Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women's World Records Taken Off The Books!

In what surely is one of the most idiotic decisions in the history of sport, the world governing body of Track and Field, the I.A.A.F., has declared all women's running races with men ineligible for records!

And not just henceforth...retroactively!

So the World Record in the Marathon, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003, of 2:15:25 - World Record for the last eight years, right? Wrong. Not anymore, according to the IAAF. Because that race had men and women running together. Now the World Record is 2:17:42, again by Radcliffe, in 2005. The women started ahead of the men in that one.

This is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin!

Here's what Mary Wittenberg of the IAAF says of their reasoning: "The IAAF wanted to show that women can stand on their own two feet, that they don't need guys to help them get to world records."

Wait. What?

So if a woman runs a faster time with a man "pacing" her, that means she didn't actually run it? Isn't she still running on her own two feet? I mean, this isn't biking, where you can draft off of someone for miles.

And where does that leave men? Don't men use "pacers," official or not, in pretty much every race? Why is it ok for men but not for women?

The most unbelievable thing about this whole crazy rule change is that it would take the American marathon record away from Deena Kastor, and give it back to...gulp...Joan Benoit Samuelson...from her 1984 Olympic race!

Read the whole New York Times article right here. Please. Maybe you can make some sense of it.

I sure can't.

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