When the top women runners went past me as I watched the Bloomsday 12K on May 4th, I was reminded how body features are shaped by heavy distance training. Some top elite runners have physical characteristics that result in a unique appearance compared to runners who don’t run as many miles. This makes me even more angry when I think of women’s marathoning.
Elite women are using their finely tuned bodies to run times that aren’t much slower than men. Take a look at how much women have lowered the marathon world record compared to men in the last fifty years.
* 50 years ago Today
Men Abebe Bikila/Ethiopia 2:12:12 Wilson Kipsang/Kenya 2:03:23
Women Mildred Sampson/NZ 3:19:33 Paula Radcliffe/UK 2:15:25
As you can see, women have improved a lot more than men, though, admittedly, fifty years ago women’s marathon participation was not nearly at the level of men.
This leads to what I’m so very sorely upset about. Paula Radcliffe set the women’s record in 2003. The men’s record was set less than a year ago, and has been broken five times since Paula Radcliffe set her mark.
Why no new record in more than eleven years? I’ll tell you why. Woman marathoners are saying pish-posh to the idea of extra training to break the record. This lolly-gagging and dilly-dallying needs to stop. From now on, no more wine parties, and no more grouping up with your peeps and having chatfests. Forget shopping, and going out for your oh-so-precious frozen yogurt. This whole issue has been bothering me for quite a while. I’m irked the moment I wake up in the morning. I am so extremely very intensely angry right now that I can’t even focus on writing. I need to smack my pillow against the wall.
Now I feel a little better. I’m glad my anger management counselor has good tips on how to vent.