WS Cutoffs and Overall Time Limit
- I am somewhat disappointed that only a limited group of people
participate in a chat session such as this one. Also when a topic of
limited interest is brought up it either creates a yawn or little
response. Runners over 60 make up only about 5 percent of the WS100
participants and it is therefore not surprising that not a single one
over 60 [ I believe] has participated in this discussion. The responses
have been largely from younger runners, including those 50 year olds. I
f I were a younger runner, i.e. under 55, I would also feel that the
time limits are fair, at least for my fellow 55 and younger runners. But
that does not take away that there are about 20 participants 60 and over
every year, and they, and especially those 65 and older, are at a
decided disadvantage. The statistics confirm it. Also be aware that many
of these nonfinishers over 65 have finished the WS100 before, and some
have done so several times.
I believe the time has come to allow the 60+ and especially the 65+
group an opportunity to participate and finish the run. It is true there
is a tradition, but times change. I am sure that in the early years of
Western States few people 60 and over participated, but now they do.
Also there have been precedences of famous runs changing their rules.
The Boston Marathon used to have a qualifying time of 2:50 minutes for
those under 40. They eventually realized that this strict rule was
unfair to 40 and under runners, and they changed it to make it fairer.
Since then the Boston Marathon has grown in stature. Hence, sticking to
an unfair rule, or a rule that has become unfair, does not equate to
sticking to tradition.
I propose that the WS Board not change the buckle times, the 24 and 30
hour times to buckle for the silver and the bronze are fair. Also there
is no need to change the cutoff times up to Michigan Bluff. The vast
majority of all runners can make those cutoffs. Forest Hill may need an
extra half hour. The cutoffs past Forest Hill should be relaxed with a
finishing time limit of 32 hours for the 60+ runners. The extra time for
the aid stations to stay open is rather minimal and I am sure they will
not object. The final clock finishing time will then be 1:00 PM. Again
that should pose no problem for the award ceremony. The above proposal
would do much to make the whole run much fairer to everyone. The 60+
runners will still be motivated to finish under 30 hours to get a
buckle. But if they can't make the 30 hour time limit, and history has
shown that most can't , then at least will be able to claim that they
finished the run.
If the above proposal is too radical, the Board may want to go half way
and expand the finishing time only to 31 hours. That way the race would
finish at noon and it would at least increase the number of 60+
finishers to a limited extent.
I hope the WS Board will respond to this reasonable request from the 60+
runners. Remember eventually you will all join our group. And as long as
you stay healthy you want to participate. Participating in an event
where the chance of finishing is zero is not exactly an enticing thing
to do. The reason some of us continue to try is hope, but eventually we
will give up. I, for one, will wait until there is some change.
I want to thank the audience for participating in this chat session. If
any of you have the opportunity please bring my proposal to the WS
Board. It will give them something to ponder about. Happy running. Carl
Pegels........... WS100 attempts: 2-------Finishes:0