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Urbster, I ran a 5K on Labor Day that had about 3000 runners. I lined up in the middle of the pack based on my previous year's time of 24 minutes and change.
I spent the first 2 miles running around walls of slower runners, none of whom had any business starting closer to the front than me, many of whom were walking within the first mile. This on a day when it was in the high 50s at race time with no humidity. The race took place in the middle of a downtown so the roads were not overly wide to begin with and there were cars parked on the street. The race was more obstacle course than 5K.
I knew my time was slow because I wasn't even breathing hard going into the last turn, which brings you out onto a very wide street for the last mile down to the finish. The crowd had finally thinned out enough that I didn't have to weave around walkers and crawlers. I should have hit that point at about 17 minutes, so you can imagine my reaction when the clock said 20. I laughed so I wouldn't cry then did my best to have a last good mile. I finished at around 28 barely sweating. I checked my results once and have vowed not to look at them again.
I still had a great time. And at the end of the day, isn't that what this is all about?
This might sound petty but one thing that drives me nuts lately especially are people who call all races marathons. Now no offense to any 5K but it is certainly no marathon. It's a perfectly good distance and one which I'm not very good at (I'm better at longer distances) but there an obvious difference between 3.1 and 26.2.. I've had a family member who is a casual runner, albeit for years, tell me that she might decide to just come to my HM and run it that day if she feels like it.....I almost slugged her. I mean if you run like 3 or 4 miles a couple times a week, I'd like to see you try to run a HM. You might run it but you'd probably be a hurting pup for a while after. Some people just don't get it....or have I truly become a running snob....maybe a little both?
TRUST THE TRAINING!
lol, hey hey, im a casual runner...i mean i work at a race company and have been running for 10 years now. when i have time i get my long run sundays in there, but i still cross train daily and run as much as I can doing fartleks/intervals/times...but i am NOT competitive by any means. I enjoy races, not so much anymore since literally "running" them (as in behind the scenes) is kind of a pain...I run at a leisurely pace when I do a race, but then again I am a last minute sign up on race day-even if it is for a half marathon! ...so running snob, maybe?! haha just kidding...but seriously theres a lot of people out there like you-which isn't necessarily a good or bad thing.
I don't think you are a running snob at all-
I think that the general public is fully aware of what a marathon is and isnt and maybe impropper uses of the term are unintentional, but maybe some are attempts to "sound cool" or bolster their machismo. Similarly, There was this guy at work who did not use the propper Letters after his name to represent his credentials, he interestingly left off one of the three letters that shouuld have been there. The absence of that letter, represented another, more difficult to obtain Liscense (wich you may be able to guess I actually worked my butt off to obtain). This drove me nuts, not sure how germaine that example is to the topic....You have worked Hard to get where you are and have earned every small little crumb of it, so to hear people be sloppy with the terminology, or to casually suggest they "could do what you do" on a whim- is aggrevating to say the least.
It's the people who trivialize the distance that get me annoyed, actually ****** off would be more accurate. To think that "yeah I run 3 miles a few times a week so I'm conditioned to run 13.1 miles no problem" is ignorant at best. Believe me I am not a "competative" runner meaning I will NEVER win a thing and the only time I'll place top 10 in my age category is if there are less than 10 people in my age group running BUT it doesn't mean that I don't put the same amount of effort in my training. To belittle the training I'm doing (45 plus mile weeks) versus less than 10 mile weeks and think a person can just jump in there effortlessly and run a HM (or more insanely a Full) is just plain ignorance. Would a person say, oh yeah, I've seen brain surgery on TV a few times, let me remove that brain tumor for you? Sorry, for the rant, but it just makes me crazy (could be that it was my sister that said it....sibling rivalry kicking in?) I've also been in the company of a few people who will be talking about their marathon training.....for their 5K race coming up. UGH
TRUST THE TRAINING!
I agree, don't call a race a marathon unless its 26.2 miles. I think the biggest issue is that yes, anyone can do a half marathon or marathon. I volunteered at a 30k race recently and there was about 700 people running it. Everyone wanted the shirt that said they did a 30k and the pride of it. I'm glad every single person did it but I also have to admit, 100 of those people shouldn't have done it. The race started at 8am, I was stationed near the end of the race. I was there till almost 2pm. I'm sorry, its great you did a 30k, but if it takes you almost 6 hours to complete, you shouldn't be doing it. Do a 5k or 10k or even a 10 mile, but 18 miles and some change.....? The last two people to finish never ran, even at the last 100 meters and were complaining the whole time that the race shouldn't have had so many hills and more refreshments. I guarantee they brag that they did a 30k race though. But to each his own I guess. It doesn't change my life in the least. All I have to say is:
Anyone can complete a marathon, but only a runner will say the marathon completed them.
I will outrun the storm and run faster than horses.
Snowman, although I personally agree with you, what you said is not "politically correct" in the running world! A while back I posted on RW about a 5K race I was in. Long after I had finished the race, changed clothes, and was heading back to my car, I saw a woman at the two mile mark in the race. The clock at that point was about 45 minutes so she was looking to finish a 5K in an hour or more (let's just say that would translate into an 8+ hour marathon). Its not so much that I had an issue with the fact that she was slow (before anyone ultra slow runners here jump down my throat). My issue was that she was sauntering down the road which was being kept open for the race while the police car trailed along behind her. This is a busy road in a busy area of town on a Saturday morning. Traffic was being rerouted for the race. There is an expectation that a 5K will take a certain amount of time before the road can open again - AND I will mention that there was a sidewalk bordering the entire race route. This woman - if she chose to meander along - could have moved to the sidewalk when she saw that she was holding up traffic waiting on her and only her to finish the "race". I will also point out that she was not elderly or disabled. She was not giving it all she had and struggling to maintain that 3 mph pace. If any of that had been the case I might have felt a little more kindly about the situation and actually cheered her along. Instead she was just strolling along with no sense of urgency and no concern that she was inconveniencing a lot of other people.
Anyway, when I posted that story on RW, you wouldn't believe how I was lambasted for my opinion. But I stand by my opinion that it is a road RACE. I'm not saying slow runners or walkers shouldn't participate, but I am saying if you aren't going to train and get out there and try to do your best, then don't need to be there...that's all.
Mary, did the race in question have a disqualification time? Honestly, I have mixed feelings on the post. On the one hand, I think it's great that the "runner" was doing something other than sitting on the couch watching TV. On the other, if the runner was not obviously disabled, elderly or otherwise encumbered more training was in order before a race. I don't know about you - and I admittedly have limited experience having only started running in 08 - but in all the races I've done I've never seen a disqualification time enforced. Maybe it should be.
I think this might be qualified for Thread HiJack but I just had to jump in here....I am training for a HM and quite frankly training my *** off. I'm running mileage that I'm told would be more than enough to train me for a full marathon (which I admit I never thought of seriously doing until I started logging in 45 mile weeks). But with that said, I am a slow runner. Most marathons have a 6 hour limit. If I were to run one now, I'd never make it and I SHOULD NOT RUN IT UNLESS I CAN. So I agree with Mary. Train to at least make a reasonable showing. When I run a marathon, I will finish in the qualifying time....period. I will train for it to make the time or I will find a marathon without a qualifying time limit.
TRUST THE TRAINING!
Snowman, I love that quote!
"Anyone can complete a marathon, but only a runner will say the marathon completed them."
I really "get" why all of the Pet Peeve's get to everyone but I'm not about to let any of that ruin my race. I love being out there...period. When those things crop up in my head and the nutty things people do begin to bother me, I have to remind myself that there is no perfect race so I get to decide how I'm going to react to each crazy thing that happens. On my good days, I can say "seriously!!" in my head and then shake it off. I'm out there doing what I love to do...sounds like all of you are, too.
Believe me, I see both sides of it and thought I'd take alot of **** for saying what I did. I am extremely for EVERYONE getting out and doing a race, even if they walk most of it. My concern was, if you are going walk 99% of it and complain the whole time, why sign up for a 30k? Sign up to a 30k where they have a walking section if you really want to do the race. Sign up for the run but start with the walkers, they will allow that and you can run/walk the whole time. But in a long distance race that has no walk section and you plan to walk the whole thing, that's inconsiderate to me.
Like I said, it doesn't change any of our lives and we're all just venting and voicing our opinions. Life goes on. But I have the most respect when I'm driving and I see this gentleman in our neighborhood who is probably 65-70 and 150 lbs overweight out there running. I could probably walk with him at his speed but he has more drive and determination than I'll ever have and I sincerely look up to him for how hard he is working! Would he have finished with the last two grumbling ladies in the 30k? Probably, maybe even behind them, but I bet you that you wouldn't hear him complaining, you'd hear him cheering that he completed the race and I would gladly wait hours for a runner like that to cheer them across the finish line!
I will outrun the storm and run faster than horses.
January 1st this year I ran a 5K in my hometown. I had a pulled calf muscle. It had snowed several inches the night before. The temperature was in the single digits with a stiff wind to boot - horrible conditions. I'm out there wondering why I'm not still in bed and then remembered it was to sing happy birthday at the end of the race to the 90 year old retired vet who picked up running when he was 80 and pulled off a time of around 45 minutes or so that day. He didn't complain, so why should I?
I want to reiterate that I don't have a problem with folks running - or walking - slowly in a race. (And no, I never said it "ruined" the race for me. It was just an observation). But again my point is that if you aren't going to bother to train and put forth some effort, then don't enter a race. A race is a test of your training - not necessarily a competition with other runners - but there is an assumption that some effort will be made to finish the race as quickly as you are able. It really is not fair to the race volunteers, the hired police escorts, the motorists who are being detoured, etc. to wait while you stroll down two blocked off lanes of a four lane highway. Especially when there is a sidewalk along the route, it is just the height of self centeredness to make everyone wait while you make no effort whatsoever to walk any faster than you might amble around the supermarket.
Mary, looks like we run a lot of the same races! I didn't mean to imply that your races were "ruined"...I was speaking strictly about my race experiences. Sorry if my comment came across otherwise. I understand what you are saying. It is frustrating when people seem to be making self-centered decisions that effect others.