While I certainly carry a lot of respect for 10000m runners of all ages I often question whether it belongs at the collegiate level in Track & Field. I tend to believe that races 800-5000m identify aerobically talented competitors who are dedicated and have anaerobic capacities whereas the result of anything longer is a testament to overall aerobic fitness and thus something one can condition themselves to become requiring little or no natural ability.
To strip down my thinking, in many cases the 10000 is more of an aerobic exercise than it is a competition. That’s not to say it can’t be competitive at the top it’s just in NCAA and Conference Championship competition as well as the many main stream meets it seems fluffy in areas and the results are like a list of participants more than a competitive result. In my opinion there’s nothing all-conference or all-american about being defeated by 30s or more – or in worse instances lapped – on the oval.
This differs from my opinion about the pros at this distance who are typically accomplished 1500-5000m runners from the collegiate level (Rupp, Ritz, Teg) and clearly have a lot of natural ability. The 10000 definitely has a place in Track & Field in the Olympics.
Agree or disagree?