>Racing>TV viewing: Marathon Races
Yesterday, I happened to watch the best marathon race on TV.
Interestingly, a Kenyan didn't win the race.
It was a local high school student that was the first to cross the finish line at the White Rock Marathon in 2:16.
(Now that I got your attention...)
The White Rock Marathon setup an "Elite High School Challenge", where a local high school coach recruited 16 boys and girls from the Dallas / Forth Worth high schools that are stellar 1 mile and 2 mile runners, and they setup relay handoffs along the route (every 1 or 2 miles) and the goal was that these high schoolers would be able to run with the lead running group (Kenyans) and challenge them for the win.
From a TV perspective, the viewers were constantly cheering for the HS students. At all times in the race, they were within 1 minute of the lead pack, and the TV coverage of the young athletes was really good. The coverage spoke about their high school, their running accomplishments, and would interview some of the runners as they finished their segment.
So, as it turns out, at mile 24, there was a handoff to a local HS kid who ran the last 2.2 miles and came from about a 25 second deficit to pass him during the last 400 yards. If the Kenyan would have been able to beat the HS relay team, he would have won an additional $1,500 in prize money, so there was incentive on his part to keep the lead.
The race had about 20+ thousand entrants, and the weather was awful (upper 30s, hard rain, windy).
Overall, I thought the coverage for that race as well as the sub-plot within the race could be a model for other marathon races. Great job, White Rock Marathon! (In fact, I'm guessing that other races have "games" like this as well, but this years TV coverage was much better than I'd seen before).
#1: Do what I can do. <DOING>
#2: sub 5:40 @ 1/2 Ironman (Benton Harbor, MI)
Feeling the growl again
Sounds very interesting, and I'm glad the kids got to see it put on TV. Awesome.
I used to do a TON of marathon relays...we came in 2nd or 3rd in the USATF championships once. I really miss doing them (4 or 5 man ones). I think our best team time was like 2:17, we had the talent to run about 2:10 but could never get the top 5 guys able to do one together. For those of us past organized team running it's a really great way to participate in some of the mid-sized marathons without having to do the whole thing...and get some good camraderie to boot.
"If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does. There's your pep talk for today. Go Run." -- Slo_Hand
I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills
I would be pulling for the full marathoner (kenyan or not) over a relayer pretending to be competing in the same event (high schooler or not). Crummy idea IMHO. I am not big fan fan of concurrent relays going on the same race course as marathons. However Kudos to giving the winner a shot at an extra $1500. Yes, I get they are here to stay, and they do bring more spectators out, but that does not mean I have to like them.