Is the Boston Marathon qualifying system fair?

Minute 1: The NYC Marathon is back

One of the most dramatic comebacks in NYC Marathon history was Rod Dixon’s win over Geoff Smith in 1983. At the 20-mile mark, the pack led Dixon by 2 ½ minutes and he still trailed Smith as they approached 26 miles in Central Park. At that point, Dixon surged past Smith, completing his remarkable comeback. (Commentary from Dixon and race highlights are available in this video.) The race itself has staged a few dramatic comebacks, most notably in November 2001, less than 2 months after the September 11 attacks, and now in 2021 after a long hiatus due to the pandemic. City, state and NYRR officials announced yesterday that a real, in-person marathon will take place on November 7. This year, they expect 33,000 finishers, which is about 60% of the usual field size. Registration priority will be given to runners who were affected by 2020’s cancellation. Charity bibs are expected to be available if you are willing to raise money as part of your marathon experience. Just like other major marathon events this year, runners should expect certain Covid restrictions to be in place, most notably staggered start waves that will provide a lot more elbow room on the course and should speed up finish times. Runners will have to provide a negative test or proof of vaccination prior to running the marathon. The organizers provided the details on their website yesterday, including info on charity bibs: “2021 TCS New York City Marathon: Frequently Asked Questions.” #CityThatNeverQuits

Minute 2: Surfaces matter for marathon training

Nerd runner alert: During every visit to New York, we run along the marathon route in Central Park and when we get to the finish line painted on the road, we sneak a glance around us to make sure no one is watching and then raise our arms in the air, celebrating a fantasy victory that will never really be ours. (If you say we said this, we’ll say you lied.) Along with our trots on the paved roads of Central Park, we also make sure to get in a 1.58 mile lap on the Shuman Reservoir Running Track which has a well-maintained crushed gravel surface. As it turns out, the time spent on the softer surface is much better for safe marathon training than living out Walter Mitty fantasies on the pavement, according to a new story: “Do Running Surfaces Matter in Marathon Training?” Hard or paved surfaces can be taxing on your legs, potentially leading to stress fractures or shin splints. If you can tolerate the repetitive scenery, running on a track is a great home for your trai