Starting in multiple waves is an interesting concept. Hopefully they would use the actually qualifying times and not the predicted finish times people entered. :)
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The stated reason for changing the qual window to two years is "fast fill times of the 2013 races." This does not apply to the PPA because it has always taken at least four days to fill. For the PPM it has taken at least an hour to fill in the last three years. Is that a problem that needs fixing by reducing the number of eligible entrants? I am not sure; if it ain't broke….. A problem exists when you have so many entrants, that a random drawing must be held to see who gets to enter.
Now that we have chip timing, why not start in multiple waves. 1,800 runners in the PPA could be done with 120 runners starting at two minute intervals. That should greatly reduce crowding in the Ws and reduce congestion at the aid stations. Bib numbers would be assigned by actual qual times so the waves could be easily managed. The mindset of a gun start is no longer useful. The same could apply to the PPM. Start/finish times would have to be adjusted by 30 minutes (6:30am or 5:30pm). The number of entrants in the PPM could be increased from 800 to 1,000 with less crowding in the Ws, aid stations and most importantly at the turn around. More entrants would reduce the fill times. For the PPM, 100 runners at three minute intervals would allow 1000 runners. For both races (PPA/PPM) the separation of runners into waves (1 or 2) would no longer be necessary.
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Just saw this on the Entry Info page:
2014 Proposed Qualification Change:
Due to the fast fill times of the 2013 races we are considering changing from a 3-year qualification window to a 2-year qualification window. This is an advance notice so that impacted runners have more time to run a valid qualifier for the 2014 races.