IGNORANT SLOWER RUNNERS

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25/05/2009 at 13:31

Firstly this is not apply to ALL 'slower' runners.

I respect anyone who takes part in organised runs be it a 5k, 10k, 10m, half marathon, marathon, etc, etc.

I am equally impressed by anyone who runs a 10k in 27 mins as I am by someone who is determined and gutsy enough to complete a marathon in 6 hours.

HOWEVER, more and more people seem to be starting in the wrong place in races thereby ruining it for those honest enough to say what time they will finish.

Today,I ran the BUPA 10000 in London and was pleased from the magazine received that there were NINE starting packs, all starting in waves, so elite and club runners could try for PB's and first timers, etc could start where they felt comfortable without the pressure of people trying to overtake them.

However for the first 6km, I must have over taken at least 500 people (12000 runners) who seemed to think that finishing in 40mins was well within their range. Now I know sometimes races don't go as planned, but surely 500 people couldn't have had a bad day, especially those already walking after 1km...call me grumpy, but from being honest about my hoped finishing time, I added at least 2 minutes to my time by weaving in and out of people. Very frustrating and very annoying...

Please reply and let me know if I am being out of order with this minority of runners and should I claim to be a 30min 10k runner in future so I can start in a better position

For the record I finished in 43mins 49secs, although as it is a fast course was hoping to beat my PB of 42mins 11secs

kittenkat    pirate
25/05/2009 at 13:36
I hate runners deliberately starting in the wrong place too; it can be dangerous in congested starts. I actually explained that to 2 ladies at the half I ran yesterday, diplomatically. They were about to start at the front of the sub 1.30 pen. I think they actually didn't understand the process though, these two rather than being rude.
25/05/2009 at 13:37
 It tends to be a problem at the big races as there were similar issues at the Great Manchester Run as the fastest wave was suppose to accomodate runners expecting to finish in around 48mins or less and there was people walking after about 2-3km from this wave. Ive come to expect it in bigger races though which is why I just try to enjoy the race and atmosphere than worry about times.
25/05/2009 at 13:58

I'm a slower runner, and it annoys me too...I overtook dozens yesterday who had clearly started too far forward. Don't mind overtaking anyone, but the ones who really annoyed me were the group walking four abreast across the full width of the path in a country park.

25/05/2009 at 13:58

I don't know what the answer is to that.   I'm not the fastest of runners.  However i do check out starting positions.  I would hate to start in an ambitious pen then burn myself out too quickly cos i'm in the wrong pace group.   It would spoil the race for me.  I think like KK says people don't understand.  I help out at a lot of races and you'd be surprised at the amount of people who don't know what chip timing is.  We know too that they don't read the race instructions which are sent out beforehand explaining chip timing and voluntary seeding at the start.

25/05/2009 at 14:49

I am by no means fast - my training pace is about 10.30mm and I can push that to 10.20 if I want to but I would never start further forward in a race than I thought I was able, it's just selfish.

You can't get delusions of grandeur about it; if you're slow, you're slow. You aren't suddenly going to become a seven minute miler overnight no matter how much the race atmosphere gees you up.

It's such a shame, maybe some runners think they won't have as much fun at the back of the race, or perhaps these individuals don't realise the inconvenience of having to constantly overtake - it's probably not something they're used to

25/05/2009 at 16:09
I'm a really slow runner & Id hate to be in a faster pack & would feel out of my league. Also I feel great if I can actually overtake a few as it means I wont be last! Its not fair on the faster runners but I do think some people dont understand especially if they havent run in event before.
25/05/2009 at 16:13

I'd heard the same from a friend who did the Manchester race.

You have to accept that at any big event there'll be a larger number of people who aren't aware of racing etiquette or their own limitations. If I was to do something like the London Marathon or Great North Run, which I'm not at all convinced I want to, it would be for the experience rather than the time. I'll save my PB attempts for smaller races.

cougie    pirate
25/05/2009 at 16:17
I do think most of it is ignorance - a lot of them wont have raced before and have no idea of the proper way. I cant see any way round it apart from avoiding these big races ?
25/05/2009 at 16:32

It seems to be a problem with just about every big race.

If it is ignorance, then I think the only way it could be tackled would be to have race marshalls around the starting pens with megaphones repeating over and over that "if you're starting in this zone you should be expecting to complete the run in <<however many>> minutes" and similar messages to really hammer it home.

At least that way no-one could claim ignorance as an excuse.

kittenkat    pirate
25/05/2009 at 16:39

Or just signs saying If you start here; you are expecting to average 6.30 mm.

I think most people know their av pace.

There are some people who deliberately do it to get their gun time down; it's selfish.

25/05/2009 at 17:08

If you start too far forward in a triathlon open water swim you'll get swum over, hit and generally beaten up by the faster swimmers.  Maybe we should allow that in running races as well?

25/05/2009 at 17:15

I have done races with signs like those KK and it made no difference and I got held up for ages and I am slow.  I tend to start too far back as I know most people go off faster and I don't want to get swept along and burnt out to soon.

RFL is where is has genuinely annoyed me.  Those races have a 'walkers start' but there are always loads of walkers start with the runners and joggers becasue they think they will start off running but die after 200 metres

25/05/2009 at 17:15

I agree there were some in todays Bupa run that started too far forward, but I have to say it was a LOT better than many other runs I have done, I was starting in the (back half of the) second wave and there were not too many people that I had to run around. I think the 9 waves were relatively good and the majority of people seemed to be honest with themselves when entering.

Re the triathlon idea, - I think that should only apply if they are walking after 1k - unless injured etc

25/05/2009 at 17:44

Yup, happens all the time.  I used to rant about it a lot in race reviews, but I've come to accept that race organisers for these big city events probably aren't too fussed about what the first few hundred out of 10,000 think, as the 9,800 who don't care/understand will definitely be back the next time. 

I do also agree that a lot of it is ignorance and I've certainly no sense that the slower runners who start too near the front are doing it on purpose.  Pace boards don't seem to make a huge amount of difference nor do coloured race numbers, as those rely on people predicting their finish time accurately.  Also, the divisions tend to be sufficiently broad as to be somewhat ineffective (one superb year at Bristol the first wave encompassed everything up to 1.45; the sub 6 minute milers must have loved it).

Edit: sub-6 minute milers.  Obv not many sub 5 minute milers in domestic half marathons... D'oh!

Edited: 25/05/2009 at 17:47
25/05/2009 at 19:54
I can agree with people. I think that there needs to be stricter enforcement of pens/coloured bibs etc. I've run Cologne for the past 2 years and the coloured bibs are strictly enforced - so much so that i saw a scuffle break out last year when the marshal wouldnt let one guy in. Not only does it work but its an actual pleasure to run.

I remember Reading last year starting at the 2 hour mark (where i intended to be) and overtaking people that were walking at the 1 mile mark and doing so for the rest of the race, Maybe its an idea for the race organisers to include something on their entry forms to say "be realistic and considerate to other runners".
25/05/2009 at 20:06

I also ran the BUPA 10K today, and did indeed pass a number of red bibbed runners who were never going to get around in under an hour.

However, the same could be said for a number of speedy types, wearing green numbers, who seemed to be going along at sub 40 pace. I know they are the ones who have to weave in and out but I did witness a few near misses that could of led to a nasty fall or two.

Crash Hamster    pirate
25/05/2009 at 20:12

People sometimes just have no idea...

Stratford Sprint Tri is always seeded on swim times. Every year, there are some who can manage 10-12 min for 400m swim starting with the fast boys at c. 5 min. They get swum over and quite right too. Even easier to do in open water

It's not a case of being elitist, it's just a case of etiquette and good manners from all competitors.

I'm around mid-pack (dependent on the quality of the field) and start, er, mid pack. It's not rocket science, is it?

Farnie    pirate
25/05/2009 at 20:15

Do you think its maybe because inexperienced people don't maybe know their min/mile?  That they have an idea of how long it will take them, but pace is something else?  I don't know? 

I am just thinking about if I were to enter a swimming race and there were waves (see what I did there, LOL sea??)

sorry

anyway, I wouldn't know what pace I swim at, but I would have an idea how long it would take (if that makes sense)

we all know from people who post real beginners questions about pacing, that not everyone knows

or maybe its ignorance over the timing mats.....I don't know 

but it annoys me too.  I would think it really rude to sneak up a wave, (unless I had pinched someones number but noooobody does that, no no nooooo)

25/05/2009 at 20:36

Thanks for the posts - bibs are an idea,but the Bupa 10000 had nine staggered starts depending on what time you thought would achieve but still the problem occurred.

I was a bit concerned when I noticed where I was, near the front of the 42 - 45 min predicted finish time area, there were at least two people wearing 'fashion' trainers with about as much cushioning as a flip-flop. To not even wear proper running foot wear and think you can finish in 42 minutes.....astonishing naivety....just hope their joints are suffering too much

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