For Marcel Altenburg, a leading crowd scientist at Manchester Metropolitan University, who’s worked with all the biggest sporting events in the world, the start of a race is the most important time of the whole day.
“It’s the last time I can impact the race,” he said.
What he means is that once the runners are out on course there’s only so much you, as a race director, can do to change their behavior or how they travel through the route. They’re going to run their own race. It’s like setting free hundreds or thousands of individual marbles and the last time you can point them in the right direction or influence their path is as you let them. go That’s why Altenburg’s team named their research project Start Right.