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NCAA 1/2 Marathon

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  • NCAA 1/2 Marathon

    I made the suggestion on an earlier thread and wanted to get some opinions on it.

    What if the NCAA had a half marathon (13.1 miles) chamiopnship road race in Feb. They could run 4-8 regional races in January with the top so-many qualifying for the NCAA Championship race in Feb. Since indoor track in basically sprinter, middle distance and field event oriented, it would give a proper base season for the true 5k/10k runners, rather than getting dizzy running 25 to 32 lap 5k's on a indoor track in stale air.

    Since the race would be easily accessable on the road it could be covered by ESPN or Fox Sports fairly easily (similar to other road races) and the start and finish could be in a stadium for fans (ticket sales).

    Many collegiate distance runners would benefit from having 2 months with only two races rather than a 6 to 8 race indoor campaign before a full outdoor season. Since indoor is more weighted toward the long sprinters and middle distance runners the asbense of the true distance would not be greatly missed (i.e. 5k could probably be dropped).

    Lastly a road race would be something easier for the average collegiate fan to relate to as many of them have participated in one at some point (fewer have run cross country or track races) and many still compete in them.

    And while I know the NCAA is not concerned with it, this approach would likely help produce better caliber marathoners in the US.

  • #2
    Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

    "And while I know the NCAA is not concerned with it, this approach would likely help produce better caliber marathoners in the US."

    You just answered your own question. 99% of NCAA athletes have no talent or desire to enhance the USA program, and it actually would be counter-productive to do what you suggest, so why would they?

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    • #3
      Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

      <<<You just answered your own question. 99% of NCAA athletes have no talent or desire to enhance the USA program, and it actually would be counter-productive to do what you suggest, so why would they?>>>>

      What do you mean that 99% of the NCAA Athletes have no talent or desire to enhance the USA program?

      Why would this be counter productive. To have true distance runner concentrate on true distance races rather an 3,000 meter indoor circus races. How is that counter productive?

      It would be better for the athletes and give the NCAA another championships, one that might generate some fan interest (or at least relateability).

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      • #4
        Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

        Training seriously for a half marathon in February would compromise the speed you need for the 5 and the 10 in May and June.

        The 5000 and 10000 are long, but you still need a tremendous amount of speed to run well at those distances.

        I don't thing indoor is ideal for a 5/10 guy either; but the half marathon is just way too long.

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        • #5
          Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

          i like your idea. the naia has a marathon for both men and women at its track championships, february would more likely weather wise to produce good road times, i would also like to see a ncaa championship marathon, most coaches would be opposed to young runners running a marathon, but if a 28;30 10k runner went 2;12 or so they would have a better chance to get a sponsor to help them pursue their running career, then their 5 and 10k times which may even be superior, because people are fascinated by the marathon. and they could qualify for the ncaa half and marathon championships by how they do in cross country. if they ran 14.30 or 30.00 or better in the 5 and 10k respectively. the previous track season or in a certified road race.

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          • #6
            Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

            I say the timing works out great. Say the 1/2 marathon is in Mid Feb (Feb 15-20). You would have 10-11 weeks before conference championships and 12-14 weeks before NCAA championships to hone speed.

            I've successfully trained for both 1/2 marathons and 5k/10k and say the timing works out well.

            In 1/2 marathon training you work on more tempo runs and long intervals which gives you an ideal base in which to layer in the shorter quicker interval work needed for 5k / 10k success. The 5k/10k runner could get in 4 or 5 quaility 3k or 5k's before conference to help hone this speed.

            Falls very well into the whole peaking / training cycle and without over racing that the indoor season often leads to.

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            • #7
              Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

              Distance runners already have 3 distinct chances (cross, indoor, outdoor) to win national titles. Is there any other sport that has even 2? The NCAA would never sign off on a fourth option.

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              • #8
                Re: NCAA 1/2 Marathon

                >Training seriously for a half marathon in
                >February would compromise the speed you need for
                >the 5 and the 10 in May and June.

                The 5000 and
                >10000 are long, but you still need a tremendous
                >amount of speed to run well at those
                >distances.

                I don't thing indoor is ideal for a
                >5/10 guy either; but the half marathon is just
                >way too long.

                Yeah, that's exactly what Paula Radcliffe will tell you. Deena Drossin, too.

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