Sir Hanlon wrote:
The USATF will allow it as a national record. Look it up yourself in the USATF competition rules.
The IAAF wouldn't consider it a world record but who cares? She ain't running a WR.
Sir, you are dead-on right about several things.
1. She ain't breaking 2:16 and neither is anybody else so WR rules are a moot point.
2. If she does go under the AR it only has to count to her, her fans, and her sponsors (Nike may actually care whether or not USATF recognizes it)
3. As to #2 above, it will but she won't. 2:20 high is realistic. 2:20 low would be great and I'm rooting for her.
4. The separate start does make watching more fun, and no marathons did/do this that aren't on TV. (Shorter races - Carlsbad, Boulder Boulder, etc - do run separately)
5. Whether or not she brings an 'official' pacer or domestique, being surrounded may make things psychologically easier - again, even if they're all strangers. Of course, your employee fetching drinks, plowing other folks out of the way and breaking wind really does make it physically easier.
6. As to #5, Paula had none of the advantages of an actual employee helping in any way nor of being in a crowd and whatever mental stress that removes.