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Paula Radcliffe puts on a demonstration
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 12:57 pm    Post subject: Paula Radcliffe puts on a demonstration Reply with quote

Hi Distance Types

Paula Radcliffe took nearly 2 minutes off her WR for the marathon, running 2hr15:25. Catherine Ndereba was nearly 4 mins back yet broke 2:20. Deena Drossin ran 2:21 to break Joan Benoit's US record.

Amazing scenes in London, Radcliffe is a national heroine and rightly so. Wonderful display.

Justin
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theoretically comparable performances:

http://run-down.com/statistics/calc.php?dist=42194.988&units=m&time=2:15:25.00

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's off the scale! Possibly quite literally - I suspect it is greatly stretching the models to extrapolate such an extreme. The Cameron and Riegel models have clearly broken down, only the Purdy model makes any sense and even that looks a little too generous to Radcliffe.

It is interesting to note that the records (marathon and 10k) were static for the women, Chinese aside, for a surprisingly long time after those events became more common in the 80s. Joan Benoit's US marathon record was only broken today, Ingrid Kristiansen only lost her 10k Euro record last year after 17yrs. I think Radcliffe is taking these events nearer to where they should be. It is tremendous to watch.

One point about today is that she was perfectly paced by 3 Kenyan men, even though it was a 'women only' race. She ran virtually alone, shielded by the pacers, the last of whom led her all the way into the final stretch. And it was a lovely day for running in London, gently warm but with a nice breeze which followed for most of the latter stages. And a huge crowd roaring her every step. She was absolutely spent at the end, I thougth she was going to pass out and/or vomit at one stage just after the finish.

She now says her next marathon will be in Athens next year, she won't race the WC marathon (she was considering trying a 10k/Marathon double). I suspect that today was as fast as she is capable of running the marathon, give or take a few seconds perhaps, and took a lot out of her. Point made, now on to a sub 30min 10k, or more likely sub-29 knowing Paula.

Justin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's off the scale!

That it is. Surprised Tells you something about how feasible marathon performances close to 2 hours were seen at the time tables like Purdy were put together... Although, plugging in 2:05-2:06 for the men's top times surprisingly does not yield as much faster of short distance predictions as you might expect, so maybe the scale is more accurate than it looks at first glance. Very interesting.

Quote:
I think Radcliffe is taking these events nearer to where they should be.

That seems to be a growing sentiment among many.

What are your thoughts on the male pacing? I find it rather disturbing, personally. I'm not against pacing, but making it a co-ed race while playing loose enough with the rules to still qualify as women's-only for record purposes just doesn't sit right with me. There was some sort of talk about the London Marathon organizers searching for a suitable course for a massive downhill, wind-aided assault on sub-2 hours for the men. Can't say I see such dubious pacing practices as being much different... It completely takes away from the sense of it being a competition. Thumbs Down

Quote:
She now says her next marathon will be in Athens next year

She's running the Olympic marathon? It'll be interesting to see how that plays out... Radcliffe is most susceptible to defeat in a tactical race that comes down to a kick, but will she risk leading early and trying to break away in that long of a race in the Athens evening heat? (Is the women's race in the evening or just the men's?)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for it to be tactical someone has to live with her pace. Consider this - today she ran half marathons of 68:02 and 67:23 back to back. Last year only 2 women broke 68 mins for the half marathon, the fastest Sonia O'Sullivan at 67:19.

If she aims to run 29:30 or so in the 10k, she'll do it with 14:45 5ks - a pace only a handful can manage for 5k itself. She is re-writing all the rules to a phenomenal extent. It is just fantastic to watch.

Please excuse my excitement - the best UK athlete since Seb Coe, the last to really set new standards.

Justin
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
for it to be tactical someone has to live with her pace.

Not necessarily. Rarely is an Olympic distance event run at record pace or even at the best pace of the top competitors. When would be the last time for the marathon, Tokyo? To avoid such a tactical race, the top athlete has to be willing to take a large risk and go it alone, which very few do for fear of either a) having someone go with them, sit on their shoulder while sharing little of the work load, then kick, or b) blowing up in the process and struggling home. We'll see if Paula has the confidence to attempt that...

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the best UK athlete since Seb Coe

Considering she beat all the British men today, I don't think you'll find anyone to disagree with that assessment at the moment. Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paula is simply amazing ... The best athlete in the world right now ... Male or female ... I think she takes the 10K close to 29 flat ... Marathon ... I'd like to see how she looked at the end ... But she is incredible

As far as Athens, isn't it humid there or am I thinking of somewhere else ??? If humid I would think that that will play a role ... Although no one is really in her league ... But I do think that Olympic caliber distance races tend to get tactical ... But then Paula is much more like Paula Ivan and the yourng Turk last year - very disciplined ... Disciplined enough to just stick with her own pace ... And if that is the case the rest can not stay with her anyway ...

Congrats to Paula and to Britain ... Surest medal going into Paris as there is right now ...
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2003 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My image of Athens is a dry heat... Let's just hope it isn't one of those freak summers with high temperatures hitting 140! Surprised

Let's not forget that Drossin just improved by something like 5 minutes in the same race, and Paula isn't the only one to have raised the bar in the women's marathon in the past year. She's certainly the favorite, but I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up being the one that kick starts the progression and becomes almost a historical footnote like a Ron Clarke or Daniel Komen. A bit harsh perhaps, but how often do the people that break barriers end up being the ones that carry the torch beyond the other side of that original wall? Kiptanui's 5k and steeple feats are hardly remembered now, unlike what they represented at the time...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two points to make on that slightly harsh observation.

First, all record breakers and barrier breakers in time end up being surpassed and becoming historical footnotes. This was true of Zatopek, Beamon, Hines, Smith, Kiptanui. It will be true of Michael Johnson, Kipketer, Kevin Young, Paula Radcliffe and every other record breaker there ever has been and ever will be.

This does not reduce the delight and impact of their performances at the time. Making this observation on the day Radcliffe ran 2:15 is a bit like saying the day after MJ's 19.32 "oh sure, it's good, but it'll be beaten, just like Beamon was...". True enough, but a slightly grumpy remark.

The Komen analogy doesn't stand up because he was only ever one of a big group of trend-setters and not even the best (Geb was/is). Radcliffe's domination of the current world of distance running is absolute, she currently has no challengers. I hope some come along, beause that'll push her to go even faster. There is no cadre of sub-2:20 women to push Paula, to compare with the cadre of sub 13min 5k runners pushing Geb and Komen.

Second, Radcliffe is demolising barriers at an incredible rate. The first sub 2:20 marathon was only 2 years ago, now she's nearer 2:15. Perhaps only Johnson, Beamon and the Chinese women have come anywhere near this sort of standard-setting.

So Dan, your point is sort of true, but I don't quite understand why you felt the need to make it. Can't we just celebrate a wonderful performance by a wonderful athlete? Sure, our kids will have faster champions, perhaps many, but that is then. This is now and it's Paula's time.

Justin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, as a record breaker Paula will be surpassed ... But it won't happen between now and Athens ... There is no one out there that can do what Paula is doing right now ... No one ... Not the AFricans, not Drossin (and I love her to death), no one ... I wish she had an equal ... That would push one or the other to greater things ... But right now she is in her own league ... She will have to fail in order to get beaten ... And I don't see that in her make up ....
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2003 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
First, all record breakers and barrier breakers in time end up being surpassed and becoming historical footnotes. This was true of Zatopek, Beamon, Hines, Smith, Kiptanui. It will be true of Michael Johnson, Kipketer, Kevin Young, Paula Radcliffe and every other record breaker there ever has been and ever will be.

The distinction I was trying to make was between those that break barriers and those that merely set the stage for others to continue the progression. Zatopek, Beamon, and MJ will likely remain at the forefront of people's memory for many years to come. With Paula, I'm not yet sure of that. I think a title in Paris this year will get her over that hump...

Quote:
your point is sort of true, but I don't quite understand why you felt the need to make it.

I made the observation because talk had shifted to winning in Athens and how she would fare in a competitive, tactical situation. That's where names like Ron Clarke become interesting parallels...

Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a couple of long days at work so I am just getting into this.

Radcliffe is quite simply....AMAZING. Surprised Surprised Surprised

Only history will tell us just how great she will be, but she has the potential to dominate women's marathoning to an extent that hasn't been seen since Grete Waitz.

As far as the pacing goes...some people take a dim view of men running close to the lead woman. I don't know how much of an advantage it might give but one thing is certain. Paula still had to run every step of the way and if any other woman had the ability or training they could have taken advantage of the same "help" as Paula by sticking with her. But obviously no one can.

And once again, Paula completely overshadowed an outstanding mens race. A sprint to the finish with only one second seperating the top three. Surprised
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That men's race sounds like something I'd like to know more about than just the listed finish...

Quote:
I don't know how much of an advantage it might give but one thing is certain. Paula still had to run every step of the way and if any other woman had the ability or training they could have taken advantage of the same "help" as Paula by sticking with her. But obviously no one can.

I've seen a similar argument presented a few times elsewhere. The basic premise is, either Paula could run the pace or she couldn't, and she proved she could, so the pacing is irrelevant. To that I say, hogwash. If that were the case, then she would have insisted on not having the pacing, guaranteed. There was no question whatsoever heading in what sort of controvery it would cause... The race organizers had a rather public change of plans with the IAAF over the matter, and it still sounds very up in the air over whether the time will be ratified as a World Record.

The issue over the pacing isn't whether Paula was the best runner -- she clearly was head and shoulders above anyone else in the race. It is a question of what is within the rules as far as record purposes. If this performance qualifies, then record keeping becomes a joke. Thumbs Down Might as well count Obadele Thompson's 9.69 and stop questioning FloJo's times...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What were the circumstances of the 3 guys who ran with Radcliffe? Did the women and men start together in the same race? Or did these run as pacers for a womens race? I'm unclear on how all that happened.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every account of it seems to tell a slightly different story... From what I gather, the women's elite runners started before the men, but the male pacers started with those elite women. Some people are attempting to justify it as being no different than many marathons that have separate start waves, but that's pretty weak. There's no way to wiggle around the fact that men were intentionally put in the women's race for pacing purposes, with the sole intent being to break a record, not to improve the competition in any way.

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