>Running 101>Gun time vs. Chip time
Know the rules of the race you are running. Line up and run accordingly.
And, despite being out sprinted, the rules of my above race had me beating the kid and placing higher (I gave him a two second head start). Still, it doesn't satisfy the competitive jerk within.
My point is, in a race of any size, a few thousand or more, Point A is not going to be the same for say, all the 35M - 40M participants. In large races, the starting spots can vary by minutes. They try to have us line up according to expected pace, but they don't have us line up according to AG.
Yes, but if you strictly go by chip time, it takes the strategy factor away from racing.
Harry Hogge: Cole, you're wandering all over the track! Cole Trickle: Yeah, well this son of a bitch just slammed into me. Harry Hogge: No, no, he didn't slam you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you... he *rubbed* you. And rubbin, son, is racin'.
Our local track club does host an annual mile road race, in which heats are run by AG. That's fun.
Wow, where have I been? I've been running for 6 yrs and racing for the past 3 - and I always assumed that awards were based on chip time. Very interesting. Guess I'll have to start asking the RD's how they do the AG awards. I might be in the minority here, but I'm with Lincoln on this one - I would much rather have the awards based on chip time and not gun time. I'm only interested if somebody is faster than me for that particular distance on that particular day - could care less where they line up. Put another way, I would be ok with someone beating me by chip time (and bumping me out of AG awards) but I would have a hard time with being bumped out of an AG award just because they happened to line up a few yards closer to the start line. I feel just the opposite of how wcrunner feels. Maybe it's just me...
5K - 20:42 / 10K - 46:02 / 13.1 - 1:39:32 / 26.2 - 3:43:20
I think age group awards are different as you may not know who your competition is during the race anyways. For the front runners, strategy can play as big a part as the clock in how they run the race. Knowing where to run in the pack and when to kick are part of the race.
Just run races without chip timing, line up appropriately, and may the first people over the finish line be the best runners that day.
Actually, in 10 yrs of races, I think I've only had one or two chip timed races. Many times we don't even use bibs. We rarely have age awards and frequently don't know the ages of other competitors (but may have a general idea from the few races that do post ages). If I can see you, I will try to reel you in (within certain parameters). If I hear you behind me, I will try to keep ahead of you (within parameters). I don't care what AG. I will do the best I can that day based on my training and course conditions and goals (training run or goal race or prep for a goal race). That said, being 65F and frequently no one else in my AG or close (sometimes next oldest are early 50s or 40s), there's probably not anyone else around except in some of the larger races or multi-distance races and I'm in a shorter race.
What they do in one of the large triathlons with pool start is to use wave starts that may go on for hours (maybe wave 1 at 8am and last wave starts late afternoon, iirc). (Most people try to get an early wave, but if you have other commitments, you can take one of the later starts.) BUT for overall awards, you now have to be in wave 1 to win. For the simple reason it's a race, not a time trial. One year there was a "winner" in wave 1, but the fastest time of the day was in a much later wave. The actual winner was the later start because it was chip timed. The first one across the line likely could have gone faster since she's olympic xc skier. I don't think she's made that mistake since.
Note: "Parameters" refers to how far into race, my goal efforts, whether person appears to be weak on hills, etc. IOW, I won't trash my race trying for position too early.
Ultra Runner Trainee
I don't think it's just you, but I think your opinion is more prevalent among runners who primarily enter large chip-timed races and see them more as events than races. Goals tend to be time oriented and a race is viewed as a time trial with a huge number of fellow runners. The competitive aspect and head-to-head competiton is almost completely absent except in a rare sprint to the finish. But consider a situation like this: Someone in my AG starts 2 steps behind me. We race each other over the course and I outsprint him to the finish in head-to-head competition. He finishes a step behind me so his chip time is 1 second faster than mine. Where's the justice in awarding him the higher place?
2013 Goals: Mile - 7:45 (SB 7:53.74); Run first ultra marathon (Sep 21)
Where's the justice in awarding him the higher place?
He was faster?
I guess you would have to take that up with the organizer who set the rules before the start.
...and how do you account for waves. Sometimes you can't line up next to your competition.
He was faster?
<Tosses hands in the air> I always thought the winner of a race was first across the finish line. Maybe next we should start letting runners use their Garmin distances and "finish" when their Garmin says they're done. After all with the crowds not everyone can run the tangents perfectly and are forced to run a longer distance than advertised. If one runners finishes in 4:00:00 and runs 26.6 miles per his Garmin while the other ran only 26.4 miles per his Garmin and finishes in 3:59:59, isn't the first runner faster and should be placed ahead.
<Tosses hands in the air> I always thought the winner of a race was first across the finish line.
You have convinced me to line up in the very front of every race so I get a fair time. I'm bigger than most of those fast runners, so I can check them and get a better time.
How can we know our limits if we don't test them?
I'm with wcrunner...you want a time trial go play on strava, it's free. Want to win a race, cross the line first (with many exceptions such as long stage races and huge wave-started races.) The mountain bikers have this argument about the leadville 100 mile race every year because it's a mass start and awarded by gun time but there are over a 1000 riders and the back 2/3rds get bottlenecked on the first climb and they seed newcomers near the back so it's basically impossible to show first year and place well, no matter how good a shape the rider is in.
Goals: Run lots of trails
This thread might be my favorite rendition of this particular comet topic.
...I always thought the winner of a race was first across the finish line...
Save the chip times for qualifying for other races. It's up to you to put yourself in the right place at the start of get the seed time you need if there is a seeded start. Then go out and race if you want an award.
I'm with wcrunner...you want a time trial go play on strava, it's free. Want to win a race, cross the line first
Fine. Then don't give anyone a hard time for making sure they line up in the very front. Obviously your position in regards to the starting gun has a huge impact on your time.
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