Re: people who compare times in races run in different years ... if all you want to do is compare times, then every 'race' should be a time trial. In fact, there shouldn't even be an official 'start' time. People should just show up to the start line whenever they feel like it, activate their chip, and go.
The fact that somebody would criticize Shalane for not pushing the pace in her first marathon - to try to run a fast time rather than potentially win - is both immature and doesn't have a clue about sport or competition, particularly on the world-class level. Remember the 1990s, when Americans had a great time in circle-jerks comparing their times against each other's? Only problem was that the rest of the world was kicking the snot out of us. But hey, we'd compare times all day long.
I'd say there aren't many people who could tell you Deena Kastor's time (without looking it up) when she won a bronze in Athens, but you sure as hell remember that she won a bronze.
Both Shalane and Kara are amazing competitors, as is Deena (who, admittedly, does not have time on her side). They were in very different races. Both HATE to lose. Both have, in the words of Ms. Fleshman, "balls." Both have leg speed (although Shalane has more).
How about if everybody shuts up and just waits for the RACE to happen?
In the meantim, I'll go back to only occasionally checking this message board. I can only take some much irrational rant and can't from wanna-be never-was'es.