I don’t usually follow competitive running that carefully (although I did once run a 5K in a blazing 25 minutes once- be jealous, folks) but even I know when to call bullshit.
The International Association of Athletics Foundation (IAAF), the world governing body for track and field, recently decided to change the rules regarding women’s marathon records to require that a woman’s time can only qualify as a world record if she runs in a women-only field.
That means that Paula Radcliffe’s world record 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon – so widely considered to be one of the greatest running performances in history that even I had heard about it – no longer qualifies as a world record because she ran with male pace-setters.
The IAAF’s thought seems to be that a woman couldn’t possibly perform that well on her own, she’d need men to help her – so it shouldn’t count.
What a crock.
Now interestingly, it appears to be true that elite women runners DO run faster when there are men running nearby.