Old forum > You Will Be Watching

The coming week is big one for those of you who apply the maxim on work[1] from "Three Men In A Boat" to sport. ("I can sit and look at it for hours.")

On Saturday, the Triathlon: World Championship Series, to which the BBC is devoting thee-and-a-half hours.

On Sunday, Paula Radcliffe will run the New York Half Marathon.

“Recently, my training has started to go very well. I’m definitely ready to run a half-marathon, and the NYC Half-Marathon will give me important feedback about where I am,” said Radcliffe. “After the race in New York, I will consult with my coaching and medical teams and we will make the final determination as to whether I am ready to run the marathon in Berlin. It is certainly my hope to compete there.”

Radcliffe has a team of expert advisors, and I'm only an amateur, but I still think this is crazy. She last competed 10 months ago and now she wants to run a half marathon as a test for the full distance only one week later. I know that Radcliffe seems to have preferred training on her own to racing (you could say that all her best races have been time trials anyway), so the lack of races may not be the problem it would be for others. On the other hand, since she's so well monitored, you'd think her "coaching and medical teams" would know if she was marathon fit without having to run a half. The timing makes the NYC half a very poor choice in my opinion. The prize money is only $10,000. If she brings her entourage to New York and Berlin that barely covers flights and accommodation. But everyone will disagree with me on Radcliffe as they always do.

Of course, there's also the Athletics World Championships. Mark Butler has some predictions on the BBC site. I think a Kenyan woman will win gold in a distance event (he has none) and two or three Kenyan men will win their events (he has one). I think Jamaica can beat the US in the 4 x 100m, but apart from those, I can't disagree with him. I'd like to see a British woman get a medal in the 1500m, but not enough to bet folding money. Likewise, I'm don't know about Mo Farah's chances in the 5k. His 3k time says he's a contender; his 5k times so far make the final doubtful. (I really want to be wrong here.) Ross Tucker thinks that the 800m races are the most open, and he's probably right. Usain Bolt may even lower the 100m world record again, though surely the 200 is out of reach.

[1] I'm really struck by how much the Victorians hated work. The greatest human pleasure imaginable to the late 19th century mind appears to have been the contemplation of idleness. What else can you expect when children were force fed the platitudes of drudgery such as "How doth the little busy bee/Improve each shining hour..." and "Drink is the curse of the working classes"? I only know both because they survived in popular culture fossilised by parody. As any fule kno, Marx thought the proletariat of the future would work only in the mornings and read Aeschylus in the afternoons. (In the evenings, of course, they would play a palour game where guests had to devise witty captions for Daguerreotypes of cats. Points would be awarded for authentic spellingz.)

August 14, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Weeden

Dave, I'm delighted to see that although the wind of change has blown across the LC website, you remain at liberty to place your calling card Radcliffe diatribe [.......'defend.....your right to say it' etc.] !

Last time a group of us went to Berlin for the Marathon [2006] we bumped into Liz Yelling, so tradition dictates that Paula will make it and can tell us herself how she got on. However Liz dropped out that day, that year, so I hope Paula does better. It strikes me that Brits are doing fab at sport lately - and that's from a man with no telly!

August 27, 2009 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Cleves

le croup's 2006= les yelling dnf
le croup's 2009= paula dns
le croup's 2010,stay home

October 17, 2009 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered Commenteralan