So, by now I’m sure that y’all have read up on the disaster that was the Chicago Marathon – closure of the course after 3:30 or 4 hours, depending on reports, no water for the first 10K for anyone running less than a 3 or so hour pace, etc. Wicked hot.
Frankly, that blows, especially the reported shortages in at the first aid stations.
I crunched a couple of numbers for an email exchange that Mark and I had, and pulled the following numbers:
|Race||Finishers||Under 3H||Under 4H|
Even with the extreme heat, the planners should have realized that fewer than a third of the field is going to finish under 4 hours, so there should have been SOMETHING at the first aid stations for those runners. I find it hard to believe that even with the increased heat, the front of the pack third consumed three times as many resources as they have in the past.
Honestly? My take? There’s a move afoot in elite running circles to discourage average runners – mid to back of packers – from racing. Hence the iPod bans, hence poor support at a marquee race.
The solution? Get faster.*** But moreso, get involved. (Pot, this is kettle) One of the beautiful things about running for me is that it’s all a personal challenge – can I improve upon my last performance? Races are a dispassionate judge of that. I can always fudge whatever timing/mileage device I’m using. I can’t fudge a chip.
*** EDIT/Clarification – this is meant to be tongue in cheek.