44th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on 24 September 2017

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A surprising decision by the DLV (German Athletic Federation):

Rankings determined by net times.The federal board of the DLV organisation for competitions reached an interesting decision for competitors in street races.


The federal board for the organisation for competitions of the German Athletic Federation (DLV) has reached a decision that many street racers have been awaiting for quite a while: the statisticians who put together the lists of the year’s fastest times will be permitted to use the net times.

Net and gross times
Through the use of the transponder/chip timekeeping device that is common at all large street races, not only the time between the starting shot and the crossing of the finish (gross time) but also the exact time between crossing the starting and the finish lines (net time) can be determined. For those runners who start in the back blocks, this often means a difference of several minutes.

IAAF rules: the gross time is the official time
According to the international athletics rules, only the official time is valid for the rankings. Up until this decision, the DLV also heeded this rule on the national level, which caused a general lack of understanding from the competitors in street races.
The statisticians also had their difficulties with this complete assumption of the IAAF rules, as, on the one hand, they had to search the result lists for the gross times, and on the other hand they understood the objections of the athletes who had the undesired “extra“ time added to their achieved times.

The quarrels will find an end in 2005
With this decision by the federal board (Bundesausschuss (BA)), the quarrels between the runners and the statisticians will be ended starting in 2005. For both individuals and teams, the net times will be listed in the rankings.

Rankings for each individual race will continue to be determined by the order in which they cross the finish The gross times will continue, however, to be very important: the federal board clearly set that the rankings for each individual race are to be determined by the order in which the runners cross the finish, which means the gross times. A runner who crosses the finish ahead of another runner will place higher in the rankings, whether or not the other had a faster net time.

German runners in the international arena have always had the same net and gross times anyway!
There are no discrepancies with the further valid IAAF rules to be expected through this new decision to recognise the net times nationally. The German runners who are placed in the international rankings of fastest times (unfortunately very few of them) always start in the front rows of the races and thus always have the same net and gross times.

Eberhard Vollmer
German athletic federation
Public Relations

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