I think you are just backpeddling with your comments. It's now OK to do 11 minute miles if you are 50 but not 29, and on and on...Don't do us "old people" any favors.
I'll be 50 in 2 and half years and I am a better runner now than I was at 29. I ran for a few years but never took it seriously. Then I stopped for 18 years, had 4 kids and started a business. I am just now getting back into it. Why am I better now? Well, maybe it has to do with the marathon I trained for and ran (by my definition anyway) for a good cause, and the fact that I received expert coaching. I am continuing to train because I found out that I really like it. Entering races gives me the motivation to run and try to improve my time.
What's the point of this post? Well, how do you think any of us slow people ever get better if we don't set goals and work at it? How do any of us get our first marathon time if we can't ever do one? I've talked to a number of runners who have told me that not only do women peak at an older age than men do, but that even at my advanced age, I can continue to improve. Of course, I wouldn't be able to if those of you who feel we shouldn't be in the races had your way. My first marathon was San Francisco and had a lot of hills. I didn't do as well as I thought I could. It took me 4:51. (Yes, 11:07/mi) But I finished in the upper half of my age group and I was happy to feel like I was at least an average runner for my age. I just did a half in 2:07 (9:43) and my goal next year is to break 2 hours. I don't care that that is horribly slow by your standards. I won't be taking anything away from anyone else as I work to compete against only my previous times.
Running is one of the few sports where we regular people can compete in the same race as the elites. When I ran the Big Sur Half last week, it was really great to see the front runners coming back to the finish on the other side of the road, at about mile 10, when we were getting to mile 5. We got to cheer them on which was something I didn't get to do in SF. It was part of what made the day special to me.
So, anyway, Good Luck in your first marathon if you ever decide to do one.
Unbelievable arrogance. Saying that those who run less than X min. per mile aren't "running" is absurd. I have run 2 1/2 marathons, 1 marathon, and numerous 5Ks and 10Ks. I started out running about 13 mpm, and am now down to just under 11. I'm still a runner. I played football my whole life, and was built for that. I am not built like a runner, and never will be. I will never qualify for Boston, and I'm ok with that.
Playing college FB was great, but I was built for that. Training for - and completing - my first marathon - at 5:10 was a gigantic accomplishment and one I will cherish forever no matter how many more I run.
Saying that those who run marathons for reasons other than those you deem appropriate is truly remarkable. And those that don't run a certain pace shouldn't be out there??!! You need an ego check, pal.
This is the same superiority complex I heard from some golfers when I first took up that game in college: "If you can't shoot below 80 - you shouldn't be on the course."
Step back, oh judgmental one. Running is a beautiful thing. It is not just for those who you think belong.
Sorry to pile on, but if you've never run a marathon, then your commentary about the times people should run, the relative significance of the post-modern marathon, etc., don't really mean much.
Par for the course on the Internet though. The Information Age has turned a bunch of people with zero experience in every conceivable field into pseudonymous experts on the subjects about which they nevertheless yammer incessantly (and generally, ignorantly and incorrectly).
Perhaps that old chestnut ought to be amended: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, post about it on the Internet."
Happy running, everyone.
I'm not backpeddling -- I've specified since my very first post that when I made my comments about pacing, I was talking about young people, in particular young people who do not train adequately and participate in one marathon simply for the bragging rights. So to you (and everyone else out there who does train properly) -- kudos to you for making marathons a part of a fit and active lifestyle.
As for the age difference when it comes to pacing, I'm simply going with the statistics -- in Boston, for example, the older you are, the more time you have to qualify. Or, to use your own example, you say that a 4:51 finish put you in the upper half of your age group. Were you 10 or 20 years younger, you would have been in the lower half by far. Age does make a difference and it's not just me saying it -- the statistics bear this out.
You do, however, bring up a very interesting point when you say you're a better runner now than when you were in your 20s. Marathoners do tend to be older -- the average female marathoner is 34, the average male is 41 -- and in some cases, runners find they do actually speed up as they age. Common sense would seem to dictate that a younger runner is faster (and to an extent this is true -- a 50 year-old isn't going to be sprinting at his or her 16-year-old track-star-days pace) but some distance runners do find themselves shaving a minute or two off their miles with the decades. Some experts speculate that older runners are more focused and dedicated (not to mention they are probably drinking and partying less).
Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.
So, if you've never run a marathon, you have no voice on the subject? What if I was one of the people who didn't get to run my first marathon because Katie Holmes took that spot? I respect your opinion, albeit elitist arrogance, and will not try to suppress your point of view but come on. This is like saying you have no voice on our going to war if you haven't killed someone before.
Did I say "you have no voice?" Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but if you've never done it yourself, then claiming "people who run 11m miles for 26.2 have no business in a marathon" is an opinion born of abject inexperience, and is going to be pegged as such by people who've actually done it. If you've never turned in your own marathon, then you don't get to be the arbiter of who is worthy, and particularly what constitutes a cut-off time for participation. Even if the OP had run a 2:10, I'd object to the opinion itself, but here it's doubly egregious since he/she has no experience as a marathon runner.
I'm not being elitist, if anything quite the opposite--if you can finish 26.2, running, walking, or crawling, then my hat's off to you... at any pace.
Sorry if Katie kept you out, but there are plenty of marathons in America, and you don't need to run with anyone but yourself to go 26.2. Finally, the analogy about war is silly, since running
unlike killing other people over political/ethnic/economic differencesisn't a moral issue.
Rebecca Jo -- you're the one responder who appears to be in the demographic I criticized (or you were at the time of the marathon you mentioned), and I would like to apologize to you for what must have seemed like a cavalier dismissal of your effort. You obviously trained hard for your marathon and I applaud your dedication and perseverance. (My main problem with marathoning is undertraining and all the attendant problems undertraining brings when one is attempting 26.2 miles.)
You also brought up an issue which I did not consider in my post: raising funds for charities. Running for a charity not only helps others, but organizations like Team in Training (and others) have pretty robust training programs that help participants properly prepare for races. In many cases, these groups safely introduce complete novices to a sport. On the topic of charities, one poster raised an excellent question: why didn't Katie, like Lance, run with one of the two dozen charities registered with New York Road Runners? That would have legitimized her entry in everyone's eyes (not to mention she and Tom could have gone to town and shelled out a few extra bucks for all the bodyguards too).
Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.
Firt of all, I'm a vet. If you're not then your comments don't really mean anything to me. Sound familiar?
I happened to stumble across this thred whilst hiding under he duvet suffering with a cold, and decided to add my bit because some of the comments seem a little unfounded and made me angry. I completed the NYC marathon this year - yes it was my first marathon and yes I came in over 5 hrs, and yes it was my first visit to NY.... a long way from rainy London!
Firstly ok I got my place through a UK sports company, but I was also running for a cancer charity along with my friend. My friend had a very personal reason for wanting to run the marathon as her mum (or should that be mom??) has had cancer and she wanted to do something special for her mum to mark her fight with the dreaded cancer. Between us we have raised a lot of money for a good cause.
Yes we did train hard and completed half marathons as part of out training (and I lost my toe nails at mile 20 and struggled in the last 6 miles) but just because we didn't run at x mins per mile - did we not deserve our places?? We both have full time jobs and lives outside running to lead.
At the end of the day whatever marathon you run, NY, London or wherever - a lot of money is raised for good causes and lets not forget that! Katie Holmes - who's Katie Holmes??? Over here she is just some over paid celeb in trashy gossip magazines.... and I totally agree she could have used her status to raise some funds for a good cause. Over here lots of x listed celebs get places in the London Marathon - but they all do it for good causes!
Everyone in my book - be it first or last place is a winner - just for trying to do it and getting off their butt.
Sorry no 'stiff British upper lip here' - oh and yes we are both carrying on with our running and will do the marathon again to try and improve our times.. and raise more desperatly needed money for good causes!
Sorry for having my little moan - but one of the most special thing about the marathon day was walking back to our hotel with our lovely silver sheets and medals was that ordinary folk on the street were coming up and saying 'Well done' - New York is a great place and I can't wait to come back, everyone was so friendly and supportive......lets keep it that way in the running world too!! There will always be those faster than others - but we all have to start somewhere!
PS.... this wasn't a direct reply to runner67.... just my general observation from reading all the other posts.
I was curious about how Katie Holmes time was compared to some other celebrities who have run marathon's and here is what I found if anyone is interested...
Meredith Baxter, actress, NYC Marathon 4:08:30
William Baldwin, actor, NYC Marathon 3:24:29
Peter Weller, actor, NYC Marathon 3:51:26
P.Diddy, singer, NYC Marathon 4:14:54
David Lee Roth, singer, NYC Marathon 6:04:43
Lance Armstrong, athlete, NYC Marathon 2:59:36
Lynn Swan, athlete, NYC Marathon 4:26:41
Will Ferrell, actor, Boston Marathon 3:56:12
Mario Lopez, actor, Boston Marathon 5:41:41
Lisa Ling, actress, Boston Marathon 4:34:18
Freddie Prinze Jr., actor, LA Marathon 5:50:49
Oprah Winfrey, tv, Marine Corps Marathon 4:29:20
John Edwards, politician, Marine Corps Marathon 3:30:18
Al Gore, politician, Marine Corps Marathon 4:58:25
Kerry Strug, athlete, Houston Marathon 4:12:06
George W. Bush, politician, Houston Marathon 3:44:52
Veteran? Yeah, me too. Doesn't sound familiar though. It's in English, if that counts.
This topic seems to be have become polarized around the attitudes represented by these two shoe companies:
Pearl Izumi: http://www.wearenotjoggers.com/home
The strikingly divergent campaigns have generated discussion on other running forums as well.
As to the original question, of course it's not fair that Katie Holmes gets special treatment, but it's also a no-brainer for the marathon to get additional press.
Mike Malinin, Goo Goo Dolls Drummer, Age 40, JFK 50 Miles on 11/17/07, 11:50:59
Didn't even know he was running until I heard the announcer giving his brief bio as he finished in front of me.
It was his 2nd JFK finish. He finished it in 2004 at age 37 with 8:48:26, 10:32 pace. The first 16 miles are all hills on the Appalachian Trail.
After reading all the posts I have to say that you're basically a d**k. I smoked for 18 years and after I quit I started running. At 49 I ran my 1st marathon. Since then I have run 3 marathons, 4 half marathons and a score of 5ks and other races. I have run everything from 11 minute miles to 7:50 miles and have never taken the fact that I'm 5'4" into account. The last Marathon I ran I got sick (fever - my kids had been sick the whole week before I ran)at the 12 mile mark and still finished the race in about 6 hours. In my races I have seen everything from fast to slow, from young to old; I have been passed (and passed) a guy in a clown suit, someone dressed as a rhino, people wearing funny hats and everything else under the sun. But you know what? All of the people I've seen running marathons have one in common, they did it--which is more than I can say for you. So until you've run/jogged/walked/crawled 26.2 miles in our shoes, you simply need to STFU!!!!! Anything else will make you look like a bigger idiot than you're already coming off as.