Most consistent marathoner

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  dan 10 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #6987

    dan
    Member

    Hi , what do you think is the most  consistent runner winning marathons???

  • #24527

    Run
    Member

    Paula Radcliffe has won 7 of the 8 marathons she has started, pretty consistent ;D

  • #24528

    GTF
    Member

    Being able to manipulate the field in one's favor helps, as she and Geb have proven.

  • #24529

    Run
    Member

    Manipulation of the field or not, both are the fastest of all time at the moment.

  • #24530

    GTF
    Member

    No, not “manipulation of the field or not”, as neither would be as fast without said manipulation.  Being “fastest of all time” is nice, but does not a winner make.  Dodging top peers is uncompetitive.  Winning a defacto time trial is different than winning a true race.  Against truly competitive fields of top peers, each has wilted in significant fashion.  Khannouchi is more consistent in winning as a marathon racer than Geb or Radcliffe have been, even without having raced in the Olympics.  8)

  • #24531

    GTF
    Member

    On second thought, it is not really debatable and you are correct.  That is part of the territory that comes with being such a freak of nature in a given endeavor (albeit among relatively weak competition) that such strong domination allows one to call shots like that.  I think I was blinded by my dislike of how much attention is given to great time trialists at the expense of great competition, I feel that it is leading the sport in the wrong direction.  If I can consider Khannouchi as the best male (or female) marathoner to date, then I can accept Radcliffe as the best female marathoner and most consistent marathoner (gender regardless) to date.

  • #24532

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Obviously, it depends how you define things. Does running time trials in front of inferior competition make one a consistent winner? I suppose it depends on who you ask. By strict definition, you may win more consistently than others but would I be the most consistent winner in this area if I only run 5K races that never see anyone (except me) who breaks 20 minutes?

    I think KK has put up some impressive results in races that were more than just time trials. Tergat also has, though one of his closest victories was supposed to be a time trial. On the women's side, Ndereba comes to mind. All have dealt with some losses but, when running competitive races, even the most consistent winner isn't going to win them all.

  • #24533

    tgrunner
    Member

    I've always been a believer that your biggest competitor is the clock. I tend to benchmark runners/marathoners in this regard and pass on how stacked a race might be. I think its hard to deny Geb or Radcliffe. I also enjoy some of the younger up and comers. Hall, in his short span, has shown great consistency already.The Half record, 2:08 debut, and trials. I was at the trials in NY this year, and a 2:09 on that course, with dominance…..well, it was a hell of a thing to see – and made you feel good about American distance running again on a potentialy international level. He's a fun kid to watch. I will say this – Wanjiru at such a young age is nothing short of incredible right now. Barring mishap, should prove to be one of the all time greatest.

  • #24534

    GTF
    Member

    The clock is simply an arbiter, it does not compete.  8)

  • #24535

    tgrunner
    Member

    For some racers, time is the most important factor. It becomes in some sense a competitor just as much as the person next to you. It is a mental tool.

    My racing goals are set by times, not the idea of beating the person next to me.

    I would rather run a 15:20 5k even if it meant I finished alone, opposed to a 15:45 by pacing out with others and making it a race.

    So while the clock is an arbiter for you…..it is a competition tool for me.

    And trust me….I'm not the only runner to think this way…

  • #24536

    GTF
    Member

    I can understand that and do trust you.  I have seen plenty of evidence that suggests that many people would rather focus on time than competing with others.  I just feel that there is a distinct difference between racing and pacing.  It seems that a close competitor on the race course is more present than a clock reading at a course (mile or km) marker.  If a 15:20 5K alone is possible, then why would being pushed/pulled to a 15:15 by competition not also be possible and preferable?  Where does this idea come from that competitors would necessarily render one slower than running alone? 

  • #24537

    tgrunner
    Member

    No denying that a fast group can pull you into a faster time. However, the opposite can be true of a slower initial pace within a group slowing you down in the beginning stages of a race. Good example – Prefontaines 72' olympic 5k. Dog slow beginnings can throw a race off for a specific type of runner – particularly those who excel by stretching a race opposed to kicking. I'm never one to turn down a group that will push the pace and potentially pull you into a faster time. It can however be a double edged sword, and so I tend to charter a pace near the top of my ability and race against it.

    There are too many intangibles in racing to have one clear methodoligy for all types of runners.

  • #24538

    GTF
    Member

    There are too many intangibles in racing to have one clear methodoligy (sic) for all types of runners.

    Yes, quite naturally.  I basically lament how the sport has lost a large proportion of the true competitiveness it used to enjoy before record-chasing became such a large focus.  Why would a person bother entering a race if all it is really perceived as is a collective time trial?  It puzzles me.

  • #24539

    william
    Member

    Can you name a sport out there that has not lost some of its true nature due to money? There is not a one. Record chasing is an element of that.

    Pacing during a road race against the watch and time trials are two different animals….you cannot lump them into the same categories.

  • #24540

    GTF
    Member

    Can you name a sport out there that has not lost some of its true nature due to money? There is not a one. Record chasing is an element of that.

    This is true.  There is also not a single popular pro sport where 'competition' with a clock is at all compelling, where the chief thrust of a pro competition in the sport far and away is not the competition between the parties involved (individuals or teams).  It is largely uninteresting to specators and fans.  People used to pack venues to watch races like Bannister vs. Landy and Liquori vs. Ryun.  Watching Geb run along with a phalanx of rabbits and no meaningful competition is flatly uninteresting compared with watching Geb race along with Tergat, Khannouchi, Ramaala, Lel, Baldini, and whoever else happened to show up that day ready to go.  I do not particularly mind that distance running is a cult sport, but this is certainly part of why it fails to capture more of the public's imagination.  I do not know why the competitive spirit went away from how it used to be in the sport as a whole (mid-packers are not getting paid to focus on chasing times or records), it might have something to do with messages from the mainstream running press.

    Pacing during a road race against the watch and time trials are two different animals….you cannot lump them into the same categories.

    Well why not?  They appear similar enough to me.  8)

  • #24541

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Pacing during a road race against the watch and time trials are two different animals….you cannot lump them into the same categories.

    I think you can lump them into the same category when you see what a lot of these record attempts are, a single runner who by far outclasses the rest of the field running alone, not including rabbits, for most if not all of the “race”. That's not a race, it is a time trial in the truest sense.

    It would be different if Geb and Tergat, both in prime shape, lined up and went out at sub-2:04 pace. However, how often do we see something like that? Most record attempts, whether on the road or track, shape out to be one individual running alone against the clock, the rest of the “competition” so far back that it's an afterthought at best.

    I have to agree with GTF, to the average person, where is the excitement of watching these record attempts? The sport would be much more compelling and likely a better draw with more races such as those we saw between Geb and Tergat in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. I remember being at the 2002 Chicago Marathon. The men's race was much more exciting than the women's race, even though I got to see Paula set a world record in the women's race. The fact that the men's race wasn't decided until the final couple of miles and that second place was decided in a three-way mad dash to the finish line was incredibly exciting. It kept all of us on our toes, cheering and trying to see who would come out ahead, until the very end. As for the women, by 12 miles the excitement was fading as there was no real competition.

  • #24542

    tgrunner
    Member

    As a runner, I sometimes enjoy the excitement of an attempt at a record. I enjoy the excitement of a competitive race as well. To me both have their place in the sport. I will say that it is the competitve running side of me that enjoys watching a “time trial”. The vague concept I have of what it takes to run that distance in that time in relatively inspiring, and exciting in itself for me. In the end, a race is how fast a person or group of people can run from point a to point b……sure, its more exciting when there are true and relatively equal competitors out there gutting and pushing to the finish. But I think there should be equal reverance for what it takes to run a record. Thats just me.

    As far as packing stadiums for the likes fo Ryun and others – some of the true epic races. My honest opinion of this lies with how society has evolved – probably for a large variety of reasons. I didn't realize that there was a mainstream running media machine – if so it is a pale image of its other sporting counteparts.

    I dont' much like talking about why running isn't the way it was back then, and why we aren't packing stadiums for races like bannister / landy. It makes me recall listening to my parents complain about how things were better when they were younger. Look – all sports have only one natural direction – and that is to be better than the performances of the previous day, right? All sports these days strive to be faster, stronger, better. Time Trials and records are a tangent of that cry. Running hasn't morphed in this regard to the degree other sports have……can anyone remember when basketball was a defensive game?

  • #24543

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    No doubt, there is excitement involved in a record attempt. Seeing the women's indoor 2 mile record smashed this past weekend was a rush. However, I think even more thrilling is a close race where you get to see strategies played out and you don't know who is going to win until the end. I also don't think anyone is denying that records are impressive displays that deserve respect, the question is whether they make for exciting events to watch. To some extent, yes, I'd rather watch a record set in a solo attempt than watch a slow solo attempt. However, I'd prefer even more to watch a close competition even if it didn't result in a record. In my opinion, the two most exciting races of Geb's career were his Olympic victories. Neither was nearly as fast as his records but those battles with Tergat were far more exciting than watching the clock as he takes his final lap.

    I would disagree with you on the definition of a race. It's not how fast a person or group of people can run. A race is about two or more people lining up and seeing who can reach the finish line first. As far as I have seen, the first races weren't even timed and I've run races as recently as a few years ago where there was no official timing, all that mattered was the order in which people crossed the finish line.

    The sport does change over time and I'm going to love this sport no matter what comes of it. However, I'm also going to be appreciative of the fact that events like the World Championships, Olympics, Boston Marathon, etc. still support head to head competition. In the best case scenario, there is a nice balance of events, some of which are rabbitted time trials where record attempts occur and others where head to head competition is the name of the game.

  • #24544

    GTF
    Member

    As a runner, I sometimes enjoy the excitement of an attempt at a record. I enjoy the excitement of a competitive race as well. To me both have their place in the sport. I will say that it is the competitve running side of me that enjoys watching a “time trial”. The vague concept I have of what it takes to run that distance in that time in relatively inspiring, and exciting in itself for me. In the end, a race is how fast a person or group of people can run from point a to point b……sure, its more exciting when there are true and relatively equal competitors out there gutting and pushing to the finish. But I think there should be equal reverance for what it takes to run a record. Thats just me.

    In the end, racing is about who gets from point A to point B first.  Medals are not given out for time, only for place. 

    As far as packing stadiums for the likes fo Ryun and others – some of the true epic races. My honest opinion of this lies with how society has evolved – probably for a large variety of reasons. I didn't realize that there was a mainstream running media machine – if so it is a pale image of its other sporting counteparts.

    Sure, it was merely stated that it was a part of it, not the entire reason.  As far as mainstream running press, drop into a bookstore sometime and there should be a representative or two on the magazine rack: RT, RW, T&FN.  Those show up on the magazine rack at the bookstore in my town anyway, alongside SI, ESPN, Tennis, Velo News, et alia.  It was not claimed that the mainstream running press rivals that of other sports, by the way, only that it exists and that it sends messages to the running community.

    I dont' much like talking about why running isn't the way it was back then, and why we aren't packing stadiums for races like bannister / landy. It makes me recall listening to my parents complain about how things were better when they were younger.

    Then skip it, no big deal and no need to 'complain' about it.  Recognizing what has changed is hardly 'complaining', nor is whether those changes have on the balance led to progress or not.  Not for those who passionately care about the sport, anyway. 

    Look – all sports have only one natural direction – and that is to be better than the performances of the previous day, right? All sports these days strive to be faster, stronger, better. Time Trials and records are a tangent of that cry. Running hasn't morphed in this regard to the degree other sports have……can anyone remember when basketball was a defensive game?

    In basketball, the key is still to win the game, not to win the most statistical categories.  (FYI, the typical winner of the NBA Finals the past several years (i.e. Detroit or San Antonio) has been a notably defensive-minded team.)  A win is a win, statistics are simply a way to measure areas of strength and weakness within the overall game. 
    For fans and contestants alike, competitors chasing after or running away from each other is quite tangible, it is elemental.  Conversely, chasing after or running away from a time is abstract, it requires a certain suspension of disbelief no matter how widespread it becomes accepted.

  • #24545

    tgrunner
    Member

    ok.

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