Marathon Observations…A View From the Seventh Floor

June 1, 2008 at 7:50 am 3 comments

This morning I am “blessed” enough to have the San Diego Rock N’ Roll Marathon pass down the street in front of my downtown condo.  As somebody who has yet to run in a marathon (I’m already signed up for the Carlsbad Marathon in January and am awaiting lottery selections for the NYC) and has never watched people run by before, I was a quite surprised at a few of the things I saw…here’s just a few:

  • Race Pace Flaggers.  Pretty cool idea.  I see a guy with a big group around him carrying a flag that says 3:00.  Safe to say that group had high hopes of qualifying for Boston or simply finishing sub 3:00.  It would be interesting to see how many people were left 20 miles later (my condo is at about mile 6).  
  • Elvis Outfits.  Really guys?  I’ve seen about 10 of you already.  You’re not original.  Just stop.
  • Sidewalk Urination.  I put you up there with the Elvis guys on the lameness scale.  This is a city-sponsored marathon that has port-o-pottys about every mile.  You can hold it.  
  • Aid-station-horder guy/gal.  You know who you are.  You grab two full sports drinks when you’re at the aid station.  Two thoughts: First, you don’t need that much fluid.  Your body can’t even absorb that much within two hours, let alone before you hit my second point…i.e. that THERE WILL BE MORE AID STATIONS.  I promise.  Hell, I can see another from my apartment.  Put the second bottle down.  
  • Corner Cutters.  Really?  Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the purpose of running a marathon was to prove something to yourself (for those that aren’t in the running for winning the thing).  Just stick to the course.  There’s no need to cut the corner (and no, I don’t mean simply jumping on the sidewalk to avoid the crowd…I mean cutting the corner like I saw dozens of people do this morning).
  • Guys without shirts.  There needs to be some rules put in here.  If the race leaders can run with their shirts on, so can Joe-Flabby Gut-Hairy Guy who will be lucky to break 4:30.  It’s 62 degrees and overcast out right now: you can put on your shirt.  Please do.
  • Gear Choices.  I’ve seen the full array of gear this morning.  Everything from Gu straps to compression socks.  But a FULL 100OZ HYDRATION PACK??  I guess it was only fitting that it was on the back of a woman who looked like she’d be lucky if she didn’t have a heart attack by mile 13, but come on.  There is absolutely no reason to carry a full hydration pack at a marathon (see aid station note, supra).  
  • More Gear Choices.  Since we’re on the topic, I saw something that made me want to pull up the statistics on the percentage of people that finish the race.  I saw a guy running in basketball shoes, jean shorts (at least they were black) and a belt.  To top it off, he was shirtless.  I’ll even let the shirt thing go on this guy, but a BELT?!?!?!  Ouch.  Can you imagine having a belt rubbing against you for 26.2 miles.  I AM a betting man and if somebody was laying odds on that guy finishing, I’d be first in line to bet against him.  
Aside from these little tidbits, I think the most interesting thing about the race was twofold.  First, I could spot certain failure from my seventh floor condo.  I saw several people that looked like they were going to have a heart attack at mile six.  This is either a result of (1) people being out of shape, or (2) people going out way to quickly.  
If I had to guess, I’d say it was the latter, which leads me to my second point: I have a feeling my ego is going to get the better of me during racing.  I can definitely see myself running at a pace beyond sustainability simply due to my competitive nature.  I’m going to have to monitor my body at events so that I make sure I don’t completely crash.
One final note: seeing this out there this morning has me giddy to start competing.  Training is fun and I really do enjoy it, but I want to get out there and feel the spirit of the competition.  Just under four months to my first triathlon…should be fun!



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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. vallesmarathon08  |  June 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I definitely agree with some of your points but as one of the 158 Running Elvi out at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on Sunday I wanted to inform you that it was an attempt to break a world record for the most running Elvi not just random people being unoriginal.

  • 2. whynottri  |  June 4, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Good to know. I feel a little better about my fellow San Diegans now. I was starting to get a little concerned when I saw about five pass by in a span of two minutes. Congrats on running the race. I’m looking forward to doing it next year.

  • 3. vallesmarathon08  |  June 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Hey maybe you should run it as Elvis! Either way good luck with all of your training!


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