World Marathon Majors Establishes Position on WRs within Women's Road Racing, release, note by Larry Eder

Paula Radcliffe, 2003 Flora London Marathon, WR, 2:15.25, photo by

The run by Paula Radcliffe in London in 2003 was, well epic. Her 2:15.25 took much out of her, as a long distance record does, and she has battled injuries ever since. In the sporadic moments of brilliance in our sport, and Radcliffe's run in 2003, dear readers was one such moment, we see how far our mortal engines can take us.

In the recent IAAF ruling on WRs for women in mixed races, we see that Radcliffes' run, much like Beamon's long jump, will now be ruled as a world best as it was done in a mixed race. So, let me get this right, less than three dozen of the 35,000 London marathon runners in 2003 were in front of her and they somehow aided her.

Anyone who has run a marathon can tell you that nothing anyone can do can lessen the pain of running 26.2 miles. I completed 17 marathons and in none of those races, while I did find comfort in speaking to other runners for a few moments, I was always taken by the cold corner of hell I found about 22 miles, and while people were cheering, it was what was within me, and other marathoners that got us to the finish.

I applaud the WMM on their decision to take a position on the WRs with women in mixed races. I do think that, however, the IAAF, while well meaning, continues to confuse the casual fan, those folks who watch football, American sports and such too, and could be drawn in to track & field if we only not so, well, difficult to understand.

Want the big bucks? Demystify our sport. Give us stories to write about the elite athletes. Until then, a truly global sponsor spending global dollars (read as $50-$100 million) is out of the question.

The truth be told, if we put all of the money footwear companies put into the sport, that is over $150 million globally right there. For our sport to grow, we need to stop asking footwear companies for handouts, and look at healthcare, auto, energy, and financial companies (some are, look at B of A,  BMW, John Hancock, ING, Virgin Money). The idea that our sport could curb obesity globally, cut healthcare costs by a huge amount and give us more time to find viable alternative energy are considered, but, not seriously.



World Marathon Majors Establishes Position on World Records within Women's Road Running Performances

 BOSTON - September 20, 2011

Background: At the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, the IAAF Congress passed a motion to change the standard by which women athletes achieve world record performances in road races. By the new criterion, only times achieved in all-women competitions would be acknowledged for world record purposes, and performances achieved in mixed conditions would now be referred to only as "world best".

The new criterion means that Paula Radcliffe's 2003 Marathon mark of 2:15:25 is no longer the world record but now a world best, and that her 2005 London time of 2:17:42 is the world record.

Statement from the World Marathon Majors and the Association of International Marathons:

The boards of both World Marathon Majors (WMM) and Association of International Marathons (AIMS) have reviewed the recent Congress decision and believe that it does not represent what is required by the sport of road running.

They further believe that there should be two world records for women's road running performances, separately recognising those achieved in mixed competition and women's only conditions.

AIMS and WMM will continue to acknowledge both types of performances as world records and will discuss this matter further with the IAAF, recognising that:

a)      The vast majority of women's road races throughout the World are held in mixed conditions.

b)      The current situation where the fastest time is not now recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport.

WMM and AIMS congratulate the IAAF for introducing world road records and for continuing to support road running through its labelling scheme.


AIMS represents more than 300 races worldwide, the vast majority of them road races. WMM members are Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York. Both bodies are represented on the IAAF Road Running Commission and have leadership roles within road running.

Performances considered for records, rankings and qualifying purposes must be achieved in accordance with IAAF Competition Rules. These include rules on course measurement, decrease in elevation between the start and finish, maximum distance between the start and finish lines.  An application for a world record will only be considered if the athlete concerned undertook doping control at the event.

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