Being a sedentary non-athlete, I could not contribute to the recent PR thread. I could only read it with admiration and a bit of envy.
But guess what? Spectators have our PR's too. Mine are listed below. These are the best marks I've ever seen in person in each of the standard OG/WC events contested in the stadium.
The purpose of doing this is not a competition. I'm pretty sure I don't have the best set of PR's in the world--I can think of at least a few friends who can probably beat them. But I know perfectly well that this is a very respectable list that most people won't match (although, Lord knows, lots of people have me beaten in particular events or even groups of events). So what? As I said, this is not a competition.
The real reason to compile a spectator PR list of your own is to add another dimension to your enjoyment of the sport. Just as journeyman athletes get great satisfaction out of setting a PR, no matter how modest that PR may be by international elite standards, any serious fan who goes to a decent number of track meets can get spectator PR's on many occasions, often by seeing performances that won't make any headlines. And when you see a PR, if you're a hard core fan (as many readers of this Board are), you can really get a thrill out of it.
Whether or not you want to share your PR list with the Board is up to you. But if you don't already have such a list, think about compiling one. You'll have fun doing that, and if you then take it with you to meets, you'll have more fun at those meets when you realize that you've just seen a PR.
Here's my own list (* = current world record/world indoor record):
>Most of all I envy your free time and disposable income!<
I've been very fortunate in being able to travel as much as I have. It has involved some sacrifices, but I've gladly made them, and I'm now in a position where I can see the major national and international championships each year, and I do.
But that's not the point of all this. As I suggested in my original comments, you can enjoy keeping PR's at any level. Just as you don't have to be Gebrselassie to experience the thrill of bettering your own PR for 10,000m, your spectator PR's don't have to be very good at all--you can still get excited about seeing one, no matter what it is. And you can certainly have a greater range of events as a spectator than most people can as an athlete.
But you can't play the game without keeping score. If you don't keep track of your own spectator PR's, you're missing a potentially exciting experience every time you go to a good meet.
Obviously tandfman and I go to a lot of the same meets, since our PR lists are so close. Overall, looks like I beat him by 1 mark! I beat him overall in 4 men's events, he beats me overall in 3 women's. (++ i beat him, --he beats me) (and as in his, * =existing WR).
Great thread! I've not been to any major outdoor champs as yet (come to think of it, the greatest calibre outdoor meet I've been to is the outdoor British champs!). I have, however, been to several high-quality indoor meets so I'll include those. I have years ahead of me yet, so hopefully I'll be able to add to this list soon (the outdoor Birmingham Grand Prix next year!).
Since the extent of my Big Meet viewing is state-bound, LA and Atlanta Olympics, I won't get another chance to add to the list until Stanford finally lands the World Championships. Hurry up, I ain't getting no younger.
Here are mine, all from the last three seasons. What was most interesting when compiling this list is that in some cases, the most memorable races/competitions don't necessarily top the lists. I'm sure that's true for others as well.
>Bob can you say what are the 5 best 4x400 you ever witnessed live or TV. <
That would require a lot of thinking and some research, because I've seen a lot of 4x4's. From your own listing, it's obvious that by "best" you don't mean fastest, and you're absolutely right about that. But coming up with a list (which I've never even thought about compiling) would take more time than I have right now.
For one thing, I've attended the last 35 NCAA outdoor championships, and I know that they've included some awesome 4x4's.
I can also tell you that my list would include at least one indoor race. It was a club relay back in the early '70's in Madison Square Garden (don't ask me which meet). There were at least three loaded teams and the lead changed hands more than once each leg. I still remember it as a breathtaking race--though frankly I remember none of the details--I'd have to look it up.
Internationally, one that comes immediately to mind is the Tokyo WC race where GBR beat the USA. Hated the result, loved the race.
While I have seen a few great race's such as 12:45, the most interesting races I have seen are the ones Michael Johnson lost. I only saw MJ run the 400 twice, when he lost in the semi-finals at the 88 oly trials and 9 years later in Paris when he was 5th. He, of course, had won every 400 race in between those two.
>While I have seen a few great race's such as 12:45, the most interesting races
>I have seen are the ones Michael Johnson lost. I only saw MJ run the 400
>twice, when he lost in the semi-finals at the 88 oly trials and 9 years later
>in Paris when he was 5th. He, of course, had won every 400 race in between
Just out of interest, does anyone have the full results of that race from Paris '97 where MJ finished 5th...?
Ahhh.... no wonder the British commentators keep talking about that race (Bislett '98). Two Brits (Richardson - lane 1 - 44.37, and Iwan Thomas, 44.50), beat four of the best Americans (Johnson, Pettigrew, Washington, Young).
As an addendum to this subject, I'll volunteer a slightly variant category: "Most amazing little-remembered race." My winner here is the 1994 Zurich 5000, which was planned as a WR attempt by Morceli (then, of course, at the height of his powers). Unfortunately, it was raining, windy, and cool when the race started and so the pace fairly quickly fell off the planned schedule. With a couple laps to go, a bunch of guys were running together at something over 13:10 pace, and the race was totally up for grabs. Coming down the homestretch for the next to last time, Morceli positioned himself perfectly at the front. As they crossed the finish line with one to go, he just EXPLODED and sprinted away from the pack. They, of course, also started sprinting, but continued to lose ground quickly. Morceli FLEW down the backstretch--looking like a 400 guy competing against marathoners. The 2nd and 3rd place guys that day did the last lap in 55.7 & 55.9 and were totally blown away. Morceli blasted a 52.2 to finish in 13:03.85 to win by nearly 4 seconds. There was no question in my mind that, if the weather and pacing had been better, Morceli could probably have run 12:52 that day--a time that (until the following year's meet) seemed positively otherworldly.
>As an addendum to this subject, I'll volunteer a slightly variant category:
>"Most amazing little-remembered race." My winner here is the 1994 Zurich
>5000, which was planned as a WR attempt by Morceli (then, of course, at the
>height of his powers). Unfortunately, it was raining, windy, and cool when the
>race started and so the pace fairly quickly fell off the planned schedule.
>With a couple laps to go, a bunch of guys were running together at something
>over 13:10 pace, and the race was totally up for grabs. Coming down the
>homestretch for the next to last time, Morceli positioned himself perfectly at
>the front. As they crossed the finish line with one to go, he just EXPLODED
>and sprinted away from the pack. They, of course, also started sprinting, but
>continued to lose ground quickly. Morceli FLEW down the backstretch--looking
>like a 400 guy competing against marathoners. The 2nd and 3rd place guys that
>day did the last lap in 55.7 & 55.9 and were totally blown away. Morceli
>blasted a 52.2 to finish in 13:03.85 to win by nearly 4 seconds. There was no
>question in my mind that, if the weather and pacing had been better, Morceli
>could probably have run 12:52 that day--a time that (until the following
>year's meet) seemed positively otherworldly.
Sounds like one of Bekele's 5,000m races (before Paris WCh) this year. I can't remember which one it was (although someone here is bound to), but he ran the last lap in a blistering 52.4!
I saw him run at Lausanne this summer and it was a similar scenario to my '94 story. Lausanne was rainy and ridiculously cold (I swear it felt like a March meet, not one in early July!). Bekele ran with the field until about 300 to go and then just blasted away. It was one of those giddy "Oh My God" moments...
Sounds like one of Bekele's 5,000m races (before Paris
>WCh) this year. I can't remember which one it was (although someone here is
>bound to), but he ran the last lap in a blistering 52.4!
Actually, both finishes exhibited by Chebii in early July, first in Paris to beat Geb, and then again the following weekend to beat Geb AND Bekele, were nothing short of jaw-dropping. It was too bad that he was hurt in August.
Tandfman has a very impressive pr list. I have some ties, but only Wyludda 73.04 at E cup 89 beats him, I think. I will dig mine out and post to the sneers of the public. My big problem in this list is missing 2 of the 3 best WCs. Couldn't afford Tokyo (the city) or Goteborg (the tickets, I had been out of work for a couple years). I probably won't do Olympics anymore, the WC are enough. So far nobody has thought them big enough to boycott or bomb. I really missed going to the trials in 92. I like NO (food), but I was up to my butt in a project. And then got laid off 8 mos later.
Oh, Tom Jennings and I once had a conversation about this, and he contended (in my memory) that you had to see the whole attempt/race for it to count. Hearing the oohs and looking up to see Petranoff's jav sail over the heads of the officials didn't count (I did see that whole throw). My question, under that criteria, has anyone ever seen an entire 10K? I mean every step of the winner? Even if you happen to be splitting the winner, you can steal a peek at the HJ (or some other field event) and be ready to take your split. I confess, I have probably never watched every step of any race over 1500.
I suspect I have seen every step of more than one 10k- especially like at Penn Relays when there is nothing else going on except running and distance fans. And Greg Meyers tuneup for Boston at the Colonial Relays- that was something!
I have also gotten all lap splits for 3 runners of varying abilities in a 10k. I did miss some steps because I was writing down times. It sure is alot easier with multiple memory (if not printing) watches!
Uh, in response to the above, I think the requirement that EVERY microsecond of an event be seen in order for it to "count," is just a tad extreme. There is the need to look at the program and write split times, after all!
>Uh, in response to the above, I think the requirement that EVERY microsecond of
>an event be seen in order for it to "count," is just a tad extreme. There is
>the need to look at the program and write split times, after all!
If that was the ruling, then no-one could claim to having watched a full marathon (unless, of course, they were competing in it or were one of the camera men!)
Basically out of this one. Best performances I would have seen live would have been Worlds indoors in 93 and(believe it or not) a bunch of pretty good efforts at a few meets in Tillsonburg. Couldn't give you the marks though. I "saw" Rod Dixon's 83 NY marathon race(kind of) and Grete's for that matter.
Don't know whether it was the fastest mile I have ever seen but watching Sully break 4 as a high schooler was the most exciting. There have been 7 North Americans do it and let's not get into the discussion about the extra year of high school up here right now. I suspect that no one has seen all 3 Canucks because they were done on both coasts and Ontario but I will find out. Has anyone seen all 4 yanks do it?
On a related note, while not a record run, I did see Pre's last race. I had just moved to Eugene four days before, and it was the only time I saw Pre in person. Fortunately, not everyone I see for the first time dies the next day.