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Statement from Jim Estes on this issue (a couple of points bolded by me and some comments on his statement at the end):
What happened was no one's fault: nobody, including Ms. O'Connell, knew she was going to run as fast as she did. But we can all learn from what happened and adjust the way races conduct their starts and organize their prize structure.
Bogus. It should be obvious to anyone who has followed the sport much at all that forcing a split start on a race field that does not warrant it at all is just asking for problems like what happened. There is no excusing such incompetence. Having a small pack start 30 minutes earlier rather than just having a separate corral at the front for them that starts at the same time as the rest of the field confers zero advantage. The race organizers got way ahead of themselves, they just forced in something used at ING NYCM without really bothering to think and analyze the necessity of either context. It tells me that the organizers of this race are green, they really know little about the sport.