I think the next logical step is not to count any record with any pace setters. Men pace men’s races all the time and step off the track at a similar time in comparison to men pacing the women. Basically the current pace setting rule makes it so that men can have pace setters who run the majority of the race and women can’t. Yeah that seems fair.
If you’re going to retroactively eliminate records that were legal by the rules in place at the time they were set, why eliminate Radcliffe’s records because they were mixed-sex races but not eliminate the very probably juiced women’s sprint records of the 1980s and the pre-EPO-testing men’s distance marks?
Simple. Because we can easily prove Radcliffe ran with men and that fast men finished ahead of her (all he have to do is look at the video) but there isn’t the same kind of hard evidence (positive tests, medical records, etc.) for the dopers.
This is typical of such bureaucracies; they only reach for the low-hanging fruit. Like I said, they’ll do anything to avoid the elephant in the room.
This is interesting; it seems to me that the women used to start first (about 15-30 minutes or so) before the men for this very reason (no male pacing). If that’s true (rather than my faulty memory), when did this practice stopped, and why? If we were going to disallow records when the women could race with the men, why did we ever stop the practice of the women starting first?
My history on this is fuzzy, but it’s an important part of the puzzle. I don’t have time to research it right now; anyone with a better memory of the time to look into it, please post.
A couple reasons, some of it greed (on the part of directors and promoters), some of it television, with a tiny bit of sexism thrown into it.
Some of the “women start first” crowd had a sexist bent to it. Not overly “women can’t race with men” type of flavor, but more of an “opening act before the main event” deal. There was pressure to have equality in the road racing scene.
At the same time, promoters and directors realized that WRs by women actually attracted attention (and thus sponsors) to their races. Waitz, Christiansen, and JBS became known commodities - and people paid attention. Why waste potential record performances when there could be a double-drama: men’s race going on up front & a WR going on at the same time a few minutes back.
It was an easy sell to TV. The marathon is filled with a lot of dead time, only so much footage of people running can you take. It seemed easier to jump from the men’s race back to the WR attempt and then back to the men, rather than vice versa. When the women started first, you’d have an extended “dead” period in the beginning where there was nothing really happening - you’d have, in effect, two dead periods: the start of the women’s race and the start of the men’s race. Having the women start with the men created one dead period.
Finally, in the old system, the women were finishing just as the men’s race was usually being decided. Jumping from one to the other often missed important events. Now, you could watch the men’s race being decided and still cut back to see the last 15-20 minutes of the record attempt.
Nina Kuscsik and a couple of other women protested the AAU ruling that they had to start 10 minutes ahead back in 1972 NYC Marathon. They sat down for the 10 minutesa then got up and started with the mens gun.
Was reading through Paula’s wiki page and noticed this line:
“…the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Association of International Marathons (Aims) currently only ratifies world records set in mixed races.”
So does this mean that the IAAF previously ruled that the Women’s world record for the marathon had to be set in a mixed race and if it was run in a women’s only race would simply be called a “world’s best”?