Title

Racers, Pacers, Gender and Records: On the Meaning of Sport Competition and Competitors

Abstract

This paper examines footraces that are paced and unpaced, and runners who are pre-arranged, designated pacers and those who are not. Although pacesetting is commonplace in footraces today, the practice challenges our conception of sport competition, the nature of competitors and the meaning of records. For example, Bale calls paced races as "˜staged experiments' to set world records and argues that pacers were crucial in the running career of Roger Bannister. In 2011, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) banned women's world records in mixed gender running events, like major marathons, because women were paced by male runners. By examining these cases and others, the authors here will claim paced footraces are qualitatively different than unpaced competitions, pacers introduce peculiar motives and intentions as competitors, women should not be denied opportunities to excel and perform at their very best, and the 2011 IAAF policy is unjustified.

Department(s)

Philosophy

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2014.933868

Publication Date

2014

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