NYRR hosted a good debate about whether the Boston Marathon course should be legal for world-record purposes. As it stands the course is not legal because it’s point-to-point and its net elevation loss exceeds the IAAF’s limits. We asked some of our coaches to weigh in and it looks like they all agree with the current rule. Jack thinks without last year’s extreme tailwind, times would have been up to 5 minutes slower.
Jack Daniels: Some years ago I calculated the benefit of the overall downhills of Boston and it was published in Runners World. I went as far as to calculate the time loss during various uphill segments and the gain of various downhill segments. I have a copy of that publication somewhere and will try to find it. Obviously when you see a picture of someone with long hair running Boston and their hair is being blown out in front of their face, they have a pretty good tailwind. I actually have data on the benefits of tailwinds of different velocities and headwinds of various velocities and no question headwinds hurt more than tailwinds help. Something I have always felt might be a good question to ask is what time do you think they would have run last year on Boston if the course had been run in the reverse direction — any guesses here? I would certainly think more than 5 minutes slower.