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Starting Pens! (Read 94 times)

dpsm44


    Hey, I need some advice. I'm running my first Half Marathon race in a few weeks. My goal / desired time is 1hr 30 mins, but all my current training and form suggest I can do sub 1hr 30, I'm thinking around 1hr 25 is possible. However, I've been placed in a starting pen that is 1hr 45mins. I'm worried about not being able to reach my desired time from that starting pen? I can't change it now as it's too late. Is that too far back, or will it be okay? I've never done such a big event before and don't know how quickly the field will spread out. Any advice?

    Christirei


      ultimately, your time is determined by your timing chip, so whenever you cross the start/finish lines. just  make sure you are close to the front of your pen and remember, everyone.... everyone. starts out to fast. so those 1:45 runners will start at a 1:20 pace and realize about a mile and a half in that they can't maintain that pace for the whole half. you will be fine

      wcrunner2


      Are we there, yet?

        First see if you can get a last minute change at packet pickup. If not, be sure to line up at the front so you don't get boxed in by slower runners.  There will undoubtedly be some in your pen that will start too fast, or perhaps be in the same situation as you. Ignore them and run your own race. It will be very tempting to start too fast with slower runners around you. In one way being in a slower pen might help you later in the race as you catch up to runners from the faster pens and have an incentive to catch and pass them.

         2023 Races:

              On IR for now

             

        Yooper3.1


          I was going to recommend Mont Blanc, but now I see this thread is about something else.

          LedLincoln


          not bad for mile 25

            I bet it'll be fine. Starting slow is not a bad thing, and as the pack thins out, you can gradually increase to your goal pace. Let us know how it goes.

            Half Crazy K 2.0


              How large is the race? Several thousand people? Less than 1000? I tend to do mostly small races and am much slower than you. I find that even as a mid-packer, most races that are 1000 people or so spread out pretty quick after the first mile. You could look at past year's results to see how many people were 1:30 and under and 1:45 and under.

                That will impact your race exactly as much as YOU allow it to. It's possible you might have to do a bit more weaving around people in the first mile than would be ideal, but not so much that it should have any impact on your time beyond a few seconds at most. The bigger danger is that you let it get in your head and take you out of your plan. Settle in, run your race and you'll be fine.

                A list of my PRs in a misguided attempt to impress people that do not care.

                JMac11


                RIP Milkman

                  That will impact your race exactly as much as YOU allow it to. It's possible you might have to do a bit more weaving around people in the first mile than would be ideal, but not so much that it should have any impact on your time beyond a few seconds at most. The bigger danger is that you let it get in your head and take you out of your plan. Settle in, run your race and you'll be fine.

                   

                  To Half Crazy's point, this may not be true in a large race. I've run half marathons with 20K people. If they put me in the 1:45 corral, it would impact me by minutes, not seconds.

                  5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                   

                   

                  dpsm44


                    How large is the race? Several thousand people? Less than 1000? I tend to do mostly small races and am much slower than you. I find that even as a mid-packer, most races that are 1000 people or so spread out pretty quick after the first mile. You could look at past year's results to see how many people were 1:30 and under and 1:45 and under.

                     

                    I would say several thousand.

                    dpsm44


                      This is a good point. Good advice

                       

                      That will impact your race exactly as much as YOU allow it to. It's possible you might have to do a bit more weaving around people in the first mile than would be ideal, but not so much that it should have any impact on your time beyond a few seconds at most. The bigger danger is that you let it get in your head and take you out of your plan. Settle in, run your race and you'll be fine.

                      Half Crazy K 2.0


                         

                        I would say several thousand.

                         

                        If you can get it changed, that is the best option. Next best, get to the veery front of your group. Definitely go around folks in jeans carrying coffee cups (seriously, have dodged these folks in several races, why?????). If they release each group with a gao betweeen them, it will allow more time for everyone to get spaced out. Good luck in your race.


                        an amazing likeness

                          A race of several thousand people using starting corrals rather than just pace zones would be pretty unusual...

                          Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

                          JMac11


                          RIP Milkman

                            A race of several thousand people using starting corrals rather than just pace zones would be pretty unusual...

                             

                            NYRR does it, but I haven't seen it elsewhere outside of marathons, at least here in the US.

                            5K: 16:37 (11/20)  |  10K: 34:49 (10/19)  |  HM: 1:14:57 (5/22)  |  FM: 2:36:31 (12/19) 

                             

                             


                            Feeling the growl again

                              One year at the Chicago Marathon I got in line at an unfortunate group of porta johns and ended up not being able to make it into my on-the-starting-line corral before the gun.  I finally bailed on the porta john line with a full bladder and raced through the corrals, but when the gun went off I was in the 3:45 group.  I had to do A LOT of work to get through people, but ended up miraculously finding my pace buddy around mile 9.  We ran together until mile 23, where he pulled away.  In the final results by chip time we were 1 second apart, 30 seconds by gun time.  Basically all the time I rushed in the early miles he gained back in the last 3.  Ran 2:29.

                               

                              Bottom line, don't over-think it.  If you care about chip time it's not going to affect you much.

                              "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

                               

                              SteveChCh


                              Hot Weather Complainer

                                One year at the Chicago Marathon I got in line at an unfortunate group of porta johns and ended up not being able to make it into my on-the-starting-line corral before the gun.  I finally bailed on the porta john line with a full bladder and raced through the corrals, but when the gun went off I was in the 3:45 group.  I had to do A LOT of work to get through people, but ended up miraculously finding my pace buddy around mile 9.  We ran together until mile 23, where he pulled away.  In the final results by chip time we were 1 second apart, 30 seconds by gun time.  Basically all the time I rushed in the early miles he gained back in the last 3.  Ran 2:29.

                                 

                                Bottom line, don't over-think it.  If you care about chip time it's not going to affect you much.

                                 

                                The question we all need an answer too is, did you hold it all the way?

                                5km: 18:53 12/22 │ 10km: 40:49 2/22 │ HM: 1:27:32* 5/22 │ M: 3:35:02 10/22

                                *Net Downhill.  Flat course PR:  1:29:25 6/16

                                Upcoming Races:

                                Motorway Half Marathon February 26, 2023, City to Surf 12km March 19, 2023, Christchurch Marathon April 16, 2023

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