TAT CN Header

Monday, February 01, 2010

Post Race Thoughts

Lots of you commented on yesterday's race report that perhaps I should corral myself further up in a race, and I maybe agree with you. Perhaps, when I predicted my finish time, I was being conservative, but I think I was fairly accurate: I predicted a 2:15 finish, so I think RDs corraled me appropriately (I most certainly don't deserve to be up with the fasties). Plus, I finished right smack in the middle of the pack (as I almost always do), so again, I think I was corraled in the right spot.

I think, therefore, that my pacing problem had less to do with how I was corraled and more to do with the crowd: It was just un-navigable. Plus, some people just don't seem to abide by race etiquette. I think that it's great that so many newcomers are signing up for races like the half marathon and the full marathon, but with such a new field of participants, this means that many people don't know the following:
  • Run with no more than 2 abreast. You can't run with six people stretched out side-by-side across the road!
  • Don't walk in the middle of the road! If you take walk breaks, that's fine, but move to either the left or right, so you're not in the middle of runners. And, absolutely, don't come to a complete stop in the middle of the road! If you need to stretch, vomit, whatever, move to the side.

  • Walk through water stations, stay to the side while drinking your fluids (if you're still walking), and toss your cups to the side. Plus, remember that the beginning of any water station is gonna be packed with participants, but the end of it has plenty of fluids and no waiting -- so run a few extra feet, then move over to the aid station.

  • Lastly, be polite: If you bump someone, or cut directly in front of someone, say "sorry." And ideally, say "to your right!" or "to your left!" before trying to pass a fellow runner.

Based on the above, you can probably assume that I saw runners violating all of the above etiquette, and this is what primarily made the congestion so intolerable.

Anyhoo...beyond my gripes: I felt good yesterday afternoon, and Jerry even made of fun of me for remarking, "I don't feel tired at all!" But, I really didn't. I mean, yes, I could tell I had run 13 miles that morning, but my legs, etc didn't feel all that fatigued. And today, I have some residual soreness, but nothing bad. In general, I hate to be blase about it, but I feel like I could go out and repeat the distance tomorrow. I think this is due in large part to the slightly slower pace, and is almost definitely a sign that I didn't get the chance to really push myself.

I'm hoping that chance arises in 3 weeks when I run the A1A Half in Ft. Lauderdale: Smaller race, flatter course, closer to home.

21 comments:

inmytummy said...

The 2 abreast thing is so true. My last half marathon was on a trail that was probably 10 feet wide and people were running in groups of three wide. It drove me nuts!

I think my grandmother lives near you. She's in Pompano Beach. Is that close?

Jamoosh said...

Great post. I was watching the Houston Half recently on TV and based on all the congestion was happy I wasn't out there.

I appreciate tht the sport has grown, but it does need to be managed better, inlcuding making new runners aware of racing etiquette.

Lisa said...

great reminders.

i don't think I would like any of the bigger races where it is prone to being congested. you've given me more reasons to stick to small-ish local ones. :-)

MCM Mama said...

Most of the races I run are large and I totally agree with your points. I get so tired of tripping over people and weaving around them.

One of these days i'll get down there for a half, but I'm thinking it won't be the one you just ran. ;o)

teacherwoman said...

Congrats on your Half Marathon! Congested races can be so frustrating!

Krissy said...

I can't stand when people try to run in groups, it is the WORST! I haven't ran a race since Thanksgiving Day (which I am not proud of but CT weather is no fun to run outdoors for a baby like myself...) but I vividly remember how annoying it was trying to get around packs of people running side by side. grr........

Marlene said...

YES YES YES, I so agree with you. It drives me crazy when runners don't observe these very common sense 'rules of racing etiquette.'

I can't understand why people insist on lining up in a corral that is clearly much faster than their pace. It suck sbeing passes, so why would you do that to yourself?

Anyway... I won't turn this comment into a full-on rant. ;)

Great news that you felt so good and recovered so quickly.

Firefly's Running said...

Race etiquette is soo important, but people can be so stupid.

Nikki said...

I think you were definitely a victim of the crowd. And I totally agree with your etiquette tips! I'm a runéwalker, but I always try to get out of the way as soon as my Garmin starts beeping!

Cassie said...

I totally relate to your frustrations. I experienced the same thing when I ran the Disney Half a few weeks ago. People were walking 5 and 6 across!

Kevin said...

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to defeat the crowds. Some people just cant follow simple rules

Chris said...

Nice post. When I ran the Twin Cities Marathon, I started out in the second corral and found the same thing during the first 9 -10 miles. Racing etiquette is key.

Badgergirl said...

Great list of reminders.

Nice job on the half marathon and glad to hear the recovery is going smoothly!

lifestudent said...

Man, the other runners drove me crazy. And everyone was so sweaty and gross and then rubbing into me. EEWWW. Part of the problem was also the course though, it got really narrow in parts and could be confusing, causing runners to shuffle all over and bump into each other. I also had a lot of them stop right in front of me and start chatting to someone they knew - and it seemed like everyone knew someone else out there ;)

Wes said...

It would be nice if they put a little flyer in the race packet with those suggestions. Every year, I got to Callaway Gardens for the sprint tri, and nearly EVERYBODY is new. They have no idea what they are doing, LOL... But you gotta cut them some slack because the race is geared for new people. The Miami HM, not so much...

N.D. said...

those are good suggestions - maybe they should do a delayed start or do they already do that wthe corrals?

Andy said...

I have nothing else to say on the matter, you said it all! I agree with all those points of etiquette!!!! The worst are the people who walk abreast and walk/stop right in the middle, however, that is a pet peeve of mine anyways (in stadiums, Six Flags, Disney world, anywhere with lots of people). Walk with a purpose!!! :) Thanks for the extra post on this.

Viper said...

This was just a warm-up. You'll nail the A1A! Good job and cheers!

Carolina John said...

slower runners (and cyclists) should always stay to the right. the triathlon rule is to always stay to the right, only go to the left of someone while you are passing them.

you're better than me for putting up with that crap. i tend to prefer the smaller races for that reason.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Good post!

Even if my pace is not going to win, I still want to do my best not be forced to go slower just because some runners treat a race like a social event. (Not that everyone has to take races so seriously and focus on times but...) Manners still matter, otherwise I might get rude and shove some rude runners out of my way.

...sorry mom if you read this. You taught me better. heehee

Christina said...

I think race directors should hand out flyers with race etiquette. It would be so wonderful if people didn't do the things you mentioned.

Great job with your race.