Thursday, October 6, 2011

Unfair Rule Change

During practice yesterday my teammates and I were running on the local golf course discussing life, as we always do, and of course solving all of the worlds problems. On my teammates brought up a recent video from Flotrack, a website dedicated to everything running from all over the world. The video was released by a professional male runner discussing the recent decision by the head governing bodies of running to change the qualifications for World Records. He was up in arms about how they have decided to strip record holder Paula Radcliffe of her Women's Marathon world record time because she did not run in a race that was "only women." She ran the race with a couple male "rabbits" or "pacers" to help her achieve the world record time. This decision was made quite some time ago, but i just heard about yesterday. I was at a loss for words. The only reason they have for doing this is that she was not solely competing against other women. Let's not look over the fact that she creamed all the other women in the race and the fact that when she crossed the finish line her time was still a world record time. Instead the focus remains on the little fact that there were males who happened to be in the same race. As a fellow runner and distance runner at that i was literally upset when i heard this. Distance athletes train years for that single moment of towing the line on race day. If Radcliffe's body was in good enough physical condition to run the time she did, she could have ran it whether or not those men were in the race or not. It is not fare to strip her of her world record for having men in the race. If anything i would think those head governing bodies would encourage more of this, in order to progress their sport further. The article I have posted above is from before the ruling was made, but the issue has been settled and her world record is no longer valid. I find this cruel, to both women althetes and the running community in general. What a way to darken such a bright spot in running today.

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