>Racing>Ever had your turnaround marker go missing?
I was running the Fort Worth Marathon's Half Marathon event yesterday, and the fellow who was supposed to mark the turnaround point for the half apparently decided to take a bathroom break as I got to that point.
I was marking the miles as I went, and had fallen in next to another runner at about the same pace, and we were both watching for him at that point in the race—it's not hard to know when it should be coming in a simple out-and-back course—and saw no sign, no person, nothing.
By the seventh mile marker, I was worried, but thinking perhaps I'd remembered the course wrong: maybe it wasn't a simple out and back? After all, I hadn't looked at the map in several weeks. By mile 8, I was sure. I said as much to the guy next to me; at the next water stop (~1/4 mile further on) we asked, and sure enough, we'd missed the turn, so we headed back.
There he was, yelling, "Half marathon turnaround!" and waving two large, bright orange flags. Not the sort of thing you're going to miss, especially when you're already looking for just that.
And that's how I ended up running my fastest 16.5 miles to date, but missing my shot at finishing under 1:30.
Anyone else ever had that sort of thing happen?
Happened to Diamond J a few years ago, and may have cost him the race win...
I would run down the lane and into the night; Run so fast I swear my feet would fly; But the smell of the world came into my lungs; The sound of the gravel when my legs went numb; And my heart nearly burst right out of my chest...
Yes! It sucks. It happened once at a tiny local (Seattle) marathon/50k because the RD marked the course the night before. And placed a cone at the turnaround. During the night, someone stole the cone.
And on and on we ran...
The other time? Was at the Ft Worth Marathon! Yes! Last year, the turnaround for the 20 mile race was missing.
Twice in a row at the same race! I need to send them that email I've been thinking about. Not unkindly, just a sort of, "Hey, you should at least put up a sign!" sort of thing. What's really odd is that the four people ahead of me definitely saw him—that, or they just hit the seven mile mark and turned around, which would have been smart.
This was a small enough field that even at that pace, I was sitting very comfortably at about 5th, and probably would have finished there—and third among the men. (The guy I was pacing was solid, but I pulled ahead by about 30-45 seconds on the last mile… mile 16, of course.)
I've been laughing about it, but in that sort of laugh-because-it's-that-or-cry sort of way.
Memo to Race Directors: Fool you once, shame on them, fool you twice...
Twice in a row at the same race!
Twice in a row at the same race!
So I finally just checked the official results so I can log my time here on RA with the full distance I ran—it came out to exactly 16.5 miles, which is nice—and I definitely would have finished third both among men and overall, it looks like—and easily first in my age group! The third place finisher came in at 1:38; even with slowing up a good bit on the return when realizing my mistake and how much farther I had to go, I was pulling about 7:11min/mi, so I would have finished around 1:32:25 at that pace.
Need to find another race soon, I think!
My last race used some trails that are notorious for vandals stealing or, worse, moving race marker ribbons. At the pre-race meeting the "motivational speaker" warned us that the locals like to vandalize the ribbons. This was along a section that I would be running at about 3 a.m., already exhausted and fatigued and braindead. So it didn't exactly "motivate" me.
Anyway, during the race, when I got to that stretch of trail in the middle of the night, volunteers were there, checking and re-marking the course. The ribbons had been vandalized but the volunteers put them back up and made sure we didn't get led astray.
Extra work for the RD and volunteers but well worth it.
"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 recall a race I ran twice...the first year I was second OA and not in the results when posted. They really thought I was trying to pull something on them when I tried to get it corrected...how can a small race not remember who finished second OA?
The next year they didn't mark a turnaround....well, eventually around 30th OA someone saw the half dollar-sized marking on the path...and the organization was unapologetic to the should-have-been award winners who ran an extra mile on a 15K.
Needless to say, by the third year their attendance was pretty low....
2013 goals: Somehow get healthy again.
"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
"Determined is what I am. Maybe a little sick in the head? Ok who am I kidding ALOT sick in the head" -- rockenmamaof5
Apparently they had problems at the 20-mile this year as well; someone posted as much on the Facebook post I put up. Let's just say I won't be encouraging people to participate again unless I see some serious evidence they plan to get that straightened out.
PerfesserR, good on the race organizers. That's a nasty situation to be in, and that's the kind of race volunteers everyone hopes for. Also, seeing that you're an ultrarunner, I think you're crazy. (That's a compliment.) How do you stay healthy—especially joints? That's something I've wondered for a long while.
spaniel… yeesh. How do you miss someone coming in second in a race of any size? But especially a small one?
I ran the Fort Worth Marathon, fortunately the Marathon turn around was well marked. I did hear some people complaining about missing the half turn around, so you weren't the only two.
I did have a different half where I missed the half because it wasn't marked. The police bike even led me the wrong way! I only ended up running something like 14.8, not 16+ like you. It did screw up any chances I had for NY Qualifying that day (probably would have not gotten that anyway). This race also put the 10k turn-around at like 3.5+ miles.
My fastest half was a mile short because the volunteers missed a turn
Yes, I've seen it happen, most recently at the HM at Running With the Devil last June - there was a pretty good wind that day and when the volunteer stepped away, the marker and garbage can blew away!
2014 Goals and PRs:
5k - 17:59 (18:17); 10k - 37:00 (37:54); HM - 1:21:59 (1:24:21); FM - whatever (3:05:46)
A small local HM forgot to make sure the turnaround point was marked. I was behind the lead pack when we got chased down by girl on bike yelling for us to turn around. I spent the next mile trying to catch gals I usually beat in our local races. (I was probably last runner that over ran turn around). I was so pisseI I just rocketed out and ending up getting my first female OA. The girl that was leading before the turnaround was mentally spent on losing so much ground-- I think she had over 16.5 miles on her Garmin at end. That is messed up! I think my final distance was 15.xx. A hot miserable day.
2013 Goals: Stay healthy and Sub 3:30. PR HM, 10K, 5K...etc....lose 5 lbs, get Michelle Obama arms.
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