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PROTRACK » GENERAL » The decline of middle distance races

The decline of middle distance races

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1 The decline of middle distance races on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Hitman17


Must say I am dispappointed to see the decline of certain middle distance events over the past few seasons. Stonnington in its first season had a classic 550m worth $3,000. This was then reduced to $2,000 for the past two seasons and this year there is no 550m or even an open 400m. Making matters worse, Avondale heights has for the past three years put on a great 400m gift worth $3,000. Like Stonnington, this race has also been removed and replaced with a 70m gift.

If both races were poorly patronised I could understand the logic in having them scrapped. This wasnt the case so I'm struggling to understand why they have been taken off the calender. Hopefully this trend doesnt continue in subsequent seasons.

2 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:21 pm

Phantom

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What's worse Hitman is they have now placed a 100m limit on nearly every 400m on the calender.

3 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:33 pm

Graeme Lebroy


A further sign of the decline was the 800 final at Terang. No offesnse to David Haigh who started in red and won but its not a good sign for the sport when the backmarker is that vintage and the average age of the finalists is probably around 40.

Hopefully get a better turn up at waverly

4 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:09 pm

johnnydrama


That was a great run from the little fella in red! Well deserved and a joy to watch!

5 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:44 pm

GT


Great to see the Burglar get up at Terang, dare say we will see him at the Bay, trying to take our money home again! Well done David!

6 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:16 pm

GT


No decline in S.A. Cracker Open 800meter Race at Sacred Heart on Sunday!

7 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:32 pm

DizzyRunner


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Judging the current state of distance running by looking at results from the 3 weakest meets of the season (no offense intended), is like judging the new Abbott government's performance based on the quality of finger-painting at the local public primary school.

8 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:42 pm

Admin

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GT wrote:No decline in S.A. Cracker Open 800meter Race at Sacred Heart on Sunday!


19 athletes in a straight final - was a good spectacle and made for an entertaining race, but with no heats and few capable of running a genuine sub 1-55 (peg to peg), I disagree that there is no decline in the middle distance standard in SA.

The 3200m event only had 6 runners. Hard to see how it can be justified on next year's program.

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9 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:47 am

Whispers


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The 3200m event only had 6 runners. Hard to see how it can be justified on next year's program.

[/quote]
Totally agree with Admin, 8 runners fronted up last year for the 3200, only 6 runners this year.
Theres no room on the program for a meeting which runs as long as the one on Sunday for a race which attracts so few.
Sure if it was a lead into a 3200 at the Bay ,fair enough ,but this isnt the case.

10 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:35 am

DizzyRunner


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It's called athletics, and it does involve events longer than 800m. By all means, strip the money out of these events but to scrap them all together is a lazy response.

Maybe we should take money out of the sprinting events, use it to advertise at the Milers Club and AthsVic events, with the goal to build numbers for distance events at Pros.

100 years ago Western Australia was a poor state which brought in almost no revenue at all but was subsidised by the hard work of NSW and Victorian workers. Today, the reverse is true and WA contributes more than its share to the national economic pie, propping up other regions including Tasmania.

Ebbs and flows people, ebbs and flows.

Dizzy Out.

11 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:00 am

Whispers


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Dizzy , there never used to be a 3200m on the SAAL calendar at this particular meeting.
Its and extra 3200m which has been tried for two years now and hasnt been supported.
Corresponding numbers for the 800m have been 19 and 18.
The league has done everything it can to try and make the 3200m work by making the 800m a straight out final at the beginning of the program and the 3200m about 5 hours later but its just not happening.

12 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:32 pm

DizzyRunner


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Whispers wrote:Dizzy , there never used to be a 3200m on the SAAL calendar at this particular meeting.
Its and extra 3200m which has been tried for two years now and hasnt been supported.
Corresponding numbers for the 800m have been 19 and 18.
The league has done everything it can to try and make the 3200m work by making the 800m a straight out final at the beginning of the program and the 3200m about 5 hours later but its just not happening.


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13 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:53 pm

funrun


In early december, all the decent distance runners are focused on running at the zatopek meet.

At the end of the day, pro running is all about the gift distances. No one cares who wins the 800, 1000, mile or 2 mile. And this shows in prize money. Leading into the bay sheff, imagine if the winner of the select mile won $23000! That would get the distance runners on the track... :

scratch 

14 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:25 pm

Double Jeopardy


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funrun wrote:In early december, all the decent distance runners are focused on running at the zatopek meet.

At the end of the day, pro running is all about the gift distances. No one cares who wins the 800, 1000, mile or 2 mile. And this shows in prize money. Leading into the bay sheff, imagine if the winner of the select mile won $23000! That would get the distance runners on the track... :

scratch 


That isn't entirely true. The main event at Zatopek is the 10k. A distance very few, if any pro runners ever race during the track season. If they are focusing on the support races (middle distance events) then there is no reason why they shouldn't be using pro distance events as lead up races. The problem is, most of the good distance runners run AV / Vic Milers (vic pespective) as their hit outs rather than the pros. The lack of quality distance runners at the moment has nothing to do with Zatopek, it's the mindset of these runners that is the problem for pro running.

The small distance events may lack interest, but the big ones are still hotly contested. I can assure you, plenty of people care about them.

As for prize money, that's the old chicken or the egg story.

15 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:48 am

jknott123


is the decline in distance a prizemoney issue? who advises the clubs on what events to put on and where to allocate the prizemoney?
Ararat trying again to hold a pro meet Gift $5000/ 1600m $700
Daylesford another small meet Gift $2000/ 1600m $500
St Albans Gift $5000/ 1600m $600
A/Heights Gift $5000/ 1600m $500

16 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:41 am

Graeme Lebroy


funrun wrote:In early december, all the decent distance runners are focused on running at the zatopek meet.

At the end of the day, pro running is all about the gift distances. No one cares who wins the 800, 1000, mile or 2 mile. And this shows in prize money. Leading into the bay sheff, imagine if the winner of the select mile won $23000! That would get the distance runners on the track... :

scratch 


What a ridiculus comment. At one Melbourne interclus on saturday there were 19 heats of the mens 800 at which about 6 of those people broke 2 minutes. Thats approx 140 blokes who are running around for their own amusement for $0 given they cant break 2 minutes. (Zatopek is definitely not on their agenda).  As an aside these races where run up to an hour after the advertised start time.

Times that by 4 venues and that easily 400 people that are the prime target of the pro distance races...Why at least 25% would not be regularly competing in pursiuit of a sash and $500 is what needs to be identified but cash cant be it because they currnelty turn up for no reward.

Pro running needs to attract the distance runners to give it critical mass. It should be easier to keep 100+ 800/milers amused who can blob around at 5minute 1500 pace weeke in week out then come up with 100 gift runners who can run under 11.5 consistently across a season. Without that critical mass of bodies the aclaim isnt there for the $10,000+gift races and suddenly the money drys up.

17 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:03 pm

Double Jeopardy


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Interesting to note the strength in numbers for the Mile at Burnie. 42 entries, compared to 49 in the Burnie Gift despite the difference in prizemoney / prestige associated with the Gift distance.

Distance running in Tasmania is relatively strong at the moment. Most of their quality runners compete in both pros and amateur events. Is this just a coincidence or are they doing something different to everyone else? Or does it say more about the demise of the Burnie Gift?

18 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:16 pm

youngy

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Double Jeopardy wrote:Interesting to note the strength in numbers for the Mile at Burnie. 42 entries, compared to 49 in the Burnie Gift despite the difference in prizemoney / prestige associated with the Gift distance.

Distance running in Tasmania is relatively strong at the moment. Most of their quality runners compete in both pros and amateur events. Is this just a coincidence or are they doing something different to everyone else? Or does it say more about the demise of the Burnie Gift?

The raw number of 42 v 49 for the 1600m v the Gift is on the surface, good for the middle distance event. However the break down of the numbers shows a different story.

No one stable dominates the Burnie Gift entry list and it is a purely male list as there is a female equivalent - the Ladies Gift.

In contrast the Burnie mile field of 42 is made up of the following:
36 males
6 females

Of the 36 males: 15 are from the Mark Hipworth stable, four are Kenyans and there's 17 Tasmanians.

The Burnie Gift is not so reliant on one stable.  The biggest stable representation in the Burnie Gift is Ray Quarrell with 8 (16%). Hippo provides 42% of the male entrants in the mile.

Had the Victorian based Hippo squad bypassed Burnie for the Vic meet of Maryborough, the mile would look pretty ordinary.


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19 Re: The decline of middle distance races on Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:48 pm

DizzyRunner


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youngy wrote:
Double Jeopardy wrote:Interesting to note the strength in numbers for the Mile at Burnie. 42 entries, compared to 49 in the Burnie Gift despite the difference in prizemoney / prestige associated with the Gift distance.

Distance running in Tasmania is relatively strong at the moment. Most of their quality runners compete in both pros and amateur events. Is this just a coincidence or are they doing something different to everyone else? Or does it say more about the demise of the Burnie Gift?
The raw number of 42 v 49 for the 1600m v the Gift is on the surface, good for the middle distance event. However the break down of the numbers shows a different story.

No one stable dominates the Burnie Gift entry list and it is a purely male list as there is a female equivalent - the Ladies Gift.

In contrast the Burnie mile field of 42 is made up of the following:
36 males
6 females

Of the 36 males: 15 are from the Mark Hipworth stable, four are Kenyans and there's 17 Tasmanians.

The Burnie Gift is not so reliant on one stable.  The biggest stable representation in the Burnie Gift is Ray Quarrell with 8 (16%). Hippo provides 42% of the male entrants in the mile.

Had the Victorian based Hippo squad bypassed Burnie for the Vic meet of Maryborough, the mile would look pretty ordinary.



Dizzy has read this post, noted the statistics, and has discerned that with all of the VALs distance runners being in Tasmania,  Maryborough will be lucky to get 10 starters. Dizzy is cancelling his 3-day training camp in the Mornington sand-dunes, apologised to Herb for wasting his time, and not eating for 3 weeks to be ready for the Big New years Day Vic Carnival. Fat to Fit baby.

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