Re: Re: Rabbits: Pro or Con?

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I'd read that post on rabbiting as well. I cannot blame Lauren for choosing to rabbit. I am sure that I would do the same if I had the ability and someone were willing to pay me to pace someone through several laps at WR pace.

As far as rabbiting in general, I would prefer that meet organizers did not invite runners just to act as rabbits. If an individual runner chooses to rabbit for a teammate or friend, then that is up to them, but I think even that diminishes the performance a bit. Great performances are most special when they come in the midst of competition or if an individual takes it upon themselves to push the envelope alone. I've never been that kind of runner myself, but it seems that every year in the mile run at the Kansas City Corporate Challenge meet, there are individuals in the age grouped races who race alone in pursuit of a record or perhaps only in pursuit of their best performance on that day. It may not provide the drama of a close finish, but it is nevertheless fun to see and they always generate admiring calls of support as they circle the track. My dad was present at the 1965 Kansas high school state track meet where Jim Ryun broke 4:00 for the mile running by himself against other high school athletes. I can only imagine how incredibly special it would have been to see that performance. My father remembers seeing another guy from Ryun's school half way between Ryun and the rest of the pack. His was also a great performance, but it was probably overlooked by all but his coach and his friends and family. Nearly any other year, he would probably have won a state title.

Rabbiting is probably not going to go away soon, so as a race fan, I would only ask that race/meet directors not obligate rabbits to drop from the race. The most compelling rabbit stories are those when the rabbit does not drop, but hangs in there and makes a race of it or even runs away with the race.