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Our era vs. the 80's

 

I will quickly go over the french article since it's about the running population of the province of Québec here in Canada. The whole idea is about a bunch of french canadian running magazines from the 80's landed to me for reading purpose by my friend Jimmy who owns "Le Coureur Nordique", a running shoe store. The magazines contain many local and provincial race results and the thing is: those race results are pretty impressive!

 

So my question is: In an era where every sport, including running, sees a constant evolution in terms of pratice, results and records, why would the elite results of Quebec elite runners from our current time be about the same and even lower than what we can analyze in these magazines? There has to be many factors, here are my assumptions: - It could be that running was less recreative and more competitive at that time. - It could be that shoes weren't altering performances. - It could be the general health condition - It could be that the sport is sort of re-birthing after a few years lack of popularity and so the level of competition has to start all over.

 

What about YOUR area? Can you tell it could be a similar situation in your part of the planet?