Pace Setters Banned from New york marathon

Posted: November 14, 2007 in marathon, New York Marathon

When Martin Lel won the New York Marathon two weeks he did it without the usual pace setters.  I watched it live on TV as Martin of Kenya and Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco came running side by side into Central Park, a repeat of London marathon.In the end, it came down to a sprint — as it had in London — and Lel surged ahead, winning by 12 seconds, in 2:09:04.

This day every top marathon runner organises his own team of pace setters to help him/her. This time Race organizers decided not to have them to give the race a championship feel — Olympics and world championships never use them — and the athletes would have to create the pace for themselves. It was every runner for himself and may the best man win.

If the runners had used pace setters the winning time would have probably been lower. Pace setters can make a big difference to a runners pace. When Haile Gebresellasie broke the world record in berlin, he used pace setters. When Lance Armstrong ran his first New York Marathon, he ran a sub 3hrs race, an astonishing time for a first time runner. That was possible after  he assembled a pace team consisting of well known runners Alberto Salazar, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Hicham El Guerrouj.

To make running more equal, should pace setters be banned from marathons?


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