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A little something about "elites" (Read 975 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    Since Eryn and I are both fairly slow and ran an out-and-back race we got to see all those ahead of us, as well as behind us. Very few of the lead runners acknowledged our supportive cheers as we met them...partly understandable, as these guys and gals are like machines and I imagine that in order to run like they do they have to tune out distractions and become fairly tunnel-visioned. So we weren't offended, really. We've both seen this before in races...it's cool. But what pissed both of us off royally is when we were within the last mile or two of the race--those miles that really test any runner--we saw a dozen or so of the "elites" (part of the running club associated with the store that sponsored the race) back out running back on the course towards us for a casual run (to supplement miles, I guess). Almost none of them acknowledged our efforts even then...even when we tried to joke with them (between gasps) about going the wrong way and "what...do we have to turn around AGAIN?!" Honestly, I can see why the so-called "elites" are often seen as assholes. This crew was. Made me almost embarrassed to be a runner. I hope those slower than I am don't view me like that. Once we hit the turn around we were cheering on those who still had a ways to go. It's a case of BTDT--we know how painful and difficult a race can be. I think for those of us who aren't in the top percentage of finishers it's particularly tough, as you are on the course that much longer. There were runners who had showered, dried their hair, and changed clothes by the time we crossed the finish line--but I know we were equally as spent as they were by the time we finished(maybe more--I know I didn't have it in me to go out and jog extra miles and I ran 14.5 just last weekend). k

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


    Dog-Love

      Well I know what you mean and some of these elites are really intense. On the other hand I ran a HM in Juneau with Chuck (I forgot his last name but he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days). Well he finished the marathon in 2:12 and I was at about mile 10 when he passed me and told me that I was almost there and I was looking good! And he came to our after race potluck!
      Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)


      Needs more cowbell!

        Chuck sounds like a good guy--I have no doubt that the elites among the RA members would behave like Chuck (as I've said elsewhere, RA is a special place). But those uppity elites really are a discredit to the sport. Had this been my first race I think I would have been very put-off by that sort of thing, or at least consider never doing this particular race again. When the rude runners are all wearing singlets and shirts with the sponsoring store's logo on them I would think it could hurt business or membership in their running club. If I lived in that area I wouldn't be joining that store's club, that's for certain. k

        I shoot pretty things! ~

        '14 Goals:

        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          1. That sucks that they acted that way. 2. Some running clubs can be kinda qliquey. This group sounds like one of those. I wouldn't want to join them either. 3. Elite runners are no more or less likely to be assholes than anyone else. At least in my experience. 4. Nice race! You set a 10k PR at the 10K mark. All your PR's are in jeopardy by the look of things. Smile

          Runners run.

            3. Elite runners are no more or less likely to be assholes than anyone else. At least in my experience.
            Right on da nose, Mike!

            Roads were made for journeys...


            Needs more cowbell!

              2. Some running clubs can be kinda qliquey. This group sounds like one of those. I wouldn't want to join them either. 3. Elite runners are no more or less likely to be assholes than anyone else. At least in my experience. 4. Nice race! You set a 10k PR at the 10K mark. All your PR's are in jeopardy by the look of things. Smile
              Heh, not hard to set a 10k PR given how slow I was (and a little under the weather and running in nasty heat) back when I did that 10k race...but I hadn't even noticed that. That's kinda funny, heh....and that 10k course was a LOT easier than today's 10 mile course. Big grin You know, I think it was probably a group mentality/clique thing, moreso than an elite thing, like you point out. Unfortunately their behavior while wearing the club's logo only serves to dissuade less-gifted runners from considering joining the club. Very different from how I would imagine most RA members acting while sporting Eric's site address. k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              Imminent Catastrophe

                Well I know what you mean and some of these elites are really intense. On the other hand I ran a HM in Juneau with Chuck (I forgot his last name but he ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days). Well he finished the marathon in 2:12 and I was at about mile 10 when he passed me and told me that I was almost there and I was looking good! And he came to our after race potluck!
                That would be Chuck Engle. He ran 50 marathons in 2006, not 50 days (only two guys have done 50 in 50 days, Sam Thompson and Dean Karnazes). Anyway, I had the same experience with Chuck--I was running the Tupelo Marathon and crossed paths with him on the out-and-back where he was in the lead, and he waved and said good job. The next few runners didn't acknowledge me at all. He won, BTW. I have to say that at the trail runs and ultras the "elites" tend to be much friendlier, that's one of the things I like about them.

                "Able to function despite imminent catastrophe"

                 "To obtain the air that angels breathe you must come to Tahoe"--Mark Twain

                "The most common question from potential entrants is 'I do not know if I can do this' to which I usually answer, 'that's the whole point'.--Paul Charteris, Tarawera Ultramarathon RD.

                 

                √ Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 20/21 July 2013

                Boston Marathon 21 April 2014

                Tahoe Rim Trail 100M 19/20 July 2014

                  I don't think you can glean too much from what happens on an out and back course in a race.. While Chuck Engle was running 50 marathons that year, he clearly wasn't racing most of them to his full potential. So he was generally a lot more capable of waving and saying hi than the people just behind him, who were likely giving everything they had. I know when I'm at the back end of a race that I'm running all out I am barely capable of noticing other people, let alone greeting them.

                  Runners run.

                    I forgot to mention that I've been cheered on by people running back along the course more than once... and it's pretty common for faster people to stay at the finish line and cheer on the stragglers. You know I'm always in that group. (The stragglers, that is... Wink ) When someone is cooling down running back along the course I've not noticed that I get nods or smiles either more or less frequently than when I'm out jogging around town. (Yes, I just used the "J" word... Tongue )

                    Roads were made for journeys...

                      Hey zoom-zoom--great job on your race! I'd like to change the topic just slightly, give you some personal anecdote, then ask for advice. I realize this is a sensitive topic, and I hope I don't come off sounding like a jerk. Sometimes I jog back along the course after a race, and I have to say that I feel uncertain about how to treat those who are finishing. If I put myself in your shoes, I'm not sure I would want the guy who beat me by ten minutes to come back and cheer me on. I'm not sure exactly the source of this feeling, but maybe it's related to the type of humor you are talking about in your original post: "Do we have to turn around AGAIN?" I've heard this joke or a variation of it about often as I've jogged the course backwards, and it sometimes comes off sounding aggressive--it's hard to know how to respond: "Yes?" "No?" Usually I just grin and say something like "Looking strong!" So, here's the question: Is it rude in general for those of us lucky enough to finish in front to jog backwards on the course? If it is cool to jog the course backwards, then is it best to cheer runners on, or is that seen as patronizing? Or is it best to just mind your own business and do your the cooldown? For what it's worth, I always get extra energy running back by the crowd, and I love the cheers. So why do I feel weird cheering those on who finish after me?


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        I know that I, personally, don't mind seeing the earlier finishers back out on the course...it sort of is a reminder that "the end is near." And I don't think Eryn or I would have been so annoyed if we hadn't gone out of our way to verbally communicate with them (which, at that point in the race, was particularly difficult for me as just breathing was a feat), only to have them consciously avoid even making eye contact. It just smacked of "we're too good to even be seen interacting with the likes of you." Eryn said that when she ran the Fifth-Third 25k last Spring there were MANY earlier finishers who had run back a few miles and were cheering the slower runners on. They didn't have to do that, but they did. How hard would it have been for these guys to simply say "great race, ladies...you're almost there, don't lose steam, keep up the good work, finish strong" etc. I can't see that any slower runner would be offended by that kind of support. Eryn and I were saying similar things to those we met on the return leg. Almost everyone we met responded in kind and seemed very appreciative of our cheerleading. k

                        I shoot pretty things! ~

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          I agree, those guys sound like jerks! I didn't mean to be defending them. I'm psyched to hear that you don't mind folks coming back along the first few miles, either. Sounds like I shouldn't worry about sounding patronizing!
                            Think it's probably best to not call them 'elites'. I think dickheads kinda fits the bill better.


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              Sounds like I shouldn't worry about sounding patronizing!
                              I don't think you should worry, really. Everyone running the same race has experienced a lot of the same things (today I experienced the intense need to puke during the last mile--that's a first for me, but I have read many similar accounts by other runners pushing their limits--some runners' limits are faster or slower than mine, but I would imagine that that sensation is the same). Anyone running their heinie off should appreciate the support of everyone else on the course. Anyone who would be offended by another runner's support just has a chip on their shoulder. I always feel flattered when faster runners actually "see" me and take note of my efforts. I would imagine that I'm not a minority in this. k

                              I shoot pretty things! ~

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                Think it's probably best to not call them 'elites'. I think dickheads kinda fits the bill better.
                                Speedy Dickheads? Wink

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

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