I am sure most of the people in this forum realize just how difficult it is to maintain "any" sort of pace consistently through-out a marathon regardless if the course is flat, mostly uphill, or downhill.
In the recent Boston Marathon the winner's time was the fastest ever recorded in history for a sanctioned 26.2 mile marathon.
However because of a technicality the amazing Kenyan who won the race was not given credit for a world record......I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on this......http://tinyurl.com/3o36opl
And regardless of the pace someone will break his time and on a "qualifyed" course. Its just a matter of time (no pun intended).
There is another qualifier for a world record, the course cannot be a point-to-point either, due to a tailwind, which the Mutai had that day. He must have gone in knowing that it is not a record qualifying course. I've run Boston also and it is a tough course and tougher some years than others depending on conditions. The peculiarities of a course can really assist a runner, think of it this way.... a certification can be had if the course is 26.2 downhill with a tailwind.
Without the parameters in place someone can get a course registered here in South Dakota with a huge advantage - 15 mph tailwind and 1% downgrade point-to-point courses are everywhere here in SD. Everyone would FLOCK to SD to break the world record! But with an out and back that advantage would be nullified.
So my answer is no, no world record, the rules are the rules.
Perhaps they should just pick one course in the world(maybe Berlin)and say that if you want to be credited with the world record you have to do it on "that" course.
When you think about it, that makes sense in a way because every single course in the world will be different in some way on race-day and will have advantages and disadvantages.
Of course that includes Berlin as well, so then they would have to have strict measures in place for each race day in Berlin because each year the conditions will vary.
If not, then I suppose the powers that be could say "well you did break the record on the Berlin course, but unfortunately for you the wind was blowing 2 mph too fast. Sorry!"
So going back to what I originally suggested,
the only constant in every single sanctioned marathon anywhere in the world is the distance of 26.2 miles and the ticking clock.
I have run into many marathoners over the years who claim they would rather have some inclines on a marathon course as opposed to all flat or lots of downhills. In many ways it is easier on your large muscle groups to "pull" you up a gradual incline than it is to "brake" going down a steep incline.
Back in the day I would train 100 miles weeks after 100 miles weeks and it didn't seem to matter if a course was uphill, downhill, headwind, or tailwind, my times never varied all that much.
What eventually made the biggest difference and eventually a PR on a course I had done many times was conditioning and endurance and not the conditions on the day.
No technicality...it's a point to point course so it doesn't "count" per IAAF rules.
He has run the fastest marathon time ever run and that certainly stands for much.
Coverage here in Boston listed 3 reasons:
1) Point to point
2) Negative elevation change (i.e. down hill)
2a) In combination with those, tail wind.
By the same degree, why do they not require a specific temperature range... Should a race in to 60s count versus one in the 80s?
Much ado about nothing
Some people would have you think that Boston is all downhill with a tailwind. Well not really.
Downhill or tailwind an average pace of 4:42 minutes per mile means coming close to that pace on the uphills as well as the downhills and flats.
Even in my prime when I had gone about 4:55 min. mile(for one mile)in a 10K race I could of been running downhill with a tail-wind and still never run a time of 4:42 for one mile. It just does not work that way.
You still have to propel yourself regardless what the terrain is.You still have to have amazing cardiovascular conditioning.
Downhill does not mean you will automatically run faster.
I remember there was this 10K course I used to do year after year. There was a long steep climb at about the 2 mile mark followed by a long, steep downhill. I must have done that race 10 times and I could never recover the time I lost on the uphill by going faster on the downhill. It just does not work that way. It was not just me. The course was well known for being about 2 minutes slower in general just because of that hill.
That's why it makes sense to me by deciding a world record on the two factors that are constant in any sanctioned marathon. The distance of 26.2 miles and the ticking clock.
Here are the elevation gains on certain segments of the Boston Course.
Mile 16.5 uphill (Newton Lower Falls):
Length = .6 miles
Elevation Gain = 60'
Grade = 2.8%
Mile 18 uphill:
Length = .3 miles
Elevation Gain = 60'
Grade = 4.8%
Mile 19.5 uphill:
Length = .4 miles
Elevation Gain = 60'
Grade = 3.8%
Mile 20.75 uphill (Heartbreak Hill):
Length = .4 miles
Elevation Gain = 80'
Grade = 4.3%
I totally agree with the world record not being given for a point-to-point course that ends at a lower elevation than it begins. Those rules existed long before this year's race for good reason, and the pro athletes who race in Boston are most likely all aware of them, so it was not a matter of having the record and then having it stripped; it was not there to be gotten. It would not be justifiable to change the rules this year just because of the latest, impressive time.
And as it concerns the technicality, Bill has it right. If these stipulations were not in place then the world record would merely be a matter of who could design the most advantageous course. A lower ending point (overall downhill) is an advantage. It requires training to not waste the energy that most runners do in the mistaken act of downhill braking, but the advantage is there as a physical matter of gravity.
But besides all this, Boston is about prestige, not the world record. He can still be proud of that time and that is the time to beat -- in Boston. None of the world record talk takes anything away from the accomplishment, and no one would dispute the difficulty of the Boston course. And on top of everything else, with $225,000 to show for the win, Mutai himself isn't about to complain the rules away.