How do they work, is it a case of cumulative times deciding the outcome or do they take your best performance (i.e. in the event a good runner mispunches, gets injured or does some other dumb thing on one day)?
Nope, a DNF/MP means automatic relegation to the bottom final, but a bad run on one day can be redeemed by a better run the next, because of the times being added together before the top X number of qualifiers are identified; in W40 it's the top half, and based on entrants, not finishers, so from 41 entrants and 30 finishers after 2 days (there were about 6 no-shows) the A final has 21 competitors.
Far more lenient than the NOL sprint qualifiers then!
Agree about the start interval - it should be at least 2 minutes. But I know that makes for a long day. But isn't that why they have heats.
The MTBO long final has three minute intervals, which drags the start window out to three hours! That's on top of the juniors riding at another time of the day too.