By Mike Rowbottom

Geoffrey_Mutai_passing_under_clock_Boston_April_18_2011May 1 - Organisers of the Boston Marathon are seeking scientific and medical advice which might alter the current ruling which renders their race ineligible for world records.

Following Geoffrey Mutai's victory in Boston in 2 hour 3min 02sec, the fastest time ever recorded, members of the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) appealed for the performance to be recognised for record purposes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

There was no realistic prospect of success, given the IAAF rules which were set in place in 1994 regarding eligible venues for road running records.

Under that regulation, there is too great a distance between the start and finish at Boston and the hilly course has more than three times the permitted overall drop.

But now BAA officials want to gather potential evidence which might prompt a reclassification of the course on the basis that other factors might balance out the supposed advantages of the drop and the point-to-point nature of the race.

In the meantime the primary race sponsors, John Hancock Financial Services, is still paying Mutai the $50,000 (£30,000) bonus for a world best time following his performance on April 18, and will continue to offer the bonus in future races.

"The IAAF official with whom the matter was reviewed is reported to have expressed the Federation's high regard for Mr. Mutai's performance," said BAA Executive eirector Tom Grilk.

"He also noted more broadly the spectacular nature of what occurred in the 2011 Boston Marathon, both from the men and in the women's Open Division, where the repeated surges and lead changes between Caroline Kilel and Desiree Davila produced one of the most exciting and competitive finishes in marathon history.

"The IAAF has acted very promptly in working with us to achieve full clarity here.

"We understand and appreciate the role of the IAAF in maintaining standards that were established to protect the integrity of the sport.

"We all know that we witnessed one of the great days in running history at the 2011 Boston Marathon, with all-time fastest performances in several categories and emotional triumphs by Japanese wheelchair athletes that surely provided an emotional lift to their countrymen and women who continue to work to recover from the disaster that struck Japan in March.

"We will celebrate all of that for a long time to come."

The IAAF ruling established on January 1, 2004 - Section X, Rule 260.28 of the IAAF Competition Rules - maintains: "The start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50 per cent of the race distance."

It adds: "The decrease in elevation between the start and finish shall not exceed an average of one in a thousand, i.e. 1m per km."

Jim Gallagher, executive vice-president of John Hancock, commented: "When you run Boston and you run faster than any man or woman has ever run a marathon, you truly are in a league of your own. John Hancock recognizes this and will proudly continue to reward greatness."

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