Re: Re: Racing High

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The bit about polling was in response to this: “I think that front runners (or those who are mentally engaged in racing throughout the race) enjoy a better racing high.”

Some may note that there is an appreciable difference between racing 800m and racing 5km, 10km, 42.2km.  However, the last US runner to strike gold at the Olympics in the 800 did it by following a common strategy in long distance races: even splits.  Dave Wottle, to the chagrin of his legendary coach Mel Brodt, let the field go out hard in the final.  He trailed far at the back, allowing everyone else to run themselves headlong into trouble, and came on strong in the final 100m as all those around him were flailing in the throes of lactic acid lock-up.  His splits?  26.4, 26.9, 26.4, and 26.2.  Wottle was incredibly smart, he studied his event and his competition and determined (and then executed) the even pacing that would carry him into contention.  He followed a similar strategy in his semi-final heat and apparently none of his competitors gave it much notice, to their own detriment.  He did not need to be in the lead or challenging for it the whole way.  Smarts + confidence > 'guts' – smarts.  One cannot get much higher than from passing the entire field in the final straightaway and then accepting the laurel crown and a gold disk as the national anthem plays.  8)