October 30, 2008

Detroit Half Marathon Frustration

The following is a quote from marathonguide.com about the 2008 Detroit Marathon (err.. half Marathon). Anyway, this poster voiced my own frustration perfectly and more "eloquently" than I ever could. Keep in mind that overall, I had a good experience. It was still fun besides the crappy start. I still managed a PR of 1:42:28, despite not being able to run my own pace continuously until about mile 7. I do wonder what my time would have been if I could have run my own pace from the start. I bet I could have beaten 1:40 which was my unspoken goal.

I did read somewhere that the "split start" they did this year was only because of construction on the bridge. I still think the split start did more harm than good. Get all the racers of the same pace out together and they will all hit the bridge together, then even if there is a bottleneck, at least you are bottlenecked with faster people in front of you instead of walkers and slow marathoners! Anyway, here's Ronald's post:

"Does this sound like a good idea?

Have the marathoners and walkers line up on one side of the street and the half marathoners line up on the other.

Start ALL of the marathoners and ALL of the walkers. Now you have over 12,000 runners on the course.

Five minutes after the marathon and walkers' starting gun, start the 6,000 half marathoners. Of course, the walkers have barely cleared the starting line by that point.

So all the half marathoners have to run through the walkers and slower marathoners who are already on the course.

If that's not bad enough, add a course that funnels down to ONE LANE for about half a mile over the Ambassador Bridge.

What do you get? Complete chaos for the half marathoners.

As one of the faster half-marathoners, I had to run through all the walkers not to mention every single marathon pace group (I probably passed through ten). Each pace group was a "choke point" on the course as numerous runners crowded around the pacer. Good luck getting by, especially when they were going through two-lane streets in the neighborhoods or even the wider streets of Windsor or the tunnel.

People were actually forced to WALK approaching the Ambassador Bridge with too many runners trying to access just one lane. Add the faster half-marathoners trying to get through the marathoners and walkers (who, remember, started first) and it was just a complete nightmare.

Sure, accepting a zillion runners into the field makes lots of money for the race organizers (especially since they got rid of the Ford Field finish, which the runners loved but which also cost lots of money).

Race organizers need to think about the runners who train SERIOUSLY for months, only to be unable to run their pace because the race organizers have totally screwed thing up.

Come to Detroit for a "fun run." Don't bet your fall training on it."


It is getting cold out! Today's run was in below-freezing weather - around 28 degrees. I overdressed, as I suspected I would. I'll get the hang of dressing for the cold weather one of these days. Summer is so much easier - wear as little as possible!

Matt is injured and unable to run right now and yet he wants to do an ultra trail marathon at the end of December. He's nuts. Not only nuts, but on the road toward another injury. He won't listen to me. However, if I can't talk him out of it, I'll go and participate in the short run (10.8 miles). At least I'll have a good time and be healthy at the end of it.

The race is the HUFF 50K in Huntington, Indiana. It takes place in one of their state recreation areas. It does sound like fun! Trail running rocks. No pun intended! Ha! I wonder if HUFF is an acronym??

Only one more day til the end of the month and no word on my Subaru. *frown*

October 26, 2008

First Group Run - kinda

Matt and I met a handful of Running Club members at the post-Detroit Marathon party last week and one lady told us about the group run that takes off from the Hanson's running store near our house. It sounded fun so we got up early today and walked to the store to meet up with the group. Unfortunately, I couldn't get Matt out the door early enough to get there with enough time to talk to anyone before they started the run. We barely made it in time period! I was a little miffed.

We ended up running by ourselves, though we kept a group of gals in sight most of the way so we could follow their route. The route was great! It was on dirt back roads most of the way. We hardly saw any traffic. The sun was just coming up. We saw it rise over one of Orion's many lakes. The trees are about at peak color, so the views were fantastic. Plus, I felt great this morning so the run went really well. I felt like I could have run forever. As it was, we did about 11 miles. I intended to do about 14 today, but I'm flexible! I have many months before I need to be able to finish 26.2!!

On our way to the store this morning, a group of the elite Hanson's boys ran past us. Matt knows a few of them since they frequent his pizza place. Most of them also work at Hanson's running store. I was amazed that they all remembered Matt's finishing time for the marathon! They all congratulated him. Nice guys.

Anyway, next Sunday the group run is at the metropark. I hope we can get there in plenty of time to meet people before everyone takes off!

I also hope to have my new Subaru by then!!!!

October 25, 2008

26.2 Miles!!

I'm switching over to blogger because Yahoo wouldn't let me add that nifty "widget" above that is counting down to my FIRST MARATHON!! As you can see, I'm a tad bit excited. So most of this blog will probably be running-related. But there will also be random exclamations such as the following:

I'm getting my new Subaru Impreza Outback Sport next week!!!! Yay!!

That's all for now. It's bedtime. Tomorrow is Sunday, I may have more time to post and customize this bloggy thingy after my long run. Later!
"Cats are like greatness: Some people are born into cat-loving families, some achieve cats, and some have cats thrust upon them." -William H. A. Carr

red's 2011 race schedule