That's what I've found. A great way to control the nerves and there's still time to focus on business at hand when it's time because most others want to do the same. The conversations can be quite jovial 5 minutes before a race but they usually settle quite quickly in that last 1-2 minutes when it's time to put your game face on.
I'm realizing I was a little too simplistic with my first post on this thread. I think, game face or not, some people take it way too serious and get themselves psyched out. Others know how to stay loose but put on the game face when it's time to do so. Others might never put their game face on. The best aim would be to hit that middle ground. Keep loose until it's time for business, then still have fun but also focus on the task at hand.
I've been bouncing around the idea of adding a blog to this site for years but always said I can post what I normally would in a blog right here. It doesn't seem to happen, though. So I'm going to get something going. I'm working on writing my own software right now so it can be properly integrated with the rest of the site (one login, controlled through the forums, being the main thing). The hope is that it can turn into a general public running blog, not just a personal blog by me but one where any runner who wishes will be able to do their own blogging.
By the way, also a fan of Mark's blog. I also occasionally chat with him on Twitter. Great guy with some fascinating ideas.