Gun Times. Tiffany Costello (2:45:01) and Hayley Sutter (2:45:07) for the gals. Sean Swift (2:19:08), Alex Taylor (2:19:09), and Brandon Wolfe (2:19:10). Is if fair for me stop right there? Is there a difference between :01. :07, :08. :09, and :10? Is there a difference between :10 and :11? Between :11 and :12? Where do you draw the line?
2:45:00 and 2:19:00, that is where. Sounds harsh I know. As a member of the WLDR Executive Committee from 1997-2009 I entertained at least a dozen appeals from athletes that had just missed the standards. Some heartbreaking stories to be sure. I maintained a perfect record, rejecting every single petition. For a lot of reasons.
Chief among them was Matter of Principle. The zero approval position allowed me to advocate best for those that qualified legitimately.
I was disappointed when I saw our USA Championships Marathon awarded to California International Marathon. When I rode herd over the program CIM performances were in the same class as St. George Marathon in Utah. Ineligible. Point to point, downhill courses, produce performances that are generally 3-5 minutes faster than record eligible courses. Why do you think every American within earshot of the standards lined up in Sacramento? How else do you explain 151 qualifiers in a single race?
The Executive Committee replies to appeals with their determination. Many factors go into the decision including but not limited to, 1)How close, 2) What was the elevation profile of the course? 3) Were there weather or other extenuating circumstances?
My final words on appeals remained consistent, “You are obviously fit, go run another marathon.”
Two bits of advice then to Tiffany and Hayley and Sean and Alex and Brandon: “Get on the start line, this is gun timed.” And “You are obviously fit, go run another marathon.”
Having said all that, your appeals will fall on other perhaps more sympathetic ears. Good luck and Gidddyup!