Similarly the great ultramarathon runners, Hayward, Mekler, Ritchie, Fordyce, Rowell, Kouros, and van der Merwe have all run fast over distances from 10 to 42.2 km.
This evidence proves beyond doubt that the faster the athlete at short distances, the greater that athlete’s potential in the marathon and ultimately in the ultramarathon, as also shown in scientific studies (see post 2).
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This truth was again confirmed in the 1984 Olympic Marathon, won by 1984 World Cross-Country champion Carlos Lopes, who 2 months before the Games ran the second fastest 10,000 m ever (27:17:41). Second place in the Olympic Marathon went to John Tracy, also a former World Cross-Country champion, who was running his first-ever marathon. Alberto Salazar ran his best marathons when he was training for 10,000 m on the track, and Steve Jones set his 1984 world marathon record in his first marathon, which he ran after training specifically for track and cross-country racing.
Thus it comes as no surprise that Matthews Temane, who has run the fastest mile at altitude, holds the world 21.1 km best; that Bruce Fordyce has the fastest
Mile, 5,000-m, and 10,000-m times of anyone running the Comrades Marathon; that Frith van der Merwe and Eleanor Adams are the fastest female marathon runners currendy competing in the short and long ultramarathons; and that Yiannis Kouros is the fastest marathon runner competing in the long ultramarathons.