Sunday, January 31, 2010

at what age?

I get so many emails about our Delaware Marathon. Course questions, time limits, water and gator aid stops, parking. On and on it goes. I always answer back in a timely fashion. But one email I really had to think about and in fact could not make a decision right away on was from a parent asking if their 14 year old daughter could run our marathon. I forwarded the email to operations director Joel Schiller. Joel emailed the parents asking if their daughter has run any long distances. They emailed back "only a few 5k in the 22:55 range and has run a training run of 12 miles". But they wrote that she would train and run our marathon with her father in approx. 5 hours. We have had a 16 year old participate in our marathon but never one this age. Even with a parents signature I just did not feel that we should allow this young girl to run the distance. Joel and I agreed that the half marathon distance would be ok or the 4 person relay. Joel wrote back a nice note to the parents explaining our decision. Just curious......if you were a race director for a full 26.2 mile marathon would you have accepted her entry?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't blame the race director.....

At the PSCI Icicle ten miler we had a women who finished second in her age group using gun time but first in her age group IF we scored using chip times. She wanted her first place plaque. I contacted Doug White (certifies my routes) and Tom Fort (Pres. of DE Sports Club and at the time regional RRCA represenative) and both said awards are given out using finishing place or gun times. I contacted the President of the RRCA and he too agrees. His answer is below:

"The order in which the athletes cross the finish line will be the official finish position." USATF Rule for Road Events (quoated in full below).

RULE 135 THE FINISH LINE 1. The finish of the course is the edge of the line closest to the approaching runners. 2. Should there be an extensive painted design adjacent and prior to the finish line, the exact location of the finish line shall be clearly stated in instructions to all competitors 3. A tape may be held above and parallel to the finish line and at right angles to the course by individuals who are not serving as 2001 Competition Rules 109 judges. The individuals holding the tape shall be positioned so they do not interfere with the view of the judges. This tape is not itself the finish line, but is there only to indicate the approximate location of the actual finish line to approaching runners. 4. In events using transponder timing mats, the mat shall be placed so that the edge of the mat closest to the approaching runners is the finish line and that at least 15 cm of the mat be of a color in contrast to the running surface to indicate the finish line. 5. Races may use separate points along the finish line as the crossing location of the first men's and first women's finishers. 6. In addition to an authorized finish line imaging system, an officially designated video or photograph may be used to review the order of finish. RULE 136 FINISH LINE RECORDING AND TIMING 1. Officials at the finish should record each number as the athlete completes the race, along with the athlete's finish time. The order in which the athletes cross the finish line will be the official finish position. 2. False starts in road races should not be recalled. The timers shall start their watches or timing devices at the flash/smoke of the pistol or approved apparatus or at the first moment a competitor crosses the start line, whichever happens first. 3. The official time will be the time elapsed between the start of the watches or timing devices and the athlete crossing the finish line. If an athlete crosses the start line after the start of the watches or timing devices, the athlete's time elapsed between the start and finish line can be made known to the athlete, but will not be considered as official time.

So don't be upset at the race director....I just try and follow the rules.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

one hip guy......

Last April 17th I had my left hip replaced. I was at the point where once I sat down in a chair I could not get up with out severe pain. My rehab went better than I expected. I was back doing hot yoga in 5 1/2 weeks and playing golf in 6 1/2 weeks. Running was out of the question but I would take 3 mile walks with Barb. In late summer Barb and I were walking down the boardwalk in Rehoboth when I started to noticed pain going from my right groin down my leg into my knee. I mentioned this to Barb and said I would give it a wait and see before I would call my orthopedic. By end of October I was in pain again. Pain like a constant tooth ache in the groin to knee area. I went to my orthopedic (Dr. Steve Dellose) who took an x-ray and told me that I was stage 3. Stage 4 is the worst. I went to Diagnostic Imaging and got an injection which helped ease the pain. But again this only lasts for so long. Back to the doctor. This time I decided it was time to replace the other hip. So on March 5th I will once again go through another surgery and then start my rehab. My team is ready to handle my JCC Snowball run and the Logan House 5k. I should be able to be at the Caesar Rodney Half most likely using a cane to get around. I hope to be 100% by mid April when the running season goes into full swing. Was it all the marathons I use to run? The contact sports like football and Rugby I use to play? Or the golf that I try to plan now? Who knows.....all I know is that I am ready to get my life back. For those who are thinking about hip or knee replacements my words of advice would be, "don't put it off." Pain sucks.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Posting results.....

Nothing like getting up in the morning while on vacation to check your emails and there you have a complaint from a runner who is upset that the Icicle results were not posted with complete age groups. Let me explain how these results get posted. I send a file of complete age group results to the Sports Dept. after all my events. They cut and paste into the results page of News Journal Sports page. Sometimes the Sports page is packed with other results like wrestling, U of De basketball, pro sports, etc. and they just don't have the room to post complete age group results. For the Icicle run I had no idea they only posted the winners only since i am on vacation in Fla. I spoke with Barb that morning and she told me that yes...only first place in age groups were posted. I am a huge fan of the News Journal. While away I check on what's going on at home via Delaware Online. The News Journal posts a running column every Wednesday and list upcoming events. I really believe this is a major reason why our race numbers are up. So when they post winners only I am sure they have a reason. I can not call them to discuss till 6 pm shift comes in. I know all these folks who work in the Sports Dept. on a first name basis. I make a call....they explain to me why only first place winners were posted (always a space issue) and they make sure to post the results again the next day. When running a race out of state you can always contact them to post your results. Just call 302-324-2850 after 6 pm. They will be more than happy to speak with you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What if ?

What if a bomb scare did take place on Sunday while the runners were out on the course. That would have been a nightmare. Runners coming across the finish line having no idea what was going on. Locked out of the YMCA in 19 degree weather, clothes and car keys locked inside, and who would know how long till the bomb squad would leave. Last week the Y was closed for 5 hours during one bomb threat. Can you imagine if this happened during our Icicle run. I always try and take the conservative approach when it comes to solving problems. There has to be a "plan B". I was fortunate to run into my friend Johnny Gilespie from Empowered Yoga after yoga class on Saturday the day before the Icicle run. I told him my situation and asked if we could use his Plexus Fitness facility located two blocks from the Y. He said, "no problem". Made a phone call and his staff was all set to open up early Sunday morning. Yes, I could have rolled the dice and prayed that no threats would happen and set up registration at the Y but to be honest with you I doubt I would have slept much Saturday night. Runners seemed to enjoy the change of venue and especially the locker rooms which had plasma tv's and towels. Thank you Johnny G and thank you Plexus Fitness staff. I was able to get a good night sleep thanks to your help.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Icicle run

The PSCI Icicle Ten miler is one difficult race to stage. When planning a race in mid winter so many things can go wrong. The weather is only one item. Let me explain what I mean. Back maybe ten years ago I was just finishing up marking out the ten mile route when i got a call from the City of Wilmington Police Sgt. Alfree. He told me that we could not run through Rockford Park due to double homicide. What! So we ran a 10k that year. A couple years later we had a snowstorm the night before the race and the police told me we could not run on Penna. Ave due to snow emergency route. Thus another 10k. A couple years later when registering runners the fire alarm at the YMCA went off and we had to evacuate the building. We were able to run the ten miles with a late start. And now this year I get a call from the Central Y that they have had bomb scares the last 4 days and have had to evacuate the building each time. So what to do if we have a bomb scare on Sunday? Good question. Something you don't plan on but working on plan B. Never a dull moment with this ten mile event. Let's hope for the best.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January events

This is the time of year that we keep our fingers crossed and follow the weather channel to see if our winter events can dodge the bullet. We lucked out with our New Years Resolution 5k with temp at 40 degrees. For next years Icicle ten miler I have been asked by our title sponsor to move the race back a week since he is away on vacation. So it looks like we will go with Sunday, January 16th or Sunday, January 23rd. So now do we continue to stage our Road to the Super Bowl 5k on the
9th or should we move to the week after the Icicle run to get closer to Super Bowl weekend? Or should we move to Super Bowl Sunday the first Sunday in February? My Barbie always laughs at me when I plan so far in advance. That is what being a race director is all about. Keeping things organized. So, when would you like to see these two events take place?