Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Asleep at the switch

It's already Wednesday and we have not yet mentioned Wilson Kipsang's 2:03:23 in Berlin on Sunday.  By :15 the official world record and only :21 off of Goeffrey Mutai's performance in Boston 2011.

A query:  the top woman in Berlin was Florence Kiplagat, who ran a phenomenal 2:21:13 -- which is about 6:00 slower than Paula Radcliffe's best at the London Marathon in 2003, and 3 1/2 minutes slower than Radcliffe's 2:17:42 at the same race in 2005 (which is the official women's world record for reasons we have blogged here before).  Why are women's records not dropping like men's?


  1. Not to mention that Joan Benoit Samuelson ran 2:21.21 in Chicago in 1985 . . .

  2. Is it an explanation that mens records are dropping because developing nations have entered the marathon ranks with a gusto, and developing nations are more likely than developed nations (e.g., Britain, US, Russia -- the homes of many great female marathoners) to provide near equal opportunity to female athletes? Title IX alone could be an explanation for US parity in elite women's sports, although, of course, Title IX is unlikely to explain Joan Benoit's career.

    1. "Men's." And "developed are more likely than developing to provide near equal opportunity."