from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.
Lao-Tzu

Friday, June 29, 2007

to win or not to win

A week ago The Wall Street Journal ran an article about How to Win a Marathon. It wasn't about running. It went on at length about amateur athletes using the internet to scope out competition at various races, by studying past attendance and results. When they find one where the field is small, with next to none participants in their age group, they can sign up and, if not win, at least place.

Train less. Instead peruse for a few hours Athlinks.com. Take a triathlon in the Bahamas, attended by six other people. Win. Do not divulge the details to your admiring fans.

Hmmm. I spent some time trying to fathom if in their innermost heart they really believe they won this race or another.

Could not figure this one out, so instead I signed up for a little July 4th 8K. An odd number, I guess they made it into a race since it approximates five miles. I do not know how many people are going to be there, and I don’t care. It’s not in the Bahamas, just further up north on my street and around the corner. I will not place, but I will run. Good enough for me, at least as far as next week goes.

14 Comments:

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Annette said...

Weird that people would actually research the smallest races so that they could win/place! I guess it's easier than training. :)

I had the pleasure of being the first woman to finish the 10K in a small race in my town. I know it was because hardly anyone was there (only 3 women!), but it was a pretty cool moment. I know it will never happen again, so I truly enjoyed my post-race glory. ;)

Good luck with your 8K!

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Wes said...

I'm sorry, but that's just STUPID! Who wants to run or tri in a race with only 2 or 3 people in your age group. I would rather (and did) run with 15000 people and not have a prayer!

I wish Atlanta had more odd number races, like an 8K and 15K distance. Those are good for a change!!

 
At 10:51 AM, Blogger Bre said...

I feel like running should be about the endeavor and not about the finish line, but then maybe that's my "notreallyarunner" perspective!

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Smaller races just mean I have more chance to finish last. I like bigger events, more chance of having folks behind me!! LOL.

Oh, Lia! You're featured on the link for that 4th of July race from last year. Coolness!!

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

If you held a race and one person showed up and finish the race would he/she be the winner? I guess, but would you use this as stats? I've been in a few races where there was only one female, all she had to do was finish to win!

Good luck on the July 4th 8K!!!

 
At 8:07 AM, Blogger robtherunner said...

I'm taking the easy way out and only running a 4 miler on the 4th. This way they can have the catchy title, "Four on the Fourth."

Chances are I won't place, but it's not a small race, but not big either.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I know what you mean. I have have friends that always send me info on these odd races where there might only a few people in my age group.

The last one I received was for , believe it or not...a 1K! My friend thought that despite the fact that I can't run, that I would still win in my age group by default. YEAHH That's a challenge!

I think you'll like the 8 k!

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger JustRun said...

Good enough is right. :)

Though I'd like to use the "excuse" of a race to go to the Bahamas.

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger Running by.... said...

Have fun with your 8K. I love running 4th of July races. Seems like that's the only race I only really run.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

that is a rather interesting race tactic. I'd rather just go, do my best and enjoy the day.

Have a great 4th and 8K.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Black Knight said...

Good luck for your 8K.
Where the field is small, with next to none participants in my age group: Yesssss I did it in the spring of 2006 and I won a lot of prizes! Bounty hunter time!

 
At 4:58 AM, Blogger R2B said...

You know wat is enough.

Keep up the good works.
R2B

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Joe said...

I think everyone should do that at least once. What's wrong with tasting victory sometimes? I've used that strategy a couple of times and it didn't lessen the thrill of winning. It's a guilty pleasure.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Randy said...

I've recently heard of that theory from a couple of different sources.
One of the only times that I didn't finish dead last in my age group was for the OKC HM and there were several thousand total running there.
I don't think I would take the time to do the research for a small race...sounds like more opportunity to maybe get lost, and I"m sure with smaller races the crowds are proportionately smaller too so who would be there to see you and cheer....sounds boring.

 

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