Is the rest of the World

Hijacking our race's?

1 to 20 of 162 messages
15/10/2003 at 22:41
After having just 'lost my rag' a little with a dog lover who wants to run events The Monty with his beloved pet and after all the threads about walkers doing races including last weekends GSR, where I did a lowley (for me) 1hr 18min and still came in the top 2000 finishers out of a claimed 12500 (call it 10500 for arguments sake). A few years ago I would have been more like 4500th amongst the same number of entrants! Is our sport being over run with walkers, dog walkers and fancy dress?
15/10/2003 at 22:47
I've said it before...

A running race is a running race, where you aim to get round in the fastest possible time. If you have to walk then fine. If you get injured but want to cross the finish line then fine.

But please don't set off with the intention of treating it as anything other than an athletics event.

That includes silly costumes.
15/10/2003 at 23:47
Aren't there sponsored dog walks for people and dogs to enter (running optional)?
Training with your dog is one thing, racing with him is another.
I'd have to slow down and wait for mine to finish doing what dogs do and then clear it up after him.
Has Mac's owner considered this?
16/10/2003 at 08:55
There must be safety implications surely - either leads all over the place or dogs off leads all over the place.

OK - some dogs are well enough trained, but...
16/10/2003 at 09:38
I'll be joining Barnsleyrunner on the BBQ
16/10/2003 at 10:03
Intresting comment about running in costume. I'm hoping to run FLM 2005 for Dain Fossey Trust in full Gorilla costume. It will involve a lot of hard training hence the 2 year run up. Running in full costume is not easy. Do I get to be counted as a 'proper' competitor?
16/10/2003 at 10:05
my best over 10 miles now is 1.20 (7th september this year), in 2001 i did the GSR in 1.31,

does it mean that i was one of those dog walkers and now a proper runner, or just that i have improved with my running?

besides, charities are more and more using races as a way of income, and a lot of well-intentioned people, who don't usually run, take part on those massive events. If you like racing, go to small events, club organised events, and not big ones, and if you go to a big one, please don't complain.
16/10/2003 at 10:34
JJ, Jose', We are runners no problem there but the numbers that are starting to enter events with no ability whatsoever is starting to clog the system. The only acheivement for a lot of them is to get round, they have not pushed themselve's to do it. Barnsleys comment sums it up well.

And Jose', those big events are ours and at conception were designed as race's in which people can test their endurance and speed there are thousand and thousands of ways to raise money for charity, ambling around the GNR of FLM at half the speed an individual is capable of is no achievement at all. Those people should either take the challenge seriously or go and organise a coffee morning!
16/10/2003 at 10:41
Obviously thats not to dismiss charity connected with the events, just that it should not overshadow and dominate the event.
16/10/2003 at 10:47
If I amble around the FLM at half the speed of Khannouchi does that mean that I shouldn't enter? Even if I wear shorts and a vest and train to the best of my ability?

Agree that dogs, walkers etc. should be encouraged to start at the back but the organisers should decide who they want to allow to participate and organise the start accordingly.
16/10/2003 at 10:48
Moe, you got a point, although, on my opinion, big events are like big party times. You go there just to enjoy the atmosphere and pay a bit more than you do in other races. They are not ours any more, just like a small family business, once gets bigger, is not family business any more.

Having said that, i have also seen a lot of more entries on small club events, which maybe is a result of big events being overcrowded.
16/10/2003 at 10:49
DB, i wish i could run half of Kanouchi's speed
16/10/2003 at 11:53
I suppose nobody would really get in the way of anyone else if only everyone would be realistic about where they stand on the start areas and then anyone (and their dog maybe?) would be welcome!, is that ever going to happen?............... I doubt it.

At GSR I started about the middle of the purple area (midway) and was still passing Grey and white (back of field) numbers at 4 miles! What is the point of the organisers going to the trouble of using the system if no bu***rs going to use it!!
Solution could be to police it and confiscate numbers standing too far forwards!!! (JOKING, honest!)
16/10/2003 at 12:03
Agree with you on that Moe. I'm getting tempted to line up with the elite runners in future just so that I don't have to keep changing pace to get through the crowds. At Swansea Bay 10k it was impossible to get a decent rhythm going for the first 2k and I'd lined up next to an ambitious time!!!
16/10/2003 at 12:26
I think the coloured numbers were essentially a good idea and the best way to sort it would be to get the congregated runners and sepectators going in a chorus of 'back, back, back!' at those too far forward. Admittedly that doesn't stop anyone putting down a way too optomistic time in the first place.
16/10/2003 at 13:26
Hey all, I know they were with guys running but it stil amused me-my first half and my first ten I finished just behind runners with dogs (times were 1:47 and 1:12 by the way).
It looked like the dogs wanted to go round again.
16/10/2003 at 14:52

I initially agreed with you on the dog thing - simply too dangerous for an event that isn't set up for it.

But I totally fail to understand your attitude in relation to big events. The idea that big events are somehow "ours" instead of anyone elses is frankly ridiculous.

These big events were never intended as races for club runners. They were always intended to be participation events - of the 6 objectives of FLM only one relates to athletic achievement in any way. The achievements of people who don't normally run and yet still manage to complete FLM, however slowly, are no less valid simply because they aren't normally runners. The fact that many people do so while wearing costumes makes it more of an achievement not less.

I'd have to agree with Jose - if you want to race then go to a smaller event - if you go to a bigger event then don't complain.

And good luck JJ - I saw how hard 7km in one of those suits was!
16/10/2003 at 15:50
When you say "smaller event" what kind of field size are you thinking of m/ jose?
16/10/2003 at 15:53
Simply don't agree with this notion that a big event should just be a participation event where personal bests for 'better' runners should be thrown out of the window: to be attempted instead at 'smaller' events.
The problem is that the vast majority of smaller events (ie every single one I have ever done) do not enjoy many of the following benefits:
Totally closed roads: (Trying to concentrate on form whilst being hounded by a 4x4 is not so easy)
Regular water stations: e.g. not every mile or so like at FLM , neither with water bottles instead of cups or the occasional station with energy drinks.
Championchips: To prove you actually ran the time on your watch!
Throngs of spectators cheering you on: Great for when you are flagging!
Quick courses: There are a lot of quick smaller events around, but many of the biggest events just happen to be very quick courses as well.
Put all these in the mix and you may understand why club runners still like to try and compete well in big events.
I'm all for allowing people of all abilities to compete in big races, I just believe that every competitor should be given the opportunity to make the most of the enhanced facilities offered at most bigger races to help them maximise their potential (if they so wish).
A consistent moan on these forums with runners (And I believe they tend to come from those with quicker PB's) is being held up by much slower runners at the start and beyond because people line up far too close to the startline in relation to their own ability.
It sounds as if the GSR tried a system to get round this but failed because it was neither marshalled properly or open to confusion or abuse by certain runners.
My proposal to bigger events is to adopt a system similar to the good for age system at the London Marathon, whereby if you can prove you have run a good time at an event in the last two years (And that becomes much easier to prove and verify with many results posted on the internet) you will be guarenteed a place close to the front, which will be segregated and monitored by marshalls to ensure those that shouldn't be there aren't.
The problem may lie in choosing cut-off times: I would go somethng like 40m for 10K, 1:25 for 1/2 M and 3:15 for the full marathon.
I don't think this would cause a massive administrative burden and could be fairly easy to impliment at events (I'd imagine for most the amounts claiming a position at the front would be around 100-200 with the exception of the London Marathon).
This, I believe, would go a long way to eliminating the frustration that the more 'elite' runners often suffer when turning up at a big race.
16/10/2003 at 15:54
12,500 (or 10,500) is big enough to make the rest smaller

you have very nice events of 400 runners, or less, i run in June an event with just other 48 people

"smaller" as in club event and not a big televised charity-focused event
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