I couldn't believe a “women's only” race would mean anything other than no male pacers allowed. After all, it appears that's solely what they are after.
Right, so then you still get slimy race directors who then stage a “women's only” start for the female elites just five minutes before the rest of the field starts and then insert male pacers in the rest of the field who make up ground and take over for the women pacers by 10-15K. I expect they would feel it necessary to decide how much separation between starts constitutes a truly separate race for women.
As for the debate about pacing, I'd challenge anyone who has raced a 5K all-out with head to head competition and not with a sit and kick strategy to attempt to match that time all alone on a local track. It just isn't going to happen. The longer the distance, the more difficult to hold the pace without someone running with you so the 5K test is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pacing over long distances.
I've done some 5K time trials over the years. My best track 5K in a race: 15:43. My best road 5K in a race: 15:57-15:58. My best solo 5K time trial on a track: high-16s.
I keep seeing the ridiculous quips along the lines of: “well, she still had to run the entire distance and therefore her performance is valid.” Oh, so what if she “ran the entire distance” with high levels of PEDs? Did she not still “run the entire distance”? What about if she did it on a course that fairly uniformly loses a bunch of elevation from start to finish? Heck, why not get a jet blower to follow her with and provide her a favorable tailwind the entire way? She still had to “run the entire distance,” right? 8)