1) I think the lighted rail is really cool. Personally, down the road, I'd much rather see the sport get rid of human rabbits and just use a robotic light like this.
2) Despite me loving it, how in the world is this legal? Here is the IAAF rule on pacing.
IAAF Rule 144.3. wrote:
Assistance not Allowed
3. For the purpose of this Rule, the following examples shall be
considered assistance, and are therefore not allowed:
(a) Pacing in races by persons not participating in the same race, by
athletes lapped or about to be lapped or by any kind of technical
device (other than those permitted under Rule 144.4(d))
Here is part 144.4(d):
(d) Heart rate or speed distance monitors or stride sensors or similar
devices carried or worn personally by athletes during an event,
provided that such device cannot be used to communicate with
any other person.
Editor's note: There is a large addendum at the end of the rule that says the following:
Rule 144 has been the subject of constant change in recent years to reflect
the way in which athletics is conducted, to respect the role of coaches, to
manage innovation and new products, etc. The IAAF will continue to
respond to new products and trends as soon as they become common
place during events and competitions.
Changes to these Rules are designed to facilitate the athletes’
participation in the competition as much as possible and to reduce
unnecessary conflict between athletes/coaches and the officials. Each of
these Rules should be interpreted in this light whilst always ensuring the
competition is conducted fairly to all.
Rule 144.3(e) however makes it clear that the officials should not assist
any athlete beyond what is required of their role – and specifically states
as an example that officials should not provide details of the take-off
position in jumping events, other than for the purpose of indicating the
point of “impact” in a foul jump in Horizontal Jumps.
So my reading of the rules indicates that pacing by technical devices is strictly prohibited unless it's "carried or worn personally" by the athlete. That clearly wasn't the case yesterday.
Am I misinterpreting something?
If not, I think the IAAF should allow the times for qualifiers for Worlds but issue a warning for future races that such a stunt is illegal (and perhaps strike all the times from the alltime lists).
Then change the rule to allow the lights to be used as a pacer.