The winner of the New York Marathon last Sunday was Paul Tergat of Kenya. He ran a time of 2:09:30. The second place finisher, Hendrik Ramaala of South Africa finished 1 second behind in a time of 2:09:31. Over 26 miles and they were one stride apart.
But that is not even the most amazing fact to me. It turns out that Hendrk Ramaala, the guy who finished second this year, won it the year before in a time of 2:09:28. He got exactly three seconds slower from one year to the next and it cost him the race.
If he can put up a time next year that is in between his times the last two years, we will give him a free Freakonomics t-shirt.