OK someone needs to speak up for the (apparently) minority opinion. Put me firmly in the # 1 category. The sad truth is that most US track fans have decided that "competitive" races are far more exciting than fast ones (WRs, etc.) simply because they don't SEE them on US soil anymore. (It's called sour grapes: whatever we don't have, can't be worth wanting.) Simply winning is race is no big deal: after all, EVERY race has a winner. And if two mediocre runners happen to be equally mediocre, then you automatically have a close and "exciting" finish (NOT!). Running fast--performing better than any or nearly any other athlete in history--is RARE, and shows that the athlete has really been tested over the FULL distance, not some trivial fraction of it. Fewer track fans talked this way back in the '50s and '60s when it ALL was available on US soil: the best fields, world records, great competition, etc. We don't quite have that situation here anymore, sad to say. I'd be delighted if it came back, but I'm not holding my breath. While certain T&FN writers go all gooey over lazy jog-and-kick 13:38 5000s, the truth is that these races prove nothing except who can run 200 meters the fastest (and, after all, don't we have dedicated 200 meter events to determine this?). Give me a 12:39, 12:41, or 12:44 race ANY day (and I saw them all). If you want close, all-out competition--go to the meets at your local high school or college: you'll see plenty of exciting things there. If you want the highest QUALITY, you have to look elsewhere--and it often happens that the very best are simply head-and-shoulders better than the rest. In that case, watching El G, Geb, etc. win by a street can be a absolute thing of beauty--infinitely more inspiring than a boatload of slow-and-close races.