Posted by Alma Ramos on March 07, 2007 at 11:00:10:
In Reply to: Forest Avenue Mile-What Happened? posted by ryan woerner on March 06, 2007 at 00:06:39:
As a runner from the 80's, I have also seen the downward spiral. Look at the top USA runners, and how long it took to break Joanie's marathon record and Marty Liquori's mile record. We're still waiting for the men's times to dip competitively in the marathon.
Back then, running was more competitive because the runners were more competitive. More people were racing and turning in fast times. Races were full. You didn't find anything below a 10k. Just a few scattered 5k's.
Now, most races are full of walkers and joggers and you have to search long & hard for a 10k. Everything seems to be geared for shorter distances to accomodate walkers & joggers because they find 10k's to be much too hard and too long. Plus, shorter races are much easier to organize & you get more people (the walkers & joggers), so it's a recurring cycle.
We older runners are graying and are competitive in our age groups (us masters & senior runners.) The younger ones have other things on their plates like social activities, computers, bar hopping, etc.
Bottom line - the focus is not there for most of the younger runners.
Just my opinion of what I've observed over the years. (I've been running competitively since 1979.)
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