| Dear Andy,
As far as I can judge, most of your objections to the earlier drafts of the IAU constitution are solved in the constitution dated April 30th 2000.
It is hard to tell if your resignation has helped us to view the weak spots of earlier constitutional drafts, or that your resignation throw you back from a position in which you where able to discuss about the subject in the front, being the executive council.
At least your resignation waked me up to get involved in the discussion. I learned that there are different objectives, which are worth to take into view for the future of the IAU. I have seen that resigning an organisation is not my way to tackle problems, although I do believe some members of the IAU general council got more involved to the discussion of the constitution due to your resignation.
At present, I still would like some people of the general council being more involved with the IAU, or at least know better what their objectives are for being a member of IAU.
I can understand the choice made to come closer to the IAAF. In an ideal world IAU should not be necessary and the working forces of IAU could be members of IAAF. We do all know that we are not living in such a world. The present constitution opens doors to the IAAF. As such we may expect from IAAF that the 100 km road race will soon (within a few years) become an official IAAF world championship. This could imply that some people from IAU would operate in future within IAAF. On the other hand IAU will still be a worldwide organisation to support ultramarathon running over distances longer that the 100 km, as well as it will support the bridge between marathon and 100 km.
For me the following objectives are important the future:
1) to develop the 100 km as an event with the same performance density as the marathon has now (i.e. a world top 100 annual list must have a sub seven hour time or even somewhere near 6:40 for the 100th position)
2) to get all continents involved in ultramarathon running
3) to get all levels and age groups involved in ultramarathon running
4) to decide for a standard event beyond 100 km for future
As of these points, the present constitution has the following strong points included:
1) the 100 km on the road becomes the standard event of IAAF; i.e. we finally leave the point of view that marathon running is the longest distance in athletics
2) by copying the continental structure of IAAF into the IAU organisation we do not only confirm to the IAAF structure, we do also give a clear structure to all concerned by adopting the IAAF well known structure
3) with the new constitution it becomes easier to get involved with WAVA for age group championships, as WAVA also adopted the continental structure of IAAF
4) after having accepted the 100 km as a standard event within IAAF, we are faced with the question which will be the next event. At this point most of us will think about the 24 hour race being the next standard event (European Championships are already held for several years). I do not believe in a future for this event, as it is unattractive for participants, spectators and media. A standard Spartathlon would be more likely, being 250 kms, 150 miles or a sixfold marathon. Such a standard Spartathlon would also be the event for future for the Olympic program.
I do understand that we all have our own objectives within IAU, from which we judge the things going on. I would like to know the personal objectives of other people as well, because it makes it clear what is behind. By introducing committees into the IAU structure people will take positions from which it hopefully becomes easier to communicate with each other and with our environment.
At least I hope I give some clarity about my objectives from which you might understand my way of acting within the IAU.
Anton H.M. Smeets