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Why such a huge jump (20 miles!) from 10,000m to Marathon in official athletics competitions? It seems bizarre. Why no 10 mile or half marathon races. 10k is barely long distance.
History, timetabling, logistics, number of unique entrants, spectator interest... There are global championships over other distances, just not in major championships.
I would've thought it's also something to do with the fact that they're long distance events which (a) have very similar physiological demands and (b) take a long time to recover from. So for example, in the Olympics there wouldn't be much point in having a half marathon, because the world's best half marathoners will also likely be the either the world's best 10,000m runners or marathoners (or both). I know Zatopek managed the crazy feat of winning gold in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon in one Olympics but realistically in the modern era, I reckon doubling up in the 5 & 10 would be most people's limit.
Good points, which I hadn't considered. I still think it's a shame. There must be athletes who would prefer to compete at distances between 10k and Marathon.
An ultra distance event would be good didnt they have the 100k in the Commonwealth games?