Being an Olympic year, 2016 has been such a great year for athletics with the climax of it being the Rio Olympics in Brazil.
However, 2017 promises to be even more exciting. It promises to be a year of fast times especially in the marathon event given the way two of the fastest marathon runners this year got so close to the world record time despite the fact the they were obviously not chasing after that time. And, with the ambitious plans that Nike and Adidas have regarding the sub 2 hour marathon, fast times are definitely inevitable.
In an exhilarating race at the Berlin Marathon between Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang, it appeared as though the aim of Bekele was simply to remain patient during the race and use his strong finish to win against Kipsang in the end. Surprisingly, the time he registered was only 5 seconds short of the world record. Bekele now knows that he is capable of breaking the world records if he sets his eyes on it.
Earlier on in the year, during the London marathon, Eliud Kipchoge had run together with Stanley Biwott seemingly comfortable in the later stages of the marathon then appeared to be surprised towards the finish line when he looked at the clock and noticed how close he was to breaking the world record. He held his head as he crossed the line 8 seconds late from the world record. If only he had pushed a little bit harder!
On the track, Conseslus Kipruto could be out to attempt the 3000m steeplechase record. Many fans expected him to do that in Monaco this year, but he choose rather to run seemingly easy during the Monaco race and preserve his energy for the Olympic Games. With an Olympic gold now in his possession, he probably will be after the world record early next year.
The Monaco Diamond League race as always seen a fast 1500m men's race and fans have always expected Asbel Kiprop to break the world record here. A fraction of a second prevented him doing that last year. Perhaps he can do it here in 2017.
Two athletes with the first and the third all time best times in the men's 800m have great plans for 2017. Both David Rudisha and Amos Nijel have made some significant changes in their training environments and programs with aims to see some positive changes in their running next year. Rudisha will be shifting his training base to South Africa while Amos Nijel will be moving to Oregon, USA.
There are some world records that seem too hard to be easily broken, like Paula Radcliffe's 2:15:25 in the women's marathon, the men's 5,000m (12:37.35) and 10,000m (26:17.53) records being held by Kenenisa Bekele and Daniel Komen's 3000m (7:20.67), among others. There are others that at times survive only by a whisker, like the men's 1500m and 3000m steeplechase world records. It will be interesting to see what records survives 2017.