The WTO’s nine day sprint in July 2008 was an attempt to break the logjam on “modalities” for agriculture and NAMA in the marathon Doha Round negotiations. All that observers can know for certain is that the parties did not agree, but understanding the failure is an essential prelude to any attempt to relaunch the Round. This paper is a counterfactual analysis of the various explanations that have been offered for the failure. I consider factors exogenous to the negotiation process, such as the macroeconomic context; and factors endogenous to the process such as the timing and level of participation in the meeting, and the nature of the issues under discussion. I conclude that sprinting during a marathon is unwise. The London G-20 Summit commitment to a balanced outcome is achievable, but assembling a package with so many issues involving 153 Members takes time and patience.