“A gentleman will walk but never run” – Sting, from the song "An Englishman in New York"!
Photo by flashduck!
I have been hearing conversations of late concerning the timing of our Monthly Handicap runs. Specifically, there is some discussion about whether the shorter races should start a little later than they do: whether we should send off the longer race first and, 15 or 20 minutes later, start the shorter races. It was done like this in the past and seemed to work OK. We could still work off just one big clock, and add the minutes difference to all the start times of the groups of the shorter races.
Some of the advantages of changing it would be that short course runners and walkers would not have to wait so long until the presentations. As it stands, some are leaving before the presentations, thus missing out on announcements, T-Shirt awards, and event awards. And we are getting more families using child-care, who may not want to stay around as long either. And it's good to get the long event away early, it could even start earlier and enjoy cooler conditions. And the short course runners are coming in as the fastest long course groups are starting out - the short courses are all out and back I think - which makes for danger, it is difficult for an exhausted short course runner sprinting to the finish to negotiate a pack of very fast long course runners putting in their sprint from the start, and vice versa.
There are also advantages keeping it as it is. As it stands the short course runners are nearly all in before the first of the walkers arrive; then the walkers are usually all in well before the first of the long course runners arrive. Having these races finishing together will make sorting out who is in which event and timing and recording a good deal more difficult; and a lot more chaotic with 200 people milling around together at the finish area at the same time waiting to record their names. Also there will be more of a rush for the tea and coffee. And some of us short course runners have enjoyed heading off for a cool-down run while watching and encouraging the long course runners.
Another thing I am aware of with our handicaps and the large numbers they attract is the need to take care as we race on narrow and sometimes eroded tracks. As we pass people in both directions it is really up to runners who are coming through fastest to watch out for runners ahead; it is not up to front markers to anticipate when and how back-markers will come through. While I haven't been too good at this in the past, and on Sunday found myself unfortunately "barging through" a group near the turn with walkers and runners coming the other way as well, for which I apologise, I do intend being more watchful and careful in future. And anyway it is good fun racing along with so many on the track, I really enjoy it. I don't want to spoil the enjoyment for anyone else.
And as they say, "people who wear glass slippers shouldn't kick stones".
Gary racing away at the start of Sunday's handicap
Photo by John Kennedy
One of the many groups of runners heading off from the start.
There are at least two speedygeese amongst that lot. Photo by John Kennedy
Today was a bit serious. Tomorrow should be punnier than it was today.
BBQ Stakes 22 nd May 2013
3 hours ago