Synchronized Running

In the 800m final at the 2012 MIAA Allstate Meet the pre-race favorite Josh Lampron of Mansfield ran 3/4 of the race right on the shoulder of challenger Andre Rolim of Somerville.
The synchronization between the two runners was phenomenal.

At 55 seconds for the first 400m their average speed was 7.27 meters / second. That's 7.27 mm (or about 1/3 of an inch) in one millisecond. That's about the difference in the height of their heels in the photo above.
This was not a coincidence. In the photo below the tight sync is clearly maintained for 6 steps. There is also a third runner, Joe Vercollone of Pembroke in navy blue, #110x, who has attached himself to Lampron.

For the trailing runners there are two advantages to doing this. One is that the air resistance is significantly less and so they can conserve physical energy for the finish.
The second is that the runner in front has to exert the mental effort to control the pace and endure the uncertainty of whether the pace is right and wonder what is going on behind him. Those behind can relax their mind and gather strength for the final push.
It is natural to wonder if without these advantages Lampron would not have broken the meet record. But he played it perfectly to get the most out of his situation and had a great race.