Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marathon musings

Well what an incredible weekend of marathon racing! First of all I was able to watch a typically fast and competitive London Marathon on Sunday and then of course we had Boston on Monday.

Many of my friends competed, some happy with their times, some disappointed, but all united in expressing what an amazing experience the race was. I will definitely do this race one day (and London too hopefully!) but judging from what I have heard and saw in the results on Monday (especially considering the 'once in a lifetime' weather conditions)I wouldn't necessarily go up there to run a fast time. It would have to be more for just being able to enjoy and soak in the experience. The course sounds brutal with all the downhills potentially trashing your legs and then of course the Newton hills just when you don't need them! All the Charlotte runners did awesome but special praise must be reserved for the two fastest 'Charlotteans' on the day, Nathan Stanford and Scott Woodbury who both ran PRs and managed to negative split I believe!

And then of course there were the amazing finishes in both the Elite races! Much has been made about whether Mutai's performance should be considered a World Record but I can't really understand what all the fuss is about. Of course it was not a world record. The course is point to point and has a net downhill that exceeds the requirements. Everyone running the race knew this beforehand or should have known if they were interested.

The favourable tail wind has nothing to do with it. Had there been a headwind the time still would not be considered a world record because of the other two factors. The reason that the point to point exclusion is in place is to avoid records being set where the wind is behind you the whole way and/or where you run a net downhill.

There is no question that Mutai can say he ran the fastest marathon in history and should be applauded for putting on such an amazing performance, but it's not a world record, period.

Now if we want to take a look at these rules and come up with new ones which take into consideration the uniqueness of a challenging course like Boston then that is a different matter! I can understand the point to point rule because of the wind scenario but the net downhill rule needs looking at- the amount of uphill on the course should also be taken into consideration- are they trying to tell us Boston is too easy because it has a net overall downhill?

All points to ponder, but at the end of the day, what a day it was for marathon running!

1 comment:

  1. Would be a massive bummer to set a record and have it taken away