Athletics Weekly - - News -

In­cludes English Schools Com­bined Events and Race Walks Champs, Ad­mi­ral Swansea Bay 10km, World Moun­tain Run­ning Champs in An­dorra and Sim­ply­health Great East Run


THE parkrun jug­ger­naut continues to roll. Last week­end I jogged round my 200th and noted in re­cent weeks that around 140,000 par­tic­i­pate each week, while around 8000 first­timers sign up each week and 25,000 set PBs.

I know it’s not a race – we oc­ca­sion­ally print fastest first fin­ish­ers and best age-graded runs – but many peo­ple com­pete as hard as they can.

How­ever, one area where I dis­agree with the parkrun prin­ci­ple is they al­low dogs to pull run­ners. Apart from the safety is­sue, it does mean run­ners get ar­ti­fi­cial times and po­si­tions. Last week­end at Leam­ing­ton Ben Robin­son, a sub-15 track run­ner, got dragged to a sub-13 (12:58) and the women’s win­ner, a W45, did 17:16 and were re­moved from our re­sults.

Should dog own­ers have their own races or should they just be listed at the bot­tom of the re­sults?

Talk­ing of ar­ti­fi­cial times, it was no­table that some re­gard Eliud Kip­choge’s marathon world record with sus­pi­cion due to the large num­ber of Kenyan dop­ers caught in re­cent years.

Time will tell but Kip­choge – eas­ily the world’s great­est ever marathoner – has been su­per con­sis­tent for 15 years and the time was on the cards based on his ar­ti­fi­cial Monza run. At least he wasn’t pulled by a dog.

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