- November 17, 2010 at 6:17 pm #12225
- November 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm #31008
A great recap of the 2010 season.
I've also recently been questioning the importance of the WMM. I think it's time for a reshuffling, with more marathons added, including at least one Japanese marathon.
Also an interesting commentary on women's times. While it's a little sketchy to compare times from NYCM to Chicago, Berlin, London, or Rotterdam, the times we've seen from the women recently, NYCM or not, haven't been all that impressive on a historical level.
- November 18, 2010 at 7:55 am #31009
I agree, good writing.
Indeed, it is simplistic to take times from tactical, non-rabbited races (e.g. ING NYCM) and compare them to paced affairs on rocket-fast courses. What seems to have been overlooked is comparative depth. There are simply a lot more really good male runners in the marathon than there are really good female runners. Depth drives the pack. Also, what has happened with women's marathon times seems somewhat typical of records. How recently was 2:20+ still the WR? And then when 2:20 finally was broken we saw more women follow suit. Radcliffe just took a big leap beyond that — I am not ready to remove her from possibly being grouped with the Chinese women of the '90s, either. It does make sense, though, that Radcliffe's WR may seem too daunting (see also: Beamon's LJ WR) and that performances would stagnate for a while following a breakthrough period. The less competitive depth there is in an event, the sooner that stagnation will come about.
I would like to see Tokyo, Rotterdam, and 2-3 others added to WMM, though I am not sure that would correct for general apathy about the WMM and its leaders. If only we could ditch the nationalism attached to the WC and OG and have the WMM serve as qualification races for those marathons.
- November 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm #31010
Great point about the stagnation. It's just human nature. Same with the depth. If you have 10 runners going 2:20, they will push themselves and a few will break through to 2:17 to be the winners. Right now, we're more at the point of having 10 runners going 2:25 so they just have to push to 2:22 to win. Pack strength will force the winners to run faster.
I like the idea of taking nationality out of the WC and OG and using WMM events as qualifiers. Unfortunately, nationality has become such a part of those events that I don't see the possibility of it ever happening. When we think about it, though, what does nationality mean? How many Olympians who reside in Boulder or Flagstaff or similar places in Europe or Asia run for nations other than those they live in?
- November 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm #31011
Not to mention all the Qatari, French, and Burundian runners who moved to those countries from African countries. Yes, it is indeed so much wishful thinking unless and until it becomes clear that inviting the top X runners in an event would consistently make the IOC/IAAF significantly more money than inviting the top Y runners per country does.
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