Mad City Marathon course closed too early?

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  jtpaten 12 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #5242

    jtpaten
    Member

    I'm curious to know what folks here think about the decision to close the Mad City Marathon course 5 hours and 15 minutes into Sunday's race after temps reached 90 degrees. Few if any runners on this board would take that long to run a marathon, even in those conditions. But do we have sympathy or not for those who do take that long to go 26.2 miles?

    Personally I'm annoyed most by the people who a) never ran more than 15 miles before the race, b) intended to walk it, c) knew they would be out there for six hours or more and d) couldn't possibly have been ignorant of the weather forecast. Collectively those folks put a huge burden on race organizers, medical personnel and volunteers and think little of it.

    After volunteering along the course (and dealing with one scarily incoherent and dehydrated half marathon runner just 8.5 miles into the race), I think closing the course was prudent. I'm all the more convinced after reading this story in today's Capital Times:

    “Marathon short on times, not on complaints”
    http://www.madison.com/tct/mad/topstories/index.php?ntid=85675&ntpid=1

    If they had not shut off the clock, then they would have been accused of not being serious. That's what got so many runners pissed off at the Fox Cities Marathon last fall: A severe thunderstorm prompted closure of the course, but people bused to the finish saw the clock was still on so other folks got a timed finish even after the decision was made. The fact is whenever you decide to close a course like that there will be people close to the finish at that point who will feel unfairly slighted. That's unavoidable.

    Whenever you decide to close a course like that there will be people close to the finish at that point who will feel unfairly slighted. That's unavoidable. But do runners that far back really “need” official finishing times? If it was so important to them personally, they should have worn watches.

  • #20699

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    This is a no win situation for the race directors. Do you continue the race to appease the people still on the course and risk the safety issue or do you call the race for the safety of those still on the course and risk making them mad?

    I think they made the right choice. I'm sure it was a very difficult decision and I'm sure they are getting an earful from certain individuals. However, what was the alternative? What would they be getting had they not made this decision and someone ended up in the hospital or dead due to heat stroke?

    I didn't hear about this situation until this post. This really makes one think, when is it right to call a race and when should you just let the people run and say it's up to them to know what is too much? In this age of litigation, the race directors and sponsors are going to be sued even given the signed waivers if something bad happens. Caution isn't only responsible, it could be a matter of avoiding an overzealous lawyer convincing a family member to ruin your life and your race.

  • #20700

    Anne
    Member

    I've talked to two friends who ran it and both came in 30+ minutes over their goal time. One in 4:30, the other in 4:50. Another dropped out at mile 14.
    It sounded brutal and if the crowds didn't have hoses and ice, would probably have been worse.  When you train in the spring conditions we've had so far there isn't much acclimation to 90+ degree temps.

    I think the race director was wise to close the course. Certainly most of those runners who witnessed so many beaten by the heat would be somewhat understanding of the decision.

    You can train and do everything right but Mother Nature is the unknown factor at marathon time.

  • #20701

    Grimm
    Member

    I find it Ironic that the article focuses on a lady who “Ran over 300 miles since January”.  Geeze, 0ver 300 miles in weeks, is like 18 miles a week.  If that's the case, you can't blame it on the Race Organizers.  You need to run more then 300 miles in 17 weeks for a marathon; especially your first marathon.  And the whole idea that the lady said she was conserving her energy for the end I think is BS.  Seriously, what you going to do?  Do a mad 400 last kick and fly by people? 

    If our society wasn't so “lawsuit Happy”, the Race Organizers could have probably let them run; but with the way things are, I think they made the right decsion.  Especially since many “marathon runners” are people who are just running it to “say they ran and finished one.”

    If so many people are mad; start training again in two to three weeks for a fall marathon.

  • #20702

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    If our society wasn't so “lawsuit Happy”, the Race Organizers could have probably let them run; but with the way things are, I think they made the right decsion.

    Grimm, I agree that the lawsuit happy society makes the call easier. However, even if the current society wasn't so lawsuit happy, wouldn't this be the right decision? It would be a lot more difficult to make I think but, at some point, you have to make the decision that is best for the safety of the runners. Doing a marathon in the kind of conditions Wisconsin had this weekend, especially when training through the winter and cool spring, is not safe. The organizers recognized that and did what was best for the safety of the runners. Litigation threat or not, I think that was the right choice for the good of the runners. Hopefully, some of those who are now complaining will understand that once they get some time to look back and reflect on it.

  • #20703

    GTF
    Member

    The race organizers pretty much bring it on themselves by ordinarily keeping the course open for over five hours to cater to the likes of those who complained.  It is a race, those who are taking over five hours to finish a marathon are decidedly not a part of the race — is that even a running pace?  Nevermind that the top half of the field (at the most) significantly subsidizes the bottom half.

  • #20704

    Anne
    Member

    GTF, could you explain what you mean when you say the top half of the field subsidizes the bottem half?
    Thanks.

  • #20705

    Peter
    Member

    What I find interesting is that 3 of the last 4 Ironman Wisconsin Competitions, which is the 2nd Sunday in September, have been competed in teperatures that exceeded 90 degrees. By the time people commence the marathon, they have been at it for 6-10 hours, and the temps are already 85-90 degrees… where the marathoners on Sunday started at 7:00 AM, when it was closer to 65-70 degrees.

    As GTF has said, it is a competition (race), and do not the participants sign a waiver of liability saying they are in good physical condition and undertake the race at their own risk and their own free will, and agree to hold harmless the event organizers for any incidents that occur beyond the control of the event organizers. Providing a safe running route and water/fluids would seem to meet that objective. The decision to continue to race rests with the participant, imo.

    Also interesting, the Med City marathon in Rochester, MN run on the same day and in similar conditions, closed their course at 4.5 hours. Only 123 people were recorded as finishing the race.

    5hrs  = 11:27 mile pace – yes this is running
    6hrs  = 13:42 mile pace – this is shuffling, run/walk pace
    6.5hrs= 14:52 pace – this is not running, imho

  • #20706

    Zeke
    Member

    Peter, I was thinking of IM Wisconsin too when I read this post.  I competed in 2003 when it was 85-90 degrees.  I started my run at like 4 in the afternoon, after the concrete had a chance to get nice and warm. 

    I trained 10 months for the race and invested a large chuck of change, including $400 just for the entry fee.  Had the RD pulled me off the course, they'd better have been willing to at least refund my entry fee.

  • #20707

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I trained 10 months for the race and invested a large chuck of change, including $400 just for the entry fee.  Had the RD pulled me off the course, they'd better have been willing to at least refund my entry fee.

    This sounds like a world apart from the woman who invested a whole 300 or so miles since January and got pulled off the course. I tend to also think that IM participants are much better trained/prepared for handling the event and conditions than a marathon participant who thinks an 18 mile per week average is a big investment.

    Once again, had they allowed the race to continue and something bad had happened, how long would it have taken until a lawsuit was filed with the complaintant stating that the directors should have recognized the risk and stopped the event before it became unsafe? Even with the waivers, this would have happened. Even with the waiver, the director and organizers have a responsibility to look out for the safety of the runners. By the time the race was called off, those who gave a serious investment in training and those who could be counted on to be prepared for the conditions were already done.

  • #20708

    Anne
    Member

    What race director is going to go against the recommendation of his medical crew?  If you've got trained professionals dealing with  serious health concerns you better listen to them.

  • #20709

    r-at-work
    Member

    I think the decision was correct, sounds like they followed GOOD advice from the medical team, but they kept the water stops open just in case, which was also responsible… and 300 hundred miles in five months is not much of an investment…
    Rita

  • #20710

    jtpaten
    Member

    From the Off the Couch blog at jsonline.com (http://www.jsonline.com/blog/?id=106):

    “It’s hard to argue with the decision to close the course, which was based largely on the advice of Dr. David Bernhardt, who works at the University of Wisconsin Sports Medicine Clinic and has been the medical director for 11 of the 12 Mad City Marathons.

    On Sunday, Bernhardt and his staff put IVs in about 50 to 75 runners and sent at least eight of them to the hospital in ambulances. And that doesn’t count the numbers that were sent to hospitals from the course.

    One female runner spent several days in the hospital after suffering seizures.

    One man had a body temperature of 108. …

    Bernhardt and others noted that the conditions were actually similar to those for the Ironman Wisconsin races held in Madison in September. The big difference was the time to acclimate.

    Most runners in Madison had been training in 40- to 50-degree weather, and Sunday was their first effort in any kind of heat in six to nine months.

    It takes about five to 10 days of exposure to heat for the body to become more efficient at cooling itself and retaining fluids and sodium. But few people on the course had those five to 10 days.

    Joe Kurian’s winning time of 2:41:47 was 10 minutes slower than Thomas Brunold ran to win in 2005. And the average finishing time, 4:25:30, was nearly 13 minutes slower than the 2005 average.

    The attrition rate was higher as well. Roughly 790 of the 1,100 registered made it to the finish, compared to 994 in 2005.”

  • #20711

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    And the average finishing time, 4:25:30, was nearly 13 minutes slower than the 2005 average.

    And that with them cutting off the finishers only 50 minutes after the average finishing time.

    The attrition rate was higher as well. Roughly 790 of the 1,100 registered made it to the finish, compared to 994 in 2005.”

    Of course, a factor in this would be those who were still on the course at 5:15 and may have finished had they been given the chance.

    A more even handed way to look at the stats would be to say that the fastest 790 averaged 13 minutes slower than all 994 finishers the previous year. Had 990 finished this year, the average finishing time would have been much slower.

    50-75 IVs, at least 8 ambulance trips to a hospital, at least one person spending several days in the hospital with seizures, and at least one with a dangerously high body temperature? Do we need to continue to ask whether they did the right thing? The question shouldn't be whether they should have done it, the question should be when the right time to do it. Maybe they should have closed the course even earlier.

  • #20712

    Zeke
    Member

    Joe Kurian’s winning time of 2:41:47 was 10 minutes slower than Thomas Brunold ran to win in 2005.

    So what does this prove?  It's like comparing an apple to an orange. 

  • #20713

    GTF
    Member

    GTF, could you explain what you mean when you say the top half of the field subsidizes the bottem half?
    Thanks.

    Sure.  It is likely a radically alternative way of viewing things, though.  The faster half of a marathon race might finish in 3:30 (or 4:00 or whatever) or better while the bottom half would take 4:00-[however long the course is open] to finish.  There is a cost, which can typically be broken down on a by-the-hour (or by-the-half-hour) basis, in keeping roads closed and staffed by police for a marathon course.  The faster marathoners only need the roads closed for maybe 4:00 hours or so, at the very most, yet they pay just as much towards keeping the roads closed as those who take 5:00+ hours.  In other words, all the <3:30 marathoners chip in to keep the roads closed for 3+ hours after they have already finished, even though they do not need the roads to be closed that long.  Taking the idea to an extreme, the winner (unless his entry is comp'ed) subsidizes everyone who finishes behind him.  This is not to suggest that there could or should be some sliding scale implemented to make fees more accurately reflect the amount each runner actually ends up using the course as that would be tough – nearly impossible – to do.  It is merely an acknowledgment that all those back-of-the-packers, despite their entitled assertions that they help road racing to not just stay alive but thrive, actually would seem to get more than they give.

  • #20714

    Zeke
    Member

    Yeah, but just think how long those 6 hour marathoners have to wait in line to get a massage. And all the refreshments have been picked over.  ;D

  • #20715

    Anne
    Member

    I have to learn how to quote just the parts I want, not the whole post.

    GTF-you're  such a radical.  😉 

    I would like to see the cost of the average size marathon broken down into percentages, what's the biggest expense? Liability or umbrella policy? Refreshments/aid? Advertising?  Where does the expense of keeping the roads open and supervised fall in relation to the other catagories?

  • #20716

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Street permits, police overtime for traffic control, and EMT overtime are definitely significant costs for races. From directors I've talked with, this is a significant majority of costs. Closing a race at half the time it is currently closed at would cut these costs at least in half, sometimes more since street permits for early weekend mornings cost less per hour than for weekend afternoons when they are causing more traffic problems.

    Of course, big races get sponsorships that they may not get with fewer runners. Would New Balance throw as much money at Chicago if it had “only” 20,000 runners and closed the course at 4 hours?

    I'm not sure where the expense/income balance lies but I do know that races do face a lot more in terms of expenses to keep courses open for longer periods of time. While I'm not ready to say that faster runners subsidize slower runners because of the sponsorship factor, I also don't buy the claims of slower runners who say they subsidize the faster runners. At best, they subsidize the added costs that they impose on races.

  • #20717

    Zeke
    Member

    I have to learn how to quote just the parts I want, not the whole post.

    Just delete the part of the passage that you don't want.

  • #20718

    r-at-work
    Member

    Taking the idea to an extreme, the winner (unless his entry is comp'ed) subsidizes everyone who finishes behind him.  This is not to suggest that there could or should be some sliding scale implemented to make fees more accurately reflect the amount each runner actually ends up using the course as that would be tough – nearly impossible – to do.  It is merely an acknowledgment that all those back-of-the-packers, despite their entitled assertions that they help road racing to not just stay alive but thrive, actually would seem to get more than they give.

    I am testing out the quote thing… but as I see it part of the implementation of making fees more fair for the winner & those at the top is called 'prize money' as well as comped fees… and some of the slower runners do give back by raising money for their pet cause…

    but before you take that the wrong way, I am one of the peole who has done the “Race for the Cure”  once, relized it is a publicity stunt and will never do it again as I HATE to try and pass 4-6 walkers with their arms linked who start at the front because 'they paid their entrance fee too”… but at least that is a 5K, and still there are people who take HOURS to finish… I am not a fan of getting people off the couch and telling them they can RUN a marathon in 16 weeks, raise money and be a hero… just write a check, come and cheer for the RUNNERS and do a 5K … a 5:15 close to keep more people from seizures is a good thing…
    -Rita

  • #20719

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    but as I see it part of the implementation of making fees more fair for the winner & those at the top is called 'prize money' as well as comped fees…

    Which makes the fees more fair for the top 10-20 runners approximately. For the majority of runners, the fees are still just as inequitable.

    and some of the slower runners do give back by raising money for their pet cause…

    This does nothing to make entry fees more equitable. In fact, just the opposite. Many races are now expected to offer a certain number of free entries for these pet causes so you get people paying nothing to the race who are using more resources than people who are left covering their expenses.

  • #20720

    Adimal
    Member

    :-So what's the difference between Race for the Cure and Al's Run?

    As for the MCM, I found myself telling people at mile 25.75 or so, that it's still a race and to get going and try to pass somebody.  Seems a high percentage of marathon participants forget that they are in a race.  I recall one of the quotes in the Cap Times article talking about a 50 stater who wouldn't get an official time and therefore would have to run another marathon in WI, so? 😛

  • #20721

    Anne
    Member

    I don't know if it's so much that participants forget it's a race as it is they don't view it as such.  There are so many runners who enter marathons with one goal-to finish. Their objective is not to pass as many other runners as they can but to get across the finish line.

    The marathon means different things to different people, for some it's to finish in x amount of time, for others it's to be part of an event that is for the most part very positive. Yes, it's the bands and the crowds, the post race party-all that.
    I've gone from that runner who's only goal was to finish with a smile on my face to someone who probably cares too much about my splits & setting new PR's so I've viewed it in two different lights.

    I think there's room in today's events for all abilities.

    Provided they line up where they're supposed to at the start.  🙂   

  • #20722

    GTF
    Member

    I think there's room in today's events for all abilities. 

      Certainly, so long as RD's kowtow to the uncompetitive entrants and the racers prove willing to subsidize a closed course for them to slog around on.  In marathons, the cost of keeping a course open for 6-10 hours will simply continue to rise, not only through permit fees and EMT/police overtime pay but also through the insurance policy required by so many municipalities.  Entry fees for so many marathons are well above the $75 mark (and rapidly approaching the $100 point) and if the trend continues marathons will before long become primarily the playground of the affluent, pricing many lower- and middle-class recreational competitors out of the picture.  This will also serve to only further thin the field that finishes between the elites and the midpack.  This could very well have impacts in other areas, too.  I know that I was soured on volunteering (at least for races that do not discourage the uncompetitive set from entering and when really cold weather is possible — I do not mind running in that kind of cold, but standing around in it for more than a few minutes is misery) when I stood around for well over an hour on a really cold Thanksgiving morning while people took their time in moseying around a 5K course in down parkas – I wish that I could have anticipated this and dressed more warmly, like with a sleeping bag – people taking well over 45 minutes to complete a 5K.  What they really contributed to or took away from the race (i.e. competition) is entirely unclear; a closed course is not that beneficial to their activity, they could just as easily have sauntered around their neighborhood and simply donated the entire entry fee to the local food shelter. 

    I figure it must be a radical view considering the typical “we back-of-the-packers keep this sport alive!” tripe that I have seen posted by the unfortunately typical netizens proud of their senses of entitlement.

    11:27/mile pace (5-hour marathon) is also about a 2:50 400m, either of which would be a powerwalk for me, at the very hardest.

    A couple years ago a marathon in a city not far from where I live had to cancel the event on the week prior because the RD did not have enough of the entry fees before a deadline to cover just the deposit needed to get the city/police to close the streets — the RD was quoted as stating that the entry fees were the source for the financing of the street closures.  While it was not a mega-event like Chicago or Boston or NYC, it did have a big name sponsor (VW) and I am not sure that this race operated much different from a financial standpoint than most of the marathons in the USA do.

  • #20723

    r-at-work
    Member

    can't speak from the RD side but as an old lady who has previously run as fast as I could and GTF could have power walked past me I can say that most of those people in the 5+ hour group are not finishing with a smile on their face as Anne has said she did… I did THAT once coming off an injury since it was the inagural DC marathon and I thought it would become something I would be proud to say I had been part of from the begining… I ran the first 10 (and was supposed to stop)but ran/walked the last 16… I was feeling GREAT, recouped well but decided I never wanted to spend time in the back-back of the pack… so I'm a snob to some extent and I think that if they are going to have walkers they might consider doing what is done in Europe and occacionally here, they are called Volksmarches and it's an EVENT not a race…

    and Ryan, we can't be totally fair to everyone, but it would be nice to keep the fees down the races smaller and not have the crowds to deal with… I did the MCM four time, never again, I have no desire to do Chicago or NYC or any of the RnR ones… the only large marathon I want to do is Boston… and while I am pitifully slow I'm working as hard as I can and I think there is room out there for every one (like Anne said) as long as they line up in the right spot and don't link arms…

    at least I know you guys will never pass me as I line up correctly, towards the back and I do not saunter, been known to stagger and gimp occasionally, but when it gets too embarassing I have been known to get off the course (once so far)…

    maybe the “wave” start can be used to make two sections, a RACE and an EVENT…till then I'll try mid-size marathons, Richmond, VA was nice and this fall I'm trying Philly.
    -Rita

  • #20724

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Rita, I actually do think it would be a good idea to do some events separately from races. Of course, there are already some at shorter distances. There was one about a month ago right by my home. As an added benefit, they often don't need to close the streets or have police out, which saves quite a bit of money I'm sure and allows more money to go to what the event says it is benefitting.

    I know we can't be totally fair to everyone. My response was about the people who claim they subsidize everyone else but who are actually being subsidized by everyone else. They get this sense of entitlement because they claim to be paying for what everyone else gets but, if they face the facts, the truth is that others are paying for what they get. They think the sport would die or become unaffordable without them but the truth is their entry into the sport has very much coincided with the sport becoming continually more unaffordable. Whether that's coincidence or not, they definitely don't seem to be helping make it more affordable.

    I don't think this is about how people line up or who has “the right” to be there. RDs decide who has “the right” to be there by setting qualifying standards if they so choose and by setting course closure schedules. In fact, I don't recall how this tangent started for sure but I think it was something about a mention of someone who felt they had a sense of entitlement.

  • #20725

    Anonymous

    What I find interesting is that 3 of the last 4 Ironman Wisconsin Competitions, which is the 2nd Sunday in September, have been competed in teperatures that exceeded 90 degrees. By the time people commence the marathon, they have been at it for 6-10 hours, and the temps are already 85-90 degrees… where the marathoners on Sunday started at 7:00 AM, when it was closer to 65-70 degrees.

    I'm curious to know what people think about the comparison between IM Wisconsin temps and the temp for Mad City Marathon.  I competed in each of these events and can say with certainty that the Mad City Marathon was entirely more grueling with respect to temperature and humidity than any of the “hot” IM Wisconsin races.  The difference was time to acclimate to the weather…though even I believed this to be more an excuse than a reason, my body (recovery time) and trained sports docs have since convinced me this was the case. 

  • #20726

    Anonymous

    Joe Kurian’s winning time of 2:41:47 was 10 minutes slower than Thomas Brunold ran to win in 2005.

    So what does this prove?  It's like comparing an apple to an orange. 

    My time in 2005 was 2:33:56…I was in better shape this year and ran 2:41:47…It was a tough day!!

  • #20727

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Joe Kurian’s winning time of 2:41:47 was 10 minutes slower than Thomas Brunold ran to win in 2005.

    So what does this prove?  It's like comparing an apple to an orange. 

    My time in 2005 was 2:33:56…I was in better shape this year and ran 2:41:47…It was a tough day!!

    While the previous example was in fact an apples to oranges comparison, this seems like a very clear apples to apples comparison that shows how difficult this year's event was.

    Of course, I don't think anyone was questioning how difficult the day was, just the questionable use of a comparison that, without any further information, could very possibly be invalid.

    Joe, you were the only one who was there and has responded to this thread. I don't want to put you on the spot if you don't want to give an opinion but, if you don't mind, do you have an opinion on whether or not the race directors did the right thing?

  • #20728

    jrkurian
    Member

    Joe Kurian’s winning time of 2:41:47 was 10 minutes slower than Thomas Brunold ran to win in 2005.

    So what does this prove?  It's like comparing an apple to an orange. 

    My time in 2005 was 2:33:56…I was in better shape this year and ran 2:41:47…It was a tough day!!

    While the previous example was in fact an apples to oranges comparison, this seems like a very clear apples to apples comparison that shows how difficult this year's event was.

    Of course, I don't think anyone was questioning how difficult the day was, just the questionable use of a comparison that, without any further information, could very possibly be invalid.

    Joe, you were the only one who was there and has responded to this thread. I don't want to put you on the spot if you don't want to give an opinion but, if you don't mind, do you have an opinion on whether or not the race directors did the right thing?

    The race directors did the only thing that coulod have been done.  It was dangerous to be on the course, particularly as the sun became more and more intense.  To compound the severity, this normally well stocked event was losing supplies (pariticularly IV fluids and medical transport), and may not have been able to supply the overwhelming and utterly unimaginable demand.  The conditions were brutal, even very well trained athletes were put into severe difficulty.  The directors followed the advice of the race physician and certainly did so with some reluctance…reluctantly, not because they were worried about how people may react, which they knew would be with discontent, but reluctantly because they realized that the people that would not be allowed to officially finish had, in many cases, trained just as hard as the top athletes trained and deserved the chance to cross the finish line after enduring such an insanely difficult day.  The directors were put in a very difficult situation, but from what I know, they handled it with as much grace as possible.  I hope this situation will not deter people from participating in this marathon in the future…it truly is a first class event from expo to awards and beyond.

  • #20729

    Zeke
    Member

    Of course, I don't think anyone was questioning how difficult the day was, just the questionable use of a comparison that, without any further information, could very possibly be invalid.

    Right on, I wasn't questioning the conditions, but rather the comparison of 2 different runners over 2 different years.  The writer should have compared Joe's 2006 time to Joe's 2005 time.  Even if your fitness varied from year to year, it'd still be a better comparison.

  • #20730

    jrkurian
    Member

    Of course, I don't think anyone was questioning how difficult the day was, just the questionable use of a comparison that, without any further information, could very possibly be invalid.

    Right on, I wasn't questioning the conditions, but rather the comparison of 2 different runners over 2 different years.  The writer should have compared Joe's 2006 time to Joe's 2005 time.  Even if your fitness varied from year to year, it'd still be a better comparison.

    I agree, it would have been a much better comparison.  Sorry to seem inflamatory, I was just a bit disturbed by how some of the posts seemed to question the legitamacy of the later finishers and whether or not they should have been given a chance to finish based on how long they had already been on the course and how well they may have been trained.  The fact was, no matter how well people were trained, the conditions were very difficult and being on the course after five hours was certainly not out of the question.  So even though the comparison of winning times was not necessarilly an appropriate measure of the difficulty, it did get the point across to most of the general public reading about the race.

  • #20731

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Joe, you are right. It really isn't about who was or was not prepared for the conditions. Really, how can anyone be prepared to run a marathon in the conditions they were running in, especially in May in Wisconsin? I do think that there is something to the level of training, comparing someone like the woman quoted in the article to someone like you, who surely got in quite a bit more preparation. However, no amount of training is going to make one immune to extreme conditions, especially heat, when running a marathon. The bottom line is that the race directors have to think about the safety of the runners on the course. Another factor to keep in mind is that you finished before the most extreme of the midday heat hit, a key factor that has nothing to do with how well prepared for the heat you were.

    It's good to hear from someone who was there to see and experience it. I'd like to thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think you can see that most of us here at least have been able to understand, even if not fully comprehend (mostly because it seems impossible to comprehend having to make such a decision), where the race directors were coming from and why they had to do what they had to do.

    I didn't even think of the fact that medical supplies and personnel had to have been stretched incredibly thin. It seems like all the factors came together to force the hand of the race directors. It's unfortunate and I also hope that this impossible to forsee circumstance isn't held against them by future potential participants. For the race directors, I still come back to the fact that it is better to pull people off the course early and have them mad at you for not allowing them to finish than to let them keep battling the extreme conditions and have them or family members mad at you after they experience serious health issues or a potential worst case scenario.

  • #20732

    MothAudio
    Member

    While GTF takes an elitest posture I have to agree with this one point. It's a race, no different than any race. When they stop passing out bib numbers and recording times then you can call it something else. And being a race, even if a long one, your goal is to cover the distance as quickly as possible. That and finishing ahead of your competitor is the point of racing [and to test fitness]. If you just want to run then why enter races? I understand the social aspect and excitement of racing but don't you owe it to yourself to show up in the best shape possible? I'm 49, work a 70 hour week and have three young boys… and averaged 60mpw for 18 weeks training for my Fall marathon. Was that EZ? No, but I wanted my BQ bad and that's what it took. Even if you're not shoting for that kind of effort you should do the proper training to increase the chances of having a more enjoyable and successful race. Struggling for hours is not much fun. Dealing with it for the last 6 miles is tolorable. The training leading up to race day determines which path you take.     

  • #20733

    MothAudio
    Member

    Joe, just read your comments. It's insightful to hear from someone who actually ran the race. Your thoughts add perspective. Thanks for sharing. MikE

  • #20734

    GTF
    Member

    No more elitist than any other sport and certainly regarding accountability much more than elitism.

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