Just a quick update on the world marathon majors press conference held Thursday morning.
No major new news came out the conference but the race directors indicated they have seen increased media awareness of their events because of the new series. (The series awards $500,000 to the man and woman who scores the most points over 2 years in 6 marathons (Boston, Berlin, Chicago, NY, London and World Champs/Olympics. For more info on the series see this link:
Mary Wittenberg, race director of the ING NYC Marathon, said for example the NY Times sat down with her race and wanted more info on the series.
And while there was no major news announced, two developments were announced pertaining to the Flora London Marathon, one good and one bad.
First the bad: the Flora London Marathon will not be on television in the US this year despite having one of the the top men's marathon fields ever assembled. To get the race on tv this year, Dave Bedford, the London director said, "We could run the women with no shorts and tops".
And for the good, London went and talked to the shoe companies and they have agreed that the top athletes will not all wear the same color singlets this year. This should make it much easier for the casual fan to actually watch the races. See this link for the singlets:
The race directors said many other races have expressed interest in joining the series. Dave Bedford, said if any race will join the series it has to be a men's and women's race (this would rule out many japanese marathons), with mass participation (this also would rule out most of the Japanese marathons), and obviously with a strong commitment to the professional end of the sport.
And some of the US media wanted to know about the US Olympic Marathon Trials and how the race directors felt this race would affect the series (Boston and NY are bidding to host the trials in races held a day or 2 days before their main marathons). Mary Wittenberg said she felt US athletes are hurt by having a special trials race as American athletes are capable of "(winning) olympic medals... We think they are being shortchanged by being set aside in a separate race."