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  1. #1

    Pacemakers in athletics events


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    Why do they do it? Surely if you're good enough to run three quarters of a distance race at a fast pace, you might as well train a bit harder and actually compete?

    I know they get paid for it, but do they have to sign a waiver promising they won't get to the last couple of laps and think "bollocks to this, I'm sticking it out and having a go at gold"?

    Just seems a bit of an undignified existence for a professional runner, that's all.
    The lady has foolishly attempted to join the conversation with a wild and dangerous opinion of her own. What half-baked drivel! See how the men look at her with utter contempt.

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    • #2
      Members Tricky Dicky's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by edna krabappel View Post
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      Why do they do it? Surely if you're good enough to run three quarters of a distance race at a fast pace, you might as well train a bit harder and actually compete?

      I know they get paid for it, but do they have to sign a waiver promising they won't get to the last couple of laps and think "bollocks to this, I'm sticking it out and having a go at gold"?

      Just seems a bit of an undignified existence for a professional runner, that's all.
      I thought you meant they were letting people with heat conditions into the Diamond league for a sec. - yes, slightly odd, but a pretty good living for your average Kenyan I would have thought. Presumably the ones that can step it up, are the actual competitors. I've always found it a bit artificial though.
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      I seem to have a very hazy recall in a few of the early "big" marathons, pacemakers were used and actually did rather well (not sure if they won or not) much to the chagrin of the organisers. Even if it turned out out to be apochryphal I rather like the idea of the establishment shirts having to pay the winners' money to someone who was supposed to have moved over to make way for a celebrity
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      Aberystwyth Town FC ATFC Seagull's Avatar
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      Seems like a bit of an outdated idea. Couldn't they just chase a Big Mac on a rail a la greyhounds and rabbits?
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    • #5

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      Quote Originally Posted by edna krabappel View Post
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      Why do they do it? Surely if you're good enough to run three quarters of a distance race at a fast pace, you might as well train a bit harder and actually compete?

      I know they get paid for it, but do they have to sign a waiver promising they won't get to the last couple of laps and think "bollocks to this, I'm sticking it out and having a go at gold"?

      Just seems a bit of an undignified existence for a professional runner, that's all.
      The pacemakers are clearly very good at shorter distances but dont have that extra talent that the elite have. Its fairly easy to maintain a pace for so long, but come the last bit of the race, they cant last the pace. Therefore at least they get to earn a living, and as far as the Africans are concerned, I think do look at long distance running as a team event.

      Effectively the same in cycling as far as the Domestiques are concerned.
    • #6

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      But if they're good at shorter distances, why don't they compete at shorter distances then?

      On a vaguely related note, it's utterly RIDICULOUS the pace that top distance runners go at. Watching Mo Farah in Daegu, it occurred to me that he runs laps in the 10,000m faster than I'd do if I did a 400m or probably a 100m in fact...mind you, I am to sprinting what Nick Griffin is to community relations...but still!
      The lady has foolishly attempted to join the conversation with a wild and dangerous opinion of her own. What half-baked drivel! See how the men look at her with utter contempt.
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      Registered ruffian skipper734's Avatar
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      It's all about the money in these events. Jenny Meadows has now got to run in a mixed event!!!
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      Quote Originally Posted by edna krabappel View Post
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      I know they get paid for it, but do they have to sign a waiver promising they won't get to the last couple of laps and think "bollocks to this, I'm sticking it out and having a go at gold"?
      Sometimes.

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      Quote Originally Posted by edna krabappel View Post
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      On a vaguely related note, it's utterly RIDICULOUS the pace that top distance runners go at. Watching Mo Farah in Daegu, it occurred to me that he runs laps in the 10,000m faster than I'd do if I did a 400m or probably a 100m in fact...mind you, I am to sprinting what Nick Griffin is to community relations...but still!
      Even in my local running club, the faster runners are ridiculously quick. Last week on our training run, one guy ran up and down one of the hills three times while I was plodding up it!


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    • #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by edna krabappel View Post
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      But if they're good at shorter distances, why don't they compete at shorter distances then?

      On a vaguely related note, it's utterly RIDICULOUS the pace that top distance runners go at. Watching Mo Farah in Daegu, it occurred to me that he runs laps in the 10,000m faster than I'd do if I did a 400m or probably a 100m in fact...mind you, I am to sprinting what Nick Griffin is to community relations...but still!
      It makes me tired just thinking that after running 9600m at around 67seconds a lap he still managed to up it and run a 52 second last lap
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