bad hammy wrote:And I would add a BIG thank you to T&FN for continuing to maintain the mile and 2 mile as the standard on their high school lists. A voice of reason in the sea of HS 16/32 insanity.
Nice try, but paraphrasing pego's sig, paraphrasing someone else, 'dat's NOT the fact, Jack!' If you check T&FN's HS lists, they do NOT list the 2-mile; they list the 3200 (but inexplicably DO list the Mile). HA . . . HA . . . HA
Nice try, but paraphrasing pego's sig, paraphrasing someone else, 'dat's NOT the fact, Jack!'
Check the May issue of T&FN. Mile, 2 Mile.
And, poking around the site here, again there is (thankfully) no list for the 16/32 (except for girls outdoor 32 record, for some reason):
Dirt track, cinder track, synthetic track ... mile, 1500, 1600 ... the evolution continues, but in the end it comes down to the performance of a runner at a particular time and place under the prevailing conditions. I think most runners accept this concept and don't really care how their results are adjusted, analyzed or compared over time by the statisticians, accountants and data crunchers of track and field. More time should be spent on discussing the character of a performance than on which conversion table is most accurate to the decimal place.
dj wrote:The Athens track in 1896 was one-third of a kilometer, 333.33 meters.
And DJ knows this because he ran a lap of it in 1982 under the noon sun, and boy was that a bitch!
Ah, yes, I remember it well! Decided on a whim, with an unnamed associate whose initials are egh, to run a lap on an Olympic stadium track. (Unbeknownst to each other, we'd each been collecting such occasions.)
I'd have sworn the track was 600m that day, as we only jogged the straight down to the closed end of the horseshoe, then gave up with the pretext of wanting to read a bronze marker which spoke of de Coubertin and the founding of the modern Olympic movement.
kuha wrote:Bump for Marlow...and there may be a few more such relevant threads.
kuha's (most probably right) take:
kuha wrote:at some point the French realized that they had to make a transition from the 2/4/8 system to the 5/10 system. The 1500 became the key compromise distance..., whether all of us today like it or not...
but then I see that this tafnut dude had an equally plausible explanation:
tafnut wrote:The story I got was that Baron de Coubertin and a couple of his cronies were sitting around a Paris cafe in 1894 and ol' Bar, half-sloshed, turns to his friends and slurs out, "Hey, I've got a great idea (I'm translating, of course, but y'know my French lingo is impeccable!), let's do this really cool track meet, sorta like the old Greek Olympics - we'll even let other sports in - but no nude wrestling! - and we'll bastardize what the Limeys are running, y'know, 100 yards, the Mile, etc.. Let's really mess with their minds and run some really stupid distance like . . . um . . . one thousand, five hundred meters - that'll blow their mind!" The rest is, as they say, history.
I think the tafnut dude had a screw loose, I'd have to take anything he says with a grain of salt.
I can't remember which thread, but someone suggested that the origins of the 1500 might be due to the first 100 being on a straight, to limit the number of crashes in the first 50m. That is the most plausible argument i have heard on this topic.
When tracks went metric in the late 1970s and early 1980s here, state federations across the country, except Massachusetts (wisely kept the Mile/2 Mile) and a few states who went to the 1500m, took the easy way - four laps, same start and finish line = 1600 meters - "close enough" to a Mile.
What those state federation officials missed, and this was a BIG miss and has hurt the sport at the high school level, is the promotional and media value of the Mile, the most iconic event in the sport (thanks to Roger Bannister). NO American boy has dreamed of breaking 4 minutes for the 1600.
If you would like to see the Mile back at the HS level, join us and sign your state petition to replace the 1600 with the Mile.