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ARRS - Association of Road Racing Statisticians

Rejected performances

There are many reasons why a particular performance may not be in the records/rankings lists. Sometimes, the mark is simply not known. However, in most cases, the mark has been rejected for one of several reasons.

For road races, the course may have been short, excessively downhill, or excessively wind-aided. In these cases, all marks from such a race are rejected. Many of these rejected races are detailed on their respective race history pages. The race history page will report the shortage if known and usually details excessive downhill courses (more than 5 m/km net drop). Excessively wind-aided conditions may occur in some years and not in other years, depending on the direction of the wind in relation to the course configuration. In such cases, a race time bias calculation that yields a value faster than -5.0 s/km is considered excessively aided. These occurrences are noted on the race history page.

The Lisbon (POR) Half Marathon is a good example. The 1993 course was remeasured and found to be 97 meters short. By inference, the 1991 and 1992 courses are also assumed to have been short. For 1994 and later, the course appears to have been accurately measured and receives routine scrutiny from several sources due to the very fast times recorded on this course. It is also noted that this course drops 3.27 m/km from start to finish (although the distance between the start and finish is less than 30%). This is less than the 5 m/km drop that would cause all marks from this course to be rejected but it is more than the 1 m/km which is the maximum allowable drop for a record quality course. Hence, the Lisbon Half Marathon is classified as a point-to-point course which means that it has the potential for being excessively aided. The race time biases for each year are listed. The years 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2004 have been found through this analysis to have been excessively aided (indicated by a italicized times in the winners list) and have therefore been excluded from the records/rankings lists.

Occasionally, an individual runner (or group of runners within a race) are disqualified. The disqualification may be initiated by the race organization, the relevant national governing body, the IAAF, or by the ARRS. Basically, there are two reasons for disqualification. A runner may be disqualified for using a proscribed substance (steroids, stimulants, etc) or a runner may be disqualified for an infraction of the rules of competition. This latter disqualification includes deliberate physical interference with another runner and the use of "pace" vehicles in a road race to provide drafting. Click here to view the ARRS criteria for record-keeping.

Some performances are excluded because the runner in question is a known cheater (usually multiple instances). In most cases, all performances by known cheats are rejected. Cheating may consist of course cutting or allowing another runner to run with the cheaters race number or timing chip. Click here for the list of known cheaters.

The following is an attempt to list significant individual marks that have been rejected. Only marks otherwise meeting the ARRS qualifying standards are included. There are many other disqualifieds in the ARRS database but reasons are not known and these marks have not been listed here. Disqualified performances that would have been credited with a win have been noted on the relevant web pages for those races (when such web pages have been posted).

Thanks to Marty Post (2), Alex Wilson (2), and Juraj Gasparovic (2) for their contribution.