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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone seen the letter in this months RW about the cult of mediocrity?
My sentiments exactly!
Hurrah for fast runners!!!:eek:
 

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Yes I have seen it. What a load of bollocks. Cult of mediocrity my arse. Yes some runners will be ecstatic at running a 38 min 10k. I'd be ecstatic at running a 45 min 10k. So what? I am perfectly aware that it won't get me to the Olympics, but I still feel great about it. I also feel good when I have a good game of football. I also suspect that if Wenger was looking at me at the time he probably wouldn't be trying to sign me up after the game, but so what? What is this old fart saying? That we shouldn't even try? That unless we aim for a top 10 European finish, there is no point racing? This makes my blood boil. I do the best I can with the amount of training time I have available. I don't expect national news coverage when I set a new PB, but I also don't expect some random fuckwit to be uttering such drivel.

I'm going to go for a little walk to calm down now, 'cos I am a teeny bit annoyed...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you read the letter the guy is making a point about how the standard has slipped.
People run for different reasons these days than they did in the 1960's. In those days running was a very lonely sport. Mass participation was unheard of. It seems that today just to finish is the main reason that people enter events. I ran round the Plymouth half on Sunday and there were loads of people in the pack. Winning time was 63.51 mind you!
The runners I ran with were running for fun,fitness,charity and a whole bunch of other reasons. I jogged round in 1.43 and enjoyed it. 10 years ago I would have been embarresed to have run that slowly. Today I quite enjoy the feeling of moving round under my own power. The more people get of their sofas and run the better, but please try to get faster!
 

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So what?
If fast runners are there for the win, fine. I suspect fast people are as fast now as they were 30 years ago. What brings average times down is the size of the field of not-very-fast runners. Once again, so what?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The point is that the overall standard has dropped! Britons were faster 20 years ago!
What happened to the good club runners that I used to train with who ran like mad to break 31 for 10k or 2.30 for a marathon?
The size of fields has nothing to do with the standard. We had big fields in the 80's and the times were much better!
 

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steepler said:
And another thing.
Please don't use foul language on this forum!
Shouldn't we leave Dan to do the moderating? ;)

I've not read the letter (yet, will have a look at home tonight) so I can't comment. I do agree that at the top end there is less quality, I'm in my 20's so haven't run for ages but I do remember going to races in the 80's/early 90's where my dad was running. He was a decent level club runner but rarely got into the top 50 in races. Today similar times would see him in the top 10 in a lot of local races (big races he'd be further down though).

However, why is this a cult of mediocrity???? There's failure to recognise talent at the top level and nurture it, so yes some people are falling into mediocrity. However, there are many of us who have probably never had the ability to get to the high level, yet we can still compete at our own level because it is now accepted that not everyone is going to have this talent.

Running has had one big success in more recent times, the welcoming of us slower runners to compete (albeit at our own level). But a big failure by the inability of coach's/administration to encourage acheivement at the highest level or find the talent in depth.

Is this failure the fault of us slower runners though?

I'm wondering what the strength in depth is like in other countries? Or whether it has tailed off at the same level as it seems to have in the UK?
 

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steepler said:
The point is that the overall standard has dropped! Britons were faster 20 years ago!
What happened to the good club runners that I used to train with who ran like mad to break 31 for 10k or 2.30 for a marathon?
The size of fields has nothing to do with the standard. We had big fields in the 80's and the times were much better!
I would agree that the standard at the top end has dropped for males in particular. I've not been competing very long but I know from speaking to more experienced clubmates that the standard at the top end of races is not what it used to be.. why this has happened is open to debate. Steepler poses a good question... What did happen to the good club runners? How did they become good and what has changed?

However female runners performances must be getting faster, it would be interesting to see some stats.

hammerite said:
Running has had one big success in more recent times, the welcoming of us slower runners to compete (albeit at our own level). But a big failure by the inability of coach's/administration to encourage acheivement at the highest level or find the talent in depth.
Agreed, if people are using the sport to keep fit and live healthy then that can be no bad thing.
 

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Well I've read the letter and I've got to say it was a load of rubbish. Who is he to say that someone doing a 38m 10k time is pathetic????

At the end of the day we are all doing this for different reasons. If the person is happy doing a 38m 10k time, then what's wrong with that? I'm happy that they are happy.

We all have different things that effect what we can do and when, therefore we all can't put in the 100 mpw it may take to get a decent 10k time!

As I said previously the sport has improved for most of us, as it is more accepting for slower runners to be in races. Should slower runners be blamed that there is a lack of strength in depth, I think not.
 

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I`d be happy to run 10k in 50 minutes,and trip him as he went passed me.
 

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If, as he said, we should be shot at the start line he better start with me. I'm hoping for a 1 hour 10 in my 10k next week that puts me pretty much last but at least I'm trying and will keep trying till I can do a sub 50min.
 
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