This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
I like his ideas. The sport is far more exciting when you have head to head competition rather than essentially solo time trials or even mass time trials. Sure, the times might not be quite as fast. You might even get the occasional race that plays out like this year’s US Championships men’s 5000. That said, even that race was more exciting than watching a time trial with no real competition. Why do Boston and New York get more attention in the US marathoning world than Chicago, even though the times at Chicago are typically a fair bit faster? Yes, history has something to do with it, especially for Boston. However, I think the head to head competition plays a role. Chicago is typically a time trial with very little head to head competition and strategy. Without rabbits, Boston and New York have a lot more head to head competition and it’s exciting to see the different strategies employed by different runners play out.
The idea of incentivising head to head competition instead of time trialing by focusing more on qualifying races instead of qualifying times seems like a great idea. I doubt it will happen but, if I’m surprised, it will be a pleasant surprise.
I’m sorry about the lack of full-length posts this week. I have one nearly ready and intended to finalize it this week but things just got too hectic. I promise it will be coming next week.