Keep us together and no skimming

By MATT CARPENTER
www.skyrunner.com

One of the letter writers asked: “Is it my imagination or do the same runners win all the races all the time? Why not add an elite division and let them race amongst themselves and let the other runners have the opportunity to run their own races?”

The next letter writer gets my vote for writing that they “would rather get 4th place in an age-group and not receive an award than weasel a 3rd place award only because the top person in the age-group got skimmed out and put in the top 10 overall category.”

As perfectly stated as that was, let me offer my opinion. I hope the sport of running does not follow the lead of the Boulder Boulder and start to offer separate divisions for “elite” runners. One of my most memorable running experiences was running the Azalea Trail Run in Mobile, Alabama. It was one of my first races and I lined up next to Bill Rogers. Running is the only sport where this is possible. When do we get a chance to test ourselves against _________ in _________? You can pick the athlete and the sport — Michael Jordan in basketball, Tiger Woods in golf etc.

If we do as the first letter writer suggests, pretty soon the same “other runners” are going to start winning their race. What next? “elites,” “other runners” and the “other other runners?” Then four groups, then five? Taken to its logical conclusion each person will end up winning their own “race” — oh joy!?

Respectfully,

Matt Carpenter


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