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Track vs Roads


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  • #16
    Ah, the unpredictability of Cross Country! I remember the 1989 NCAA XC at Annapolis, Md. The course is on a golf course, with multiple viewing sites, if one is ready to jog a bit. Near the 4 Mile mark, the course narrowed down from an open field to a dirt road, with a bit of a turn. As the lead pack of 8 or 10 came up the incline of the dirt road, a spectator tried to run across the dirt road (actually, more a golf cart path), but timed it too late and caused several of the runners to hurdle, swerve, and otherwise avoid her. Unfortunately, Peter Rono (1500 OG gold from Seoul) went down for a bit, and lost contact just as the lead pack was breaking up.


    • #17
      Another thing to keep in mind when comparing track times versus road times is that the distance actually run on a certified road course will almost always be longer than the advertised distance of the race due to the adjustments for the shortest possible route in which a .1% additional distance is incorporated into the course measurement calibration. As a result we should expect road race times to be slower than track times.


      • #18
        Re track vs roads, and fan watching, the differences are obvious.
        At a track, the fans, no matter where they sit, see the runners 4 times during a mile, 12 times in a 5000, 25 times in a 10000, etc.
        In a road race, even if you could run 2 blocks each way mid-race, you'd probably only see the runners twice, or maybe 3 times, and that's only in the 5K on up distances.

        Also, as I said in my initial post, all those other things are lost in a road race---pacing judgment, a perfectly flat terrain, and a partially/mostly different set of athletes.

        If you have a livestream camera following the lead runners (women and men!!), then you don't need to run all over to see your favorite athlete.
        But without that, you're basically stuck in one place.....especially in races like the 5th Ave mile.
        Who wants to stand at the 300 to 500 meter point, as their only viewing point?
        Everybody wants to see the finish!

        BTW, SplitShortz brought up an excellent point!


        • #19
          Loop courses are essentially track races with larger tracks. I prefer that they leave those events on the track. I prefer cross country and running from spot to spot as a spectator is part of the beauty of it in my opinion.