I have no creative writing skills at the moment and no exciting news to pass on. So, here are a few articles that pertain to the realignment of standards by different countries, some specific to the marathon, others more generally.
Here is an article from Down-under describing the situation for Australian men looking to qualify for the London Olympic marathon. There are some interesting tidbits in there related to the IAAF A standard (2:15:00) being a ‘weaker’ standard.
This article by Rory Gilfillan gives Athletics Canada’s perspective on the issue. As Rory told me the article was butchered a bit in the editing process. I think they sort of lost the point he was trying to get across in the first few paragraphs about the difference between my result and Eric’s. Also, I should reiterate that I have no illusions of qualifying for the team based on Toronto. Another attempt is in the works.
Also just so people are aware Canada and Australia are not alone in setting tougher standards for the marathon event for the London Olympics. The UK standard is 2:12:00. I believe the Dutch standard is 2:10:00. And I heard somewhere that the standard for Belgium was 2:09:30?!?
I saw this short article on Letsrun a while back and thought it was interesting that more and more countries are fixated on the podium, top 8, and top 12 performances. I guess it has a lot to do with gaining funding.
Lastly, maybe not entirely related, yet still relevant this article written by Randy Starkman is pretty interesting. A lot of good quotes from Barrie Shepley, former National team triathlon coach. It’s about the media and general public perception of our best athletes performances. I sometimes find it frustrating that all sports are viewed and measured on equal footing. Running is probably one of the most globally accessible sports in the world and therefore in my opinion one of the toughest. It’s sometimes difficult to see someone who gains success in a very obscure event (which most kids in the world do not have the ability to play usually do to a lack of facilities or coaching expertise) being lauded with praise knowing that I’ve stuck myself in one of the most difficult sports in the world. But at the same time I love the challenge. Reid Coolsaet wrote a blog about this topic a while back.
That’s all for now. Back to the grind!