Breaking2 Documentary Review

Okay, back to reality.

I think it's pretty cool how streaming platforms are allowing us to view documentaries and other shortform films that used to be aired and then subsequently never seen again.

A few months ago I reviewed Icarus, found on Netflix. But this week on YouTube, I found Breaking2, a documentary on three athletes vying to break the 2-hour marathon mark. It originally aired a year ago on National Geographic before the running of the Berlin Marathon, when everyone thought Eliud Kipchoge would break. He didn't actually do it until this year, which made watching this documentary now even more fun.

Here, I'll just post the whole documentary:

Kipchoge of Kenya, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, and Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea were all profiled over six months and trained to run in a specially-designed marathon sponsored by Nike. Instead of a road race, the athletes ran on a racecourse. Like a marathon, the athletes had water, gels, and pacesetters strategically placed along the course. The coaches figured what mile pace they would need to run and ran simulations and tests to assure that the three could finish in under two hours.

Desisa and Tadese finished well behind two hours; Kipchoge was only 25 seconds over. Since this wasn't an officially sanctioned marathon it didn't count as a world record breaker, but I guess it was only a matter of time.

The pacesetters were some of the best distance runners the world has, including Bernard Lagat and my main man Lopez Lomong and ran with Kipchoge until less than 1 kilometer to go. Drafting was a huge part of the experiment - at some points there were six or seven pacesetters out there. In the future, marathons could be more of a team race than it is even now - even if the leader has to run the last few miles on his (or her) own.

Kipchoge is one of the best marathon runners ever, and I wasn't sure if he was going to be featured or not, so I smiled when he appeared. I hope to see him run in Tokyo. Who knows? Maybe by then he will be running under two hours.

Tokyo 2020 Prep

The aquatics schedules for swimming and diving have been released. The finals for swimming are in the morning (for easy US primetime viewing) and last for 9 days. That mixed medley relay is a top priority for my ticket schedule, and that's the morning of Day 7. So I have one days planned! Yay!

Olympic Channel Video of the Week

How enjoyable is it when a small country unexpectedly wins gold? Here are some of the best winners that came from small countries:

Cutting the Onion Update

I won't do this every week, but thanks for all the messages of support that came in from last week's post. The week was better then the last one, and I am staying busy. As I was teaching, I came across a hymn verse that made me smile: "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." I've been saying that to myself a lot lately. #CutTheOnion

Mini Blurbs

  • So WADA reinstated Russia and no one is happy except for Russia. It doesn't seem like many sanctions were made to prevent Russia from its doping tactics before they were reinstated. I'm curious how the next year will go.
  • I watched archery, but not the kind I'm used to. Instead, I watched barebow, which is much more similar to the Robin Hood-style of archery we're used to on television and in movies. No fancy bows with sights, and no flat courses. It was a lot more fun to watch than what I had been watching! 
  • USA Men's Gymnastics held a tryout for its national team over the weekend in Colorado Springs. I was a little confused; wasn't that the purpose of the National Championships in Boston? Or did that just whittle down the playing field? In any case, now we have the five men that are going to Worlds: Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Alec Yoder, Colin Van Wicklen, and Akash Modi. 
  • Announced this week: from now on, medalists in both the Olympics and Paralympics will receive the same money amounts. It wasn't that way before?

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????


I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! You can start with my daily recap of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics HERE!


  1. That is a great hymn verse! I am going to write that down and stick it where I will see it so that I don't forget it.


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