Message Category: Specific Race Discussions Topic: Boston Marathon Record
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What will Charlie Sheen pay for the running shoes? marathon26 4/22/11 3:28:20 PM ET
Without written rules, there will always be a gray area regarding what should count and what should not count towards records. Consider these baseball parallels: Do homeruns not count towards career or single season totals because the wind was blowing out that day ? Clearly they count. Should they not count some of Ted William's homeruns because the Fenway right field fence was deliberately moved in 20 feet to promote them, creating " Williamsburg"? Hmmm, a little grayer now but still, they count, * though that really was a deliberate effort to increase his homeruns. Now, is the Boston course "juiced up" like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire and the record shouldn't count? Boston is clearly not an ideal world record course design. In my mind the original Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon course might be closer to what that design would be, low elevation with a constant 1% downhill grade. And ideally Boston would have the Philly Marathon blue line to show the runners the shortest distance so they don't add extra steps running off tangent like I saw Mutai do. I think the runners got a lucky day, unusually good temps and no head wind. Not a 20 mph Wichita Marathon tail wind but it must have helped some. Does a net downhill really help runners? Not with big hills in the middle. Run the St George marathon and decide for yourself if a huge net downhill does anything for you - I added 23 minutes to my Chicago PR and 19 to my Boston best so it didn't help me. The great Boston equalizer are the hills of Newton between the down hills. But if you train running up and down mountains are those hills that tough? Apparently not for some. But I think we can say Boston is not a deliberately easy course. So it comes down to the rules. And why this one - The start and finish must be no more than 13.1 miles apart, I don't get why that one is in there unless it ensures you have to face the wind at some point. No getting around that one with Hopkinton to Boston. Greater than a 1 Meter drop per kilometer limit is the other problem. Unless there is a sub clause added about a rise in elevation in the middle negating the drop the Boston course will never pass either. I hope the course gets grandfathered and the record is allowed. If not, I hope having an asterisk next to this record doesn't dissuade runners from doing future Boston's now that the IAAF rules have come to light. Is the prize money and winning Boston a greater reward than the desire to be the undisputed world record holder? Future year's elite registration will tell. Eventually they took the asterisk off Roger Maris' 61 single season homerun record.