Pre-race Agonizing - Finishing last? (Read 997 times)

    My final race in high school, we fibbed a little about my PR to get me into the A flight.  I finished dead last, and not by a whisker either.  But it was a massive PR, and one of the few track races my parents got to see me run.


    You'd be amazed at the ROAR that goes up for the last few finishers.  I'm not sure if the winners get such cheers.  Revel in the experience of the race, no matter where you place.

    "I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."

    -- Dick LeBeau

      Similar to Clive, I ran a 4:29 mile in high school as a senior and beat one other person in the race...a freshman who ran 4:32.  It was a PR for me and I'm much happier to say I broke 4:30 and nearly took last than if I ran slower and finished higher.  I remember my times but never my places...

      2017 Goals:

      • 2600 Miles 
      • Sub 2:50 marathon (PR 2:52:35)
      • Sub 1:18 @ Icebreaker HM (result: 1:18:19)
      • Stay healthy

        I ran in a 5 mile race about 27/28 years ago.........there were about 125 people that ran that day......I hadn't been running, was really out of shape, heavy as hell (probably 30 lbs overweight) but because I had run in the past, I figured I could gut it out and be OK....  I was positive I wouldn't come in last....


        Long story short, after 1.5 miles I couldn't see anyone on the course.......by 3 miles I felt like the OMEGA MAN and then the an ambulance drove around to sweep the course......so for the last  2 miles, I ran with the ambulance right there either beside me or behind me...........sometimes talking to the ambulance driver and sometime trying to ignore or out run them.....(it was a little humiliating I have to admit)...


        When I came to the finish line, people all started cheering and "GOOD JOBBING ME" and you would have thought I was coming i FIRST PLACE  the way the small crowd was carrying on --- I must have been 5 or 6 minutes behind the next to the last runner..........


        27 years later, I'm still alive and running..................and all in all, it didn't much matter....


        Moral of the story:   Run your race and enjoy your first Marathon (as much as possible) and dont sweat the small stuff (it wont much matter in 27 years or 1 year or even 15 minutes after you finish)........


        It'll be OK....


        Good luck and write/post a race report - i love reading race reports......Smile

        Champions are made when no one is watching


          You will be supported and cheered


          As long as you finish within the time limit, the only person that cares that you finished last is you ... Well and the person that finished 2nd to last because they had a fragile ego.  Run and enjoy -

          7/20/17 #247 Comeback #19 ... 10/8 - Glacial Trail 50M




            Ha ha I was dead last in a tiny 10k put on by the Sheriff's department.  I even had a police escort.  Folks driving by called out and asked if I was in the lead.   Big grin


            Running is stupid

            I fly.

              I finished last in a 5k once.  It was an "all comers" race.  A kid on a unicycle beat me.  And a dog.  These things happen.

              Bring it on.

              Queen of 3rd Place

                Google Gabrielle Andersen-Scheiss 1984 Olympic Marathon. Dead last by a long ways and a hero in my book.

                Ex runner


                  I have been DFL a few times.  Once was a trail race.  I had lost track of folks... I finished.  The RD was there.  So I sat down and we had a good chat.  I asked him when he thought the last folks would be in.  "About 30 minutes ago. You were it."




                  At the Leadville Trail Marathon, pretty much everyone stays in the gym afterward for the big meal (and to receive their goodies).  During this time, the last finisher comes in.  Everybody goes outside to cheer this person in.


                  Anyway.  You likely won't be last, but if you are you are.  It'll be ok.



                    Also, I went searching for pictures of Steve Prefontaine. I wanted to find one of him looking perturbed.  I was going to post it as "Pre, race agonizing".


                    But I couldn't find one.


                      Also, I went searching for pictures of Steve Prefontaine. I wanted to find one of him looking perturbed.  I was going to post it as "Pre, race agonizing".


                      But I couldn't find one.


                      Ha, I was wondering if you had an example of Pre finishing DFL.  Then I caught on.

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.


                        It happened before when I started running. Everyone waited around and cheered.  It is one of my fondest memories.

                        an amazing likeness

                          I ran a race and learned at the end that their custom is for the finishers to line the road and cheer those following in. It was very, very cool.


                          I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

                            I've finished last several times - from swim meets when I was a kid and had just started swimming to some very competitive high school track meets.  It doesn't bother me now, and while in advance, I might have thought it would bother me, it didn't bother me then after the race.  People generally respect the person who's got the guts to get out there, participate and finish the race even if they're a bit slower.  


                            Good luck!

                              My running club always stays until after the sag wagon at the Twin Cities marathon.  If we see people still running, we will make a human archway for them to run through.


                              If someone is out there running for 6 plus hours (and won't have an official time, get a shirt or a medal) -- they deserve to have someone cheer for them.  AND it feels good when you see their face...

                              And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx



                                I've never been last, but I've been close.  In 2008, I so far back that the guys in the pickups that were patrolling the course would pull up beside me to see how I was doing and if I needed anything.  Then they would pull ahead and stop on the road shoulder.  After I passed them, they would pick up the mile markers behind me.  At about the 21 mile mark I actually caught up with someone and the next comment I got from the guys was congratulations because I wasn't last any more.  I felt like I had my own private support crew.  Two years later, one of them saw me in another race and remembered me by name and congratulated me again.  I was also first in my age group and the oldest woman on the course. 

                                Marathon Maniac #991 Half Fanatic #58 Double Agent #22  It's a perfect day and I feel great!