2021 Boston Marathon Thread (Read 255 times)

    I will be very interested to see how this works.  At Grandma's, we ended up with a mass start anyway.  IME, the only way to do a staggered start in a larger race is to really organize the start with cones, marked places to stand, and repeated countdowns of 3-2-1 go.

     

    Not sure how Grandma's works but I think the difference at Boston compared to most races is that there won't ever be a huge mass of runners near the start. They're staggering when the yellow school busses leave Boston Common based on qualifying time and as soon as your bus arrives in Hopkinton you're free to start. So maybe the biggest mass will be a school buss or two worth of runners?

    Runners run

    darkwave


    Mother of Cats

       

      Not sure how Grandma's works but I think the difference at Boston compared to most races is that there won't ever be a huge mass of runners near the start. They're staggering when the yellow school busses leave Boston Common based on qualifying time and as soon as your bus arrives in Hopkinton you're free to start. So maybe the biggest mass will be a school buss or two worth of runners?

       

      At Grandmas, they bussed us up to the start, but did not assign buses.  Instead, they just asked that faster runners get on the earlier buses, slower runners on the later buses.  Same theory as Boston - get up there, use the rest rooms, check your shoes, and then go.

       

      To your point, it may have been that they didn't stagger the buses enough, didn't assign runners to buses, and had a large # of people already there and waiting to go when the gun went off.  But still, IME having run several bigger races in the time of Covid - the only way to have an effective staggered start at a race is to have people at the start specifically dedicated on managing traffic at the start line, and limiting how many people can cross at one time.  Looking at the athlete guide for this year, I think you'll end up with effectively a wave start.

      Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

       

      And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

      Julia1971


         

        At Grandmas, they bussed us up to the start, but did not assign buses.  Instead, they just asked that faster runners get on the earlier buses, slower runners on the later buses.  Same theory as Boston - get up there, use the rest rooms, check your shoes, and then go.

         

        To your point, it may have been that they didn't stagger the buses enough, didn't assign runners to buses, and had a large # of people already there and waiting to go when the gun went off.  But still, IME having run several bigger races in the time of Covid - the only way to have an effective staggered start at a race is to have people at the start specifically dedicated on managing traffic at the start line, and limiting how many people can cross at one time.  Looking at the athlete guide for this year, I think you'll end up with effectively a wave start.

         

        Were the bus assignments for Grandams based on time or did people just randomly board them?  During another podcast I was listening to today, they talked about how runners who like running around people who are at their pace will be incentivized not to linger as slower people will be arriving as time passes.

         

        But, yeah, in the other podcast, they talked about how a lot of people are starting to prefer the rolling start over standing in a corral before a race.  I have to say the stress of getting to my corral was pretty high up there on my least favorite things about Boston.  It seems like I'm always barely making it on time.

        darkwave


        Mother of Cats

           

          Were the bus assignments for Grandams based on time or did people just randomly board them?  During another podcast I was listening to today, they talked about how runners who like running around people who are at their pace will be incentivized not to linger as slower people will be arriving as time passes.

           

          But, yeah, in the other podcast, they talked about how a lot of people are starting to prefer the rolling start over standing in a corral before a race.  I have to say the stress of getting to my corral was pretty high up there on my least favorite things about Boston.  It seems like I'm always barely making it on time.

           

          At Grandma's we were supposed to board with faster runners earlier, slower runners later, but no specific guidance was given (i.e. no "these buses are for those targeting sub-3").

           

          I actually like the socially distanced starts IF they are done well (i.e. start 5 people every 5 seconds, or something similar).  Much better than the chaos of a mass start.  OTOH, in my experience, if you don't explicitly structure the socially distanced start, you end up with a mass start without people organized by pace - worst of all worlds.

          Everyone's gotta running blog; I'm the only one with a POOL-RUNNING blog.

           

          And...if you want a running Instagram where all the pictures are of cats, I've got you covered.

          ZZCaptainObvious


            Grandma's start was a mess to put it bluntly. It was a mass start with some extra cones in the middle of the starting area - but the buses are also completely unstructured. If Boston has times for the buses, I'm more confident in that.

             

            And hey, I'll be there in some capacity! Hopefully cheering in more than one place, but I'm not completely beholden to that.

            Running Problem


            Problem Child

              Doesn’t Boston assign corrals and start waves by bib  number? I’m not sure why they couldn’t bus you by bin number, and give a group of 60 people a 1 minute start time, and do this all day long. Sucks for the much slower runners starting later. I don’t think it will be done ever again, so I’d be willing to bet $50 it works by not spreading Covid 19 to other runners.

               

               

              edit: 20,000 runners divided by 60 runners per minute is 320 minutes from first start to last start. This probably would cause a problem, unless the fastest runners START at 4-5am, and a TON of volunteers are signed up. I have absolutely no idea how long volunteers are scheduled, or how long it actually takes for a NORMAL Boston to finish, but a 4 hour start time difference plus a 5 hour marathon is a lot of time to volunteer.

              Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

              VDOT 51

              5k19:35 | Marathon 2:59:10

              CalBears


                Doesn’t Boston assign corrals and start waves by bib  number? I’m not sure why they couldn’t bus you by bin number, and give a group of 60 people a 1 minute start time, and do this all day long. Sucks for the much slower runners starting later. I don’t think it will be done ever again, so I’d be willing to bet $50 it works by not spreading Covid 19 to other runners.

                 

                 

                edit: 20,000 runners divided by 60 runners per minute is 320 minutes from first start to last start. This probably would cause a problem, unless the fastest runners START at 4-5am, and a TON of volunteers are signed up. I have absolutely no idea how long volunteers are scheduled, or how long it actually takes for a NORMAL Boston to finish, but a 4 hour start time difference plus a 5 hour marathon is a lot of time to volunteer.

                 

                 

                I do not see why they need to complicate things as much as you suggesting. If they are able to spread buses evenly from the Commons to the start line and manage the boarding based on the color of the bib numbers, I do not see any problem with relatively smooth rolling start.

                paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

                Running Problem


                Problem Child

                   

                   

                  I do not see why they need to complicate things as much as you suggesting. If they are able to spread buses evenly from the Commons to the start line and manage the boarding based on the color of the bib numbers, I do not see any problem with relatively smooth rolling start.

                  I honestly don't see why they can't have vaccinations mandatory and not worry about anything, and thankfully I'm not in charge of the race and making decisions. It would be much easier to do it the way they did 2006.

                  Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                  VDOT 51

                  5k19:35 | Marathon 2:59:10

                  Julia1971


                    Just thought I'd point out to people - in case you're like me and scheduled your vaccination verification all willy nilly timing-wise since I got the emails about that first - that you need to be cleared before you can pick up your bib at the expo.  I think you can get into the convention center without it, but you just can't get your bib.


                    delicate flower

                      Best of luck, Julia, and the one or two other people in this thread who are actually running Boston Monday!

                      <3

                      Julia1971


                        Thanks, Baboon, and everyone else for the support.  Anonymous Guest and I ran into each other in Boston Common waiting to load the buses!

                         

                        I ran a 4:12Tight lippedx yesterday.  Full race report to follow but in short, I went for a re-qualifying time, even though every race calculator I consulted leading up to the race suggested the time I needed, sub-3:55, was not possible. By the half, I did some quick math and, knowing it's a positive split course, knew 1:54Tight lippedx wasn't going to be enough.  I let myself just enjoy the race by the time I reached Newton and settled into my non-time-based goal, which was to run the entire race - I took several walk breaks during the NYCM two years ago and it still sticks in my craw.

                         

                        Oh, almost forgot, the crowds were AMAZING!  One literally brought me to tears just by looking me in the eyes and saying, "You got this, okay?"  I also thought the weather was great but I think some people thought it was warm.

                         

                        And, the rolling start worked fine.  In fact, I honestly think I prefer it.  You literally just started when you wanted.

                         

                        So, my Boston streak will end at 7, 8 total.  Not completely sure what's next for me but I'm thinking I'll probably do some shorter distance races and get my speed back before attempting another marathon.  And then, I'm thinking something local like Marine Corps or RnR DC.

                        wolvmar


                        backyard brawl next...

                          Julia - great job and I like how you settled in and just enjoyed the race. Congrats!

                          CalBears


                            Julia - when you were invited to London marathon by Abbott, what age place you were at? What Nationality place? Do you remember by any chance? Thank you!

                            paces PRs - 5K - 5:48  /  10K - 6:05  /  HM - 6:14  /  FM - 6:26 per mile

                            AceHarris


                              Since I've been intermittently lurking, might as well chime in.

                               

                              My first Boston experience was incredible. I always planned on doing it once and moving on to other races I want to do, but I now see why people return to it every year and I may have to myself.  It's not just the race, but the volunteers and the local community is so engaged and encouraging.

                               

                              The race went well. Conditions were very good, but maybe a tad warm and humid. "A" goal was sub 2:50:00 if conditions were perfect, but with the weather being slightly challenging I changed to a goal of 2:52. I planned to go out conservatively, not lose too much in Newton, and hopefully pick up pace by 10-15 seconds/mile over the last 4 miles. Most of my good races have historically been a negative split, so that was my goal in Boston, although I knew it'd prove difficult. I went through the half in 1:26:01. Right where I wanted to be. I went through the Newton hills without too much trouble. Mainly focused on HR instead of pace. Being from East TN hills are in every run so I reminded myself this was just like home and not to overthink it. Settled back into pace to mile 22 and was prepping to increase the effort. Heart and lungs felt great. Nutrition and hydration went to plan. However, just as I was warned, the quads were beat up. I increased effort, but pace stayed right around 6:30-6:40, just couldn't get the next gear going. I possibly could've pushed a little more, but feared muscle cramps as the sun was coming out. Stayed focused...Ctigo...right on hereford...my wife screaming her head off...left on Boylston...deep breath to keep emotions from taking over and thoroughly enjoyed the home stretch. Finished in 2:53:18. No negative split, but a 4 minute PR. Very thankful for a good race and amazing experience. Especially since training was a little different this cycle, fewer miles, but more quality work. Averaged 46.5 MPW over the last 12 weeks, but I think having a full 10 months this year without injury played a big role. Highest mileage week this year was 56.

                               

                              Thanks for indulging this brief race report.

                              Road Mile: 5:19 (2017), 5k: 17:09 (2021), 10k: 36:04 (2021), HM: 1:21:55 (2020), M: 2:53:18 (2021)

                              Running Problem


                              Problem Child

                                Ace When I saw your time, and looked over your weekly mileage I was just blown away. You're crazy talented! I wish I could run a 2:53 on 45-50 mpw. Any plans to do NYC or Chicago? I think after I run Boston once, or twice, I'll take an extended break from the marathon.

                                Many of us aren't sure what the hell point you are trying to make and no matter how we guess, it always seems to be something else. Which usually means a person is doing it on purpose.

                                VDOT 51

                                5k19:35 | Marathon 2:59:10