Posted by ryan woerner on March 07, 2007 at 12:32:54:
In Reply to: Re: Forest Avenue Mile-What Happened? posted by Alma Ramos on March 07, 2007 at 11:00:10:
Yes, you are absolutely right. In most of the NYRRC half-marathons, the times are comparable between now and 20 years ago because you will find there are still a solid crop of competitive runners in different parts of the five boroughs. Most NYRRC races are still very competitive because they offer prize money. In the Al Gorden 4 Miler in Central Park, 124 runners cracked the 24 minute barrier (sub 6 minute pace), which is quite respectable. The races that really took the hit are the local races, name those in Staten Island and Brooklyn neighborhoods. I don't know if any of you remember the old Rockaway Boardwalk Ocean 6 Miler, but that used to draw 4,000 people every year in the 1980's. Now, the race has been shortened to a 5K and is lucky if it draws 300 participants. As a runner from this new generation who likes to be very competitive, I can only hope that another running boom will circulate, and I will be able to race with solid competition at the local races. One more example comes from the Al Ronaldson 5K and pepper Martin 5 mile. This year, 22 people ran under 18:37 (6 minute pace) at Ronaldson and only 12 ran better than 30:00 at Pepper. Only eight years ago, in 1998 38 ran better than 18:37 at Ronaldson and and 31 ran better than 30:00 at Pepper. I don't know if this year was just a slow year, but that seems to be the trend we are moving toward. I am sure in the mid-80's, a race like Pepper Martin would see at least 75 people crack the 30 minute barrier, and about 500 under 35 minutes. And thats even considering the tough course.
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