Thank you Beyonce for today’s title. There’s a serious debate floating around the sports world involving current female marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe. Paula’s record is in jeopardy as she secured the time during a marathon in which men also competed.
From ESPN: …the bright sparks who oversee track and field delivered a slap against women everywhere by invalidating their records set when they run marathons alongside men. The not-so-subtle message is that women cannot complete 26.2 miles as quickly alone as they can when they have a helping hand from the guys.
It’s completely natural if you’ve already formed your opinion after that statement. As a woman, this is a serious debate that I do feel somewhat lessens our value as athletes. But I also know from personal experience that I do perform better when working out/running with males.
Looking at the bigger picture, is it males that make female’s performance stronger? The same could be said about doing things in groups with elite athletes.
Regardless of how females perform, I am frustrated with the fact that Radcliffe clearly set, and held, the record, but now it is being stripped from her. How is that fair? She set the record in 2003. Fast forward to 2011 and we’re changing the rules on a whim — that’s crap to me. And riddle me this, aren’t most races mixed male and female? Most of the popular ones I’ve completed allow both male and female participants.
I don’t envisage this being sorted out anytime soon. Hopefully the supporters come out for Radcliffe. This is a sad blemish on the running world.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in. What are your thoughts on this great race record debate?