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Why so few distance front runner's?

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  • catson52
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    RLQ lists Pirie's km fractions as: 2:36.0, 2:46.0, 2:47.0, 2:48.0 and 2:39.8. Last 300 m in 41.2 to finish out a great WR.

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  • Per Andersen
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by dj

    Is this race what led Kuts to run such a dramatically surging race in the OG 10? Had Kuts been known for such alterations in pace before Melbourne?
    I'm certain Kuts learned from that Bergen race in June '56, as Pirie beat him with such a devastating finish. I don't have any lap times but I did not notice much surging from Kuts. But this was Pirie at the top of his game, on a perfect cinder track, ideal temperature and with a very pro Pirie crowd. He was often in Bergen in those years.

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  • John G
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    I'd be interested if anyone thought there were examples of athletes who lost a gold because of a failure to take on the pace? I immediately thought of Tergat in Atlanta. Geb hadn't run for several days due to blisters and, according to his autobiography was not confident. Had Tergat gone earlier he may have broken him. I'm not sure he was quite the same athlete in Sydney but Geb was vulnerable there as well.

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  • dj
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by Per Andersen
    Originally posted by AS
    Paula Radcliffe. John Ngugi.
    Vladimir Kuts. Ran them into the ground. I saw one race where it did not work though. Against Pirie in Norway in 1956. Pirie just hung on and blasted past him in the last 200 and set his 5000 WR.
    Is this race what led Kuts to run such a dramatically surging race in the OG 10? Had Kuts been known for such alterations in pace before Melbourne?

    Leave a comment:


  • Per Andersen
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by AS
    Paula Radcliffe. John Ngugi.
    Vladimir Kuts. Ran them into the ground. I saw one race where it did not work though. Against Pirie in Norway in 1956. Pirie just hung on and blasted past him in the last 200 and set his 5000 WR.

    Leave a comment:


  • KevinM
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by lovetorun
    Originally posted by Marlow
    Originally posted by Master Po
    A. More difficult both physically and psychologically.
    B. It takes a rare athlete in rare circumstances even to make the attempt
    Bazinga.
    For B. I would substitute 'courageous' for 'rare'.

    When 10 world-class runners are willing to walk the first 2.5 laps of the 1500 or the first 11 laps of a 5000 (which we've seen far too often), it is NOT because they all think they have the best kick. At least 7 of them lack the intestinal fortitude to force the pace. That is exactly why PRE is still revered today!
    This is exactly my thought...most runner's lack the guts to go out and make them hurt like Pre did!
    ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  • lovetorun
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by Marlow
    Originally posted by Master Po
    A. More difficult both physically and psychologically.
    B. It takes a rare athlete in rare circumstances even to make the attempt
    Bazinga.
    For B. I would substitute 'courageous' for 'rare'.

    When 10 world-class runners are willing to walk the first 2.5 laps of the 1500 or the first 11 laps of a 5000 (which we've seen far too often), it is NOT because they all think they have the best kick. At least 7 of them lack the intestinal fortitude to force the pace. That is exactly why PRE is still revered today!
    This is exactly my thought...most runner's lack the guts to go out and make them hurt like Pre did!

    Leave a comment:


  • Marlow
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by catson52
    I was thinking primarily of his Paris Oly [1924] races. . . . if I recall correctly
    That would be quite the feat of memory!!

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  • catson52
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    I was thinking primarily of his Paris Oly races. He led almost every step of the way in the 1500m, and, if I recall correctly, led Ritola almost all the way in the 5K. In the shorter race he was head and shoulders above his opposition, but in the 5K, it was a different story. Did he take a short nap on the massage table, in between the two races?

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  • LopenUupunut
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by catson52
    And Paavo Nurmi was no slouch.
    Calling him a front-runner may be an exaggeration, though. Yes, he often ran at the front... because he outclassed the field. When he didn't he often employed other strategies; both of his 10000 OG golds were won by sitting back and kicking at the end.

    Of course he did sometimes take out the pace in races where he didn't outclass his rivals (like his '20 5K loss to Guillemot, Peltzer's 1500 WR and Wide's 2 mile WR in '26 or his '28 5K loss to Ritola) but he was far from being the archetypal front-runner.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marlow
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Originally posted by Master Po
    A. More difficult both physically and psychologically.
    B. It takes a rare athlete in rare circumstances even to make the attempt
    Bazinga.
    For B. I would substitute 'courageous' for 'rare'.

    When 10 world-class runners are willing to walk the first 2.5 laps of the 1500 or the first 11 laps of a 5000 (which we've seen far too often), it is NOT because they all think they have the best kick. At least 7 of them lack the intestinal fortitude to force the pace. That is exactly why PRE is still revered today!

    Leave a comment:


  • Olli
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    In the good ol' days of Bayi, there were no rabbits doing the front-running. Hence the true competitive front-runners had much more opportunity to show off and cultivate their style.

    Leave a comment:


  • Master Po
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    One answer to the thread's question is this: Front running is really hard to do, and succeeding at it is a high-risk strategy, or seems high-risk -- I don't know how actually such "risks" could be calculated, but that's also part of the problem -- what is the best strategy to win, in circumstances that are uncertain and/or have so many variables that they can't be calculated. We remember the spectacular front-running successes, but we probably remember spectacular moments as well when front-running did not succeed. (Geoff Smith at NYC marathon 1983 is one that immediately comes to mind.) I know that is simplistic, but I think that's the truth of it, as others have noted. More difficult both physically and psychologically. It takes a rare athlete in rare circumstances even to make the attempt -- to feel that it's either the best possible way to win or achieve her/his goal, or the only way to achieve the goal, whether that's in a championship (as Bayi exemplified, and as a few others have -- Rudisha recently), or in a non-championship record attempt (as Dave Moorcroft exemplified -- I know there are others, but that one always comes to mind).

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  • TN1965
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Lawi Lalang at last year's NCAA indoor reminded me of Bayi's race.

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  • AS
    replied
    Re: Why so few distance front runner's?

    Paula Radcliffe. John Ngugi.

    Leave a comment:

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