May 18, 2022

World Marathon Majors

2 min read

by bicycle…

in my house…

That’s right, in my house. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever run a single marathon, much less the six Abbott World Marathon Majors spread across 4 countries. And although I could certainly cycle those 6 iconic routes, that’s not likely to happen, either.

That’s where Rouvy comes in. As I near the end of my Virtual Lake Superior Bike Tour, I began thinking of other interesting routes. A recent conversation with someone who had completed those 6 events got me wondering if those routes had already been created in Rouvy. Surprisingly, they had not. A few minutes searching online and I had GPX files for all 6 courses downloaded and a few minutes later, loaded in Rouvy and ready to ride. The fact that all of these marathons take place in major metropolitan cities means the satellite imagery as well as the the Google Streetview will be high quality and add to the sense of immersion while I’m virtually riding my way along these beautiful courses.

So, if you have access to Rouvy and would like a virtual experience of any or all of these iconic routes, simply fire up your smart trainer and start pedaling!

  • Berlin ☑ (1:48:02, 7/2/2019). Hard to imagine that Eliud Kipchoge took only 13 more minutes to run this course when he set a new world record of 2:01:39 on September 16, 2018. It seemed like the elevation profile for this course (from the original GPX file) was a bit exaggerated. I’ve now updated the the Rouvy courses with DEM (Digital Elevation Model) data which should provide a more realistic profile.
  • Boston ☑ (1:40:02, 1:38:39 at 26.22, 7/7/2019). Meb Keflezighi won it in 2014 with a time of 2:08:37 while the course record is held by Geoffrey Mutai with a time of 2:03:02, set in 2011. The elevation profile of this course seemed reasonable although the GPS track was a bit flaky but typical of one recorded by a runner’s watch. I’ll probably try to recreate the remaining courses from scratch which will provide much smoother routing.
  • Chicago ☑ (1:32:52, 1:31:16 at 26.2, 7/30/2019). Other than the occasional bridge, this is a pancake-flat course and the Rouvy route reflects this perfectly with only 278 feet of climbing. Dennis Kimetto holds the course record of 2:03:45, set in 2013.
  • London ☑ (1:34:50, 1:31:59 at 26.2, 9/24/2021). The route was found on the Internet but the elevation profile was done by applying DEM (Digital Elevation Model) data via GPS Visualizer. Rouvy shows a total of 537 feet of climbing. I’d be interested in knowing if that’s accurate. The men’s course record is 2:02:37, set in 2019 by four-time winner and arguably the greatest marathon runner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.
  • New York City
  • Tokyo

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