Monday, September 25, 2006


Ever run a “PR” and been so pissed afterwards that you can barely stand it? Saturday I ran the Bolder Options 10k for the 2nd year in-a-row. It starts in downtown Minneapolis and is a double out-and-back course along the Mississippi River. Last year I finished 3rd overall in 39:30. I finished 3rd overall again this year. The “only” problem is that I ran 42:30.

“How can that be a PR?” you ask. Well, they fucked up the course by putting the turn-around in the wrong spot.

After passing a mile in a controlled 6:17, I thought it took awhile to get to the first turn around (which should have been around 1.55 miles) but didn’t really think anything of it. When I got to mile 2 I knew something was wrong because they had the 4 mile sign right next to the 2 mile sign. If you think about it, 2 miles would mean I have 1.1 miles till the finish area. Well add 1.1 to 4 and you get 5.1. Whatever, no big deal, I’ll just forget about taking splits from here on out.

At the 5k turn-around they have a clock and I snuck a peak; 20:5X. What? That can’t be right. I glance at my watch and sure enough, it’s turning to 21 minutes. Right then I started to get pissed and basically lost all focus for the 2nd half of the race. My main goal from there was to just maintain my position, which I did.

I have some basic expectations when I enter a race; 1) keep the runners safe and 2) have an accurate course.

You can cheapen the shirt, get rid of the coffee before the start and you don’t need enough pizzas at the finish to feed an army. And get rid of the announcer who was trying to be funny while giving play-by-play of the finishers. Obviously, if you don’t have an accurate course, having the best timing system in the world that measures to the zillionth of a second really doesn’t matter either.

Afterwards I found 3 people with GPS units measuring 6.9, 6.94 and 7.07. I’d like to think I was running 6:00 – 6:10, but my guess is I was closer to 6:15 – 6:20. At least the results acknowledge the long course, calling it 6.7 miles.

One of the most frustrating parts is that I was hoping to use this race as a gauge for pacing at Chicago. Another guy was going to use it to determine his Twin Cities 10 mile goal.

I’ll stop bitching and end with something I thought was annoying but harmless. The guy standing at the 1 mile mark read our splits every time we passed him. The problem is, other than the first pass, the other times are basically meaningless. What does 14:27 mean when I’m at (what should be) mile 2.1?

Quote of the day;

“Eventually, sacrificing yourself and suffering are what is going to make the difference between he who becomes a genuine champion and he who will never be one.” - Lance Armstrong


Andrew said...

Getting rid of the coffee is going a little too far, Zeke.

I would be annoyed as well about the course issue. It sounds like you ran easily however. A good sign...

Chad said...

Ha. I had mine on the way over, so I didn't need anymore once I got to the race.

Arcane said...

Inaccurate race courses sure suck. There are a couple of race calculators which will let you put in a time and whatever distance and split out equivalent times at other distances. I like

D said...

Shoot - I just lost my comment, so I'll retype it...
Last year I ran a 1/2 marathon that ended up being 4/10 of a mile short. Since it was only a training run for me I wasn't as aggravated about it as I could've been. I felt bad for the marathon runners particularly the ones that thought they had qualified for Boston.

Nice job despite the inaccurate course measurements.

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

No, not the funny announcer! I like funny announcers. At the local ballpark here where the New York Collegiate Baseball League plays ( the announcer sounds just like David Sedaris. It is a riot.

Anyway, well done on the race.