Thursday, October 29, 2009

Male Search.....

It has been 6 months now since i got my new titanium hip. I am thrilled with my progress. No pain what so ever. That is the good news....the bad news is I went to my orthopedic surgeon to have my other hip x-rayed. Bad news is I am stage 3 (4 is the worst) and will now get my hip injected with cortisone on Tuesday. The good news is that it should last for 6 months to a year. We'll see what happens. It is a bitch getting through airport security. I stand there and the officer waives me through the metal detector. I tell him, "new hip." "Male search" he yells and then asks me to step aside. A male security guard opens another door and puts me in this glass room where I can watch my baggage come off the conveyor belt. "This your stuff" he asks? Yep....and he puts it on floor where I can see that no one is walking off with my laptop and cell phone. He tells me to have a seat and I watch him put on latex gloves. He then takes the magic wand and go over all parts of my body to make sure I am not carrying a bomb and then they frisk you just to make sure. A bit humiliating but I no longer have a choice if i want to continue to travel via air. I just wish they would have a female security officer frisk me rather than the guys. Would be much more fun.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plodders Have a Place, but Is It in a Marathon?

I checked my email acct today and had a handful of folks forward me the article in the New York Times Sports section about "Slow Marathoners." Just how slow is slow? Well if you can't run walk a marathon in 6 hours I would say that you are slow. Now...that is just my opinion. This is the time we give runners at our Delaware Marathon. Last year at our Delaware Marathon we had 529 finishers. Out of those only 12 runners did not break the 6 hour mark and one finished in 7:11. That is like .022% of the field. What you don't know is we sent out an email to all those who put down estimated time of 6 hours plus to let them know we were going to have an early bird start beginning at 6:15 am which would be a 45 minute head start. With chip timing we can do this unofficial start. It worked. It got the slow runners off the course in the 6 hour time limit and allowed our volunteers to relax and head home. Also, we have to have time limits with the City of Wilmington to open up the streets to afternoon traffic. Six hours into the marathon was the best we could manage. The medal at the finish line means so much to the slow marathon runners. They know they will never win a marathon but for them to finish is good enough for them. I applaud them all.....I remember when i was running marathons. My best was 3:20 but i started to slow down and enjoyed the 4 hour marathon pace. But after 4 hours i just get too beat up. I told my wife Barb, "if it takes me longer to run 26 miles than it does to play a round of golf then i am done with running the marathon." You know what..... my golf game improved.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weather or not......

What do you tell the organization that hires you when they have concerns about the upcoming weather pattern. Heavy rain and high winds with cold temps in the low 40's is not your ideal running / walking weather. I try not to cancel a race the day prior since the weather channel is not 100% accurate (don't tell that to my wife). I always meet with race organizers the morning of the event to make the call. When you are running on public roads safety concerns are issue #1. At the Nun Run I discussed options with the race committee. Option one was to run the race. Option two was to cancel the race. And option 3 was to re schedule. Barb rode the race route with one of the committee members and there were no issues with the course. If the committee decided to cancel folks who showed up (85 pre registered) would get their tee shirt. When race day weather is that bad you can't count on race day registrations. In fact only 20 folks signed up race day. We had 60 finishers total. A shame since this was a major fundraiser. But the Nun Run committee did have many sponsors to pay the expenses. So they were able to show a profit. The following day we had the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer at Rodney Square. We had horrible wet cold weather and 219 finishers. Not too bad considering the weather. The walk that followed had 2,500 participants down from 5,000 in ideal weather last year. Good news was that the other 2,500 no shows already paid but just did not show up. Like Vic Zwolak says, "you just can't control the weather."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Big Fish.....

I met my wife Barb via the Ronald McDonald House of Delalware back in 1990 when she was on the first board of the Ron McD House. She approached me to stage a 5k run walk as a fundraiser for the house. This past April we held our 20th anniversary of our 5k with a goal of raising $20,000. We staged this event on the grounds of the duPont Hospital for Children. Even with horrible weather we were able to hit our financial goal. I was nursing my new hip at the time and was not able to be at this event. My streak of 19 in a row now broken. We are always thinking of ways to make this event better. We have pretty well maxed out on participants at the duPont Hospial location and we want to continue to grow this special event. So next April
24th we will move the 21st annual event to the new Big Fish Grill on the Wilmington Riverfront. Barb and I have been customers of the Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth for many years and we got to know the staff on a first name basis. When we approached them to sponsor this event they emailed back, "we would be thrilled to be host to this long standing fundraiser." A usatf certified course, post race refreshments compliments of the Big Fish Grill, and plenty of Michelob Ultra beer. Barb and I hope you will put us on your 2010 calender.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

International flavor....

At Sunday's Grotto Pizza Run Eat Run event we had 38 participants sign up for the He Man division. That means eating a 16" large pie. 81 entered the Jr. Division and only a handful did the no pizza division. For a first time event I must say that it was a blast. We even had a gentleman visiting his girl friend partake from Ottawa, Canada. Here is the note he email me:

Chris Macknie from Ottawa, Canada here.
I'd like to say a belated but very big thank you for organizing the Grotto Pizza Run last Sunday. It was the funnest race I've ever done. I sent a race report about it to my running friends here in Ottawa, and they're all very jealous of the fun I had in Newark. My girlfriend Zoe (who won the women's Jr. Pizza title) will still be attending UD next fall, so we'll both be back to defend our Masters' titles.
Thanks again, and good luck with the rest of your races. You guys have an awesome running scene in northern Delaware.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What is your choice?

It has been one hectic week. Eleven races in 8 days. Plus meetings to go to during the day. Time to catch my breath. Our Caesar Rodney Half Marathon committee met last week. In this economy we are holding our own with sponsorship money but still not near where we would like to be. At last years CR half we gave out finisher medals. A nice perk. The long sleeve tee shirt continues to be a blend of cotton polly. I looked into what a long sleeve performance tee would cost. I found a well made performance tee that would cost $2.50 more than a long sleeve cotton poly tee. Problem is if we order 1600 psc. that would add $4,000 to budget. It does not look like we could do both performance tee and finisher medals with our budget so tight. So, as a runner who plans on running the CR half ....if you had to choose would you prefer a performance long sleeve tee and no finisher medal? Or a cotton poly long sleeve tee and a finisher medal? Or do you have any other suggestions? Your feedback is welcome.