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  • OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

    I know, I know, I KNOW!!!
    It's all about the MEDALS.......NOT whether a WR or OR is broken!!

    That said, here's my rankings of which races provided the most "Honest Effort" from its entrants.
    Races ranked are: 800, 1500, 5K, 10K, SC, Mar, and the 20K and 50K Walks.

    Men

    1. The 800. Who would argue?? EVERYBODY ran FANTASTIC races!! Honest effort?? Made Abraham Lincoln look like Richard Nixon!! :P
    2. The 50K Walk. To get the OR on that twisty course, and SMASH it, is due full credit!!
    3. The Marathon. A 2:08:01 is pedestrian for those guys, but no one could beat the heat or the course. Under those conditions, this was truly an honest effort!!
    4. Tie between the 1500 and the 20K Walk. While not the OR, despite having 2 or 3 sub-3:30 guys in the race, 3:34 was NOT 3:40 or slower!! The 20K Walk got the OR, though not by as much as the 50K. Still, considering the heat and the course.......!!
    6. Tie between the 5K, the 10K, and the SC for WORST races and the LEAST honest efforts!!!
    Take your pick!!!

    Women

    1. The 20K Walk. With a new World and Olympic record, it goes unchallenged for the Honest Effort award!! Not to mention an exciting finish!!
    2. The SC. While not a WR or OR, the top women ran faster, or almost as fast, as their best. While not as deep as i'd thought it would be, still, the girls ran hard.
    3. The 10K. A 30:20 is fast. Sure, for Tirinish, it's "pedestrian", but that's like saying Bolt's 9.63 was pedestrian!!! Yet, they DID run sharply negative splits (15:32--14:48)!!
    4. The 800. NO ONE expected or predicted a WR......or even an OR. So going out in 56.31 was as honest an effort as you could expect. After that, everything fell into place.
    5. Marathon. Again, given the time of day it was run, and the (MIND-)bending course, a VERY good time. Good effort by the whole group!!
    6. The 5K. I'd thought to put this into a tie with the 1500, but 15:04.26......while not 14:40 (which WOULD have been an honest effort!!!!)......is halfway decent. Still, didn't they run faster in the heats??
    7. The 1500. The WORST and LEAST honest effort!!! In fact, I'd go so far as to say NO effort!!!! BOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • #2
    Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

    The men's 5K and 10K a tie? The 10K ,although not a fast race, was much faster than the 5K, almost the same pace and twice the distance.

    Also, I would say, there is no place for a boo, let alone a BOOOOOO! on this board. And we can do without the exclaimation points.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

      Lovetorun, you might have a point about the men's 10K.
      I neglected the math.....that it was about the same pace as the 5K, while twice the distance.
      Based on THAT fact, I guess I'd move it ahead of the 5K and the SC.
      However, that does not take away from the fact that, after a 13:56 (Off the top of my head....I'll have to double-check!!) first 5K, these World Class runners couldn't come back with anything faster than a 13:29 last 5K.
      I still remember that WC 10K when they split 13:52 and 12:57, for a final time of 26:49.
      Even a final 5K in, say, 13:05 would have given them a 27:01, much more "honest effort"!

      As for the "BOOOOO", I agree, it was sorta childish!!
      Though, again, well-deserved for such an obscene "effort".
      As for the exclamation points, that's always been part of my writing style.

      I'm a writer, and have been since 1965!!
      I've got four BIG file cabinet drawers of my written material to prove it.
      I've ALWAYS used exclamation points....and ALL CAPS for some words.....to place emphasis on a word....or an opinion.
      I'm someone relatively VERY new to computers.
      I'm 68, but only used a computer for the FIRST TIME in February of 2009!!
      I only bought my own computer in July of 2009.
      So I've never really adopted the "rules" of computer-speak.
      Such as "no ALL CAPS", no "yelling", no exclamation points.....and always use "words" like LOL, BTW, FWIW" in place of real words!
      Again, being a lifetime writer, it's hard to accept these ANTI-writerly "rules".
      I'm not "yelling' when I use ALL CAPS....just placing emphasis, such as when one inflects their voice instead of speaking in a monotone.

      Anyway, enough.
      I DID enjoy doing the above ranking.
      But it's just MY opinion!!
      Hopefully, others will provide theirs!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

        I definitely agree with the main point of your post i.e. that the honest effort was lacking in most of the distance races. It pretty disappointing when you realize that in the 1500m, 3000m steeple and 5,000m in both the men and women...the only final time that was faster than the best time in the qualifying rounds was the women's steeple. And the 10,000m men's final was slow and tactical as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

          I don't agree that the distance runners didn't put in an honest effort. Remember the objective is to win, the objective is not to run a fast time.

          However, I am continually surprised that so many athletes all believe that somehow they will be able to win a mad sprint at the end of a slow race.

          My choice for honest effort starts and ends with Manteo Mitchell. Finishing his relay leg on a broken leg is mind blowing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

            aaronk... did you write that you ran in the 1972 Olympics? ... 5k?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

              Originally posted by bushop
              aaronk... did you write that you ran in the 1972 Olympics? ... 5k?
              Um, no!!
              I wrote that I was the first man to walk on the moon!!
              (JOKING!!!!!)

              But where did you see THAT?? (About me saying i ran in the '72 OG!!)
              WOW!!
              I WISH!!!

              Nope, I was your garden variety (as in WEEDS!!!! :lol: ) run of the mill (NOT Mills, as in Billy!!) distance runner.
              My best-ever times were 16:55 for 3 miles, 36:58 for 6 miles, 1:37:23 for 15 miles, and 2:56:02 for the marathon (1978 Avenue of the Giants).

              You might be thinking about me saying I ran in the Pierce College (LA) All-Comers meet on August 12, 1964, when Billy Mills and Ron Larrieu broke the AR for 6 miles with times of 27:54 and 27:56. This was about 2 months prior to the Tokyo OG.
              I DID run in that race, and set a then-PR of 37:11.3. I was lapped at least 6 times by Mills and Larrieu. (And "surged" with them for 20-30 yards each time they lapped me!!)
              But I DID run in the same race as the future OG Gold Medal winner!!
              That's the closest I've EVER gotten to the Olympics.....except watching it on TV!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                To say that I completely disagree with you would be to vastly understate my opinion. I think your sentiment is one of the stupidest 'conclusions' in track and field. I know of no coach or athlete that thinks that your assessment of what is important has any merit whatsoever, which is precisely why you see such races.

                A race (as opposed to a time trial) is designed as a contest between the contestants. Is a football game that ends 66 to 40 a better game than one that is 21 to 20? I would posit that, in general, the 21- 20 is much the better game. In baseball, the epitome of the lack of honest effort is a perfect game -- the stellar achievement in baseball.

                Someone that is a 'marks snob' to the extent that it gets in the way of enjoying the sport is really lacking in what is essential to me in track and field.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                  Originally posted by 26mi235
                  To say that I completely disagree with you would be to vastly understate my opinion. I think your sentiment is one of the stupidest 'conclusions' in track and field. I know of no coach or athlete that thinks that your assessment of what is important has any merit whatsoever, which is precisely why you see such races.

                  A race (as opposed to a time trial) is designed as a contest between the contestants. Is a football game that ends 66 to 40 a better game than one that is 21 to 20? I would posit that, in general, the 21- 20 is much the better game. In baseball, the epitome of the lack of honest effort is a perfect game -- the stellar achievement in baseball.

                  Someone that is a 'marks snob' to the extent that it gets in the way of enjoying the sport is really lacking in what is essential to me in track and field.
                  A long time ago (late 60's early 70's?? but maybe later!!), Cordner Nelson (Or brother Bert.....my memory is going!!) wrote a GREAT article in T&FN concerning 7 different types of track and field fans.

                  One of those types was the fan whose core interest was stats and records and times, etc.
                  Another type loved the competitive nature of the sport most.

                  Anyway, I fit the stat freak mold!!

                  But it takes all kinds. If we all thought or felt the same, life would get boring.....and this Message Board would be debate-free!!


                  P.S. In baseball, I prefer the high scoring games, like 12 to 10 or so, rather than a 2 to 0 shutout.
                  UNLESS the pitcher strikes out 18 batters along the way!!!

                  Same in football.
                  I prefer the 66 to 40 game over the game decided by field goals, 6 to 3!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                    I am a 'stats' guy too (in multiple ways, as some might recognize), but to place stats above competition in the venue where competition is supreme is, to me, an exercise that illustrates the shortcomings of being interested in stats. To illustrate, the best stats in baseball come from the lowest levels (e.g., high school, etc) and do not have a lot of intrinsic quality to them. Quality is provided by context, and what more context is there than at the supreme level of the sport.

                    In the sprints, times are particularly important because there is not a lot of racing or strategy (although it increases with distance beyond the 100). However, the fact that essentially no WRs are set at the Olympics in distances beyond the sprints should tell you the relative importance of times versus competition, and that informs us further about the almost singular quality of the 800 we saw.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                      A few people have argued the "time vs medals" aspect of the Olympics.
                      Most, if not all (except for me, perhaps!!), have opted for medals over time at the Games.

                      Here's some interesting stats I just gleaned from R Quercetani's great book "A World History of Long Distance Running 1880-2002".

                      I chose the years 1964, 1972, and 1992 as my examples.
                      1964 because of Billy Mills incredible victory.
                      1972 because it was the onset of the Viren Era.
                      1992 because it was, essentially, the last OG before the onset of the Africa/Kenya Revolution.
                      (Although, by 1992, Africans WERE making their presence felt already!!)

                      Following are the WR's and OG winning times in the 5K and 10K, and the differentials between.

                      5K

                      1964............13:35 (WR).......13:49 (OG).........-14 secs (minus 14 secs)
                      1972............13:13..............13:26.......... .....-13 secs
                      1992............12:58..............13:12.......... .....-14 secs

                      10K

                      1964...........28:15...............28:24.......... .....-9 secs
                      1972.......... 27:38...............27:38................0 secs (Viren broke WR in OG!!)
                      1992.......... 27:08.............. 27:46...............-38 secs

                      As you can see, the Gold Medalists ran quite close to the (then-)current WR, being just 13 or 14 off in each case in the 5K

                      In the 10K, the 1964 winner was just 9 secs behind the WR.
                      And what can you say about Viren in 1972??
                      I think that's the ONLY time a WR has been broken in an OG 10K....at least in the years 1960 onward.
                      As for the more competitive 1992 race, the winner ran 38 secs behind the WR.

                      Now lets go to 2012.

                      5K

                      2012.............12:37..............13:41......... ....-1:04 (one MINUTE and 4 secs!!!)

                      10K

                      2012............26:17..............27:25.......... ....-1:08 (one MINUTE and 8 secs!!)

                      Maybe the African Revolution has made other runners feel intimidated.
                      So they try for slower tactical races, thinking there's no way to keep up with them otherwise.
                      I don't know, but once those records got down to what they are now, the OG winning mark differentials have become larger!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                        Originally posted by aaronk
                        5K

                        1964............13:35 (WR).......13:49 (OG).........-14 secs (minus 14 secs)
                        1972............13:13..............13:26.......... .....-13 secs
                        1992............12:58..............13:12.......... .....-14 secs

                        As you can see, the Gold Medalists ran quite close to the (then-)current WR, being just 13 or 14 off in each case in the 5K
                        1972: Only four men were capable of running under 13.22,4. The WR (13.13,0/Puttemans) was set in Bruxelles 10 days AFTER the Olympics. Factually, the men didn't run 13 seconds slower than the WR (13.16,6) at the Olympics; they were nearer the world record. However, Viren ran slower in the Olympics (13.26,42) than he did in Helsinki (13.16,4) four days later in a race he won by 13,6 seconds... a race without the high level of competition. Verdict: the Olympics were strategic.

                        You didn't mention '76 where Viren purposefully slowed down the 5.000m field to help procure his famous kick and cement his place in Olympic history. That is the Olympics where Foster set an OR (13.20,34) in the final heat.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                          Originally posted by 26mi235

                          A race (as opposed to a time trial) is designed as a contest between the contestants. Is a football game that ends 66 to 40 a better game than one that is 21 to 20? I would posit that, in general, the 21- 20 is much the better game. In baseball, the epitome of the lack of honest effort is a perfect game -- the stellar achievement in baseball.
                          Baseball & football are bad analogies because "trying not to score" is not part of the strategy, as it is in soccer, hockey & pre-shot clock basketball. Imagine 2 basketball teams both wanting to play for the last shot. Or Spain playing against itself in soccer. Or 2 hockey teams playing an entire period without either team getting a single shot on goal (which has happened at the international level.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                            I'm pretty confident that my "fast time" credentials are just about perfect. That said, championship racing is about winning--period. Do most runners overestimate their sprinting ability? Of course they do. Why are so few willing to push the pace earlier on? For reasons of both logic and inherent caution. Is all our hand-wringing going to "shame" top athletes into faster championship races? No.

                            Nearly every season sees SOME fast races. But there's no reason that these need ALSO be OG or WC finals.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: OG Distance Events "Honest Effort" Awards

                              Originally posted by aaronk
                              Maybe the African Revolution has made other runners feel intimidated.
                              So they try for slower tactical races, thinking there's no way to keep up with them otherwise.
                              I don't know, but once those records got down to what they are now, the OG winning mark differentials have become larger!!
                              Aaronk, you are missing the obvious. Your analysis is similar to comparing baseball of the 20' through 40's with baseball today. Should we call the hitters of today sub par or slackers because of the lack of a .400 hitter?

                              The disparity in talent level was different in those years. Certain runners could simply run the socks off of other runners and believe they could medal. The 1972 5k is a perfect example. Pre believed he could run from the front, tire everyone out and win. We all know what happened in that race.

                              As I pointed out in another thread, we recently had the Paris race where 11 men broke 13 minutes and most of them got slaughtered in the last lap. Some of those who did break 13 had only weeks before been destroyed by others at the pre meet who did not run in Paris, namely Farah and Rupp. A number of those in Paris were hanging on for dear life and it showed at the end. They certainly could gain no confidence that they could try to run that strategy at the OG and be successful, not with Farah and Gebremeskal in the fields. Geb was 9 seconds off the world record in Paris and still finished with a phenomenal kick. Why would he employ that strategy? He was confident he could win in any race scenario and win. Farah as well. And they have proven they can and will win in "pedal to the medal the whole way' races.

                              I don't think you are looking at this objectively. The event has changed, the depth today is likely at levels never before seen and athletes know that they are simply setting themselves up as sacrificial lambs. If I were a "lesser" athlete, and got my socks run off in Paris, my belief it that I probably have a better chance in a slow race by at least being in the hunt with 400 or 800 to go and maybe hoping I am fresh enough or that Geb or Farah is having a bad day. At least in my mind I have an outside chance.

                              Comment

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