretty well once he decided to make the shift.
                        Geb talked about how he had to rework is stride and foot-landing pattern to handle the marathon; it is what game him problems in the latter portion of his first several marathons.

                        I do not know how Bekele's style would work at the marathon. He would have to change his training some but his running style probably needs less adjustment. On the other hand, Geb was always so smooth - one illustration is the film footage of him running along so smoothly and then the camera pans out and you see him running on a not-so-smooth/even piece of terrain.

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                        • #13
                          Bek has a huge kickback when he runs. His foot almost touches his ass. Bek the marathoner? Well people thought Geb's stride was to big for the 26er and we all know how that panned out.
                          phsstt!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2 cents
                            Nobody knows who would win. I think people are dismissing Geb as a racer. Geb is one of the greatest racers of all time. Geb ran 26:51 last year on the track. Geb ran 27:06 to get 6th in last year's Olympic 10,000. This distinction between time trialer and racer can be overstated. I do agree that time (in the sense of chronological age) is on Wanjiru's side.
                            Yes--very well stated.

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                            • #15
                              There is a Chicago-Berlin thread where I made a comment about the weather, which I assert was better in Berlin because it was pretty cold even at the finish (still in the 30s) and the Berlin dew point was in the low 40s and the 68 degree finishing temp was probably for a time period somewhat after Geb finished and so the temp while running the second half was probably still just above 60.

                              Further, if I recall malmo's comment correctly, the cold Chicago temps would have used some fuel to keep warm and hence led to a fuel-depletion-driven drop in speed over the latter portion of the race, which would likely have been in the 2:04-low range otherwise.

                              Advantage Wanjiru.

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