Why is there a distinction between Long Distance Running (LDR) and Track & Field (T&F), vis-à-vis United States Track & Field (USATF)? Any question is a good question if it gets answered.
Both are Divisions under USATF’s umbrella. Which stands beneath the US Olympic Committee (USOC). Factor in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and you sense if not understand the upper echelons.
Going downward and horizontally its like this y’all:
Track & Field holds sway over every sprint and middle distance and distance race held on the mondo. The 5000 on the track? The 10,000 on the track? Track & Field, not LDR. Track & Field also presiding over the leaps and implements.
Here’s a twist. The 20K and 50K Race Walk both start/finish on the track at World Championships and Olympic competition. Race Walking falls under the auspices of LDR. Similarly, the World Champs and Olympic Marathon traditionally start/finish on the track but are an LDR event.
A full slate of Road National Championships. I’m only slightly partial to our Roads. Sheepishly remind that I served on the USATF WLDR National Executive Committee for 12 years. Five as WLDR Athlete Development Coordinator and 7 as Chair of Women’s LDR National Champs. Proud of the efforts to build a program that be$t $upport$ de$erving athlete$. From the 1 Mile to the Marathon, and every metric or standard distance in between if deemed a worthy bid.
Mountain, Ultra, Trail. All three of those fall under LDR.
Cross Country is its own Sport Committee. Does not report to T&F or LDR.
Road. Track. Field. Mountains. Trails. Ultras. Cross. Race Walk.
USATF. National Governing body. Developing athletes for competition, locally, regionally, nationally, internationally.
Not to be confused with Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). An entirely different mission statement.