Tag Archives: beer

cheers!

sunday

12 easy paced morning miles to the park and back, felt good most of the way in the mild sunny temps and easing off in the last couple miles.  Picked up the pace in the middle few miles.  Felt really positive about this run after taking yesterday off to give the body some more rest and recovery from this stubborn summer cold and cough.  The rest seemed to have helped except for the cough.  Even with these on and off days of running, I realized the runs have gotten longer and have signaled the start of marathon training.  One reason for doing a morning run today was to have time to get down to ‘The Taste of Buffalo’, one of largest food festivals in the country, and as always had a great time, samples of food including heavenly BBQ washed down with some excellent local craft beer!

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a ‘grim’sby experience

sunday

So, went up to Grimsby, Ontario this morning for the Half, ended up being an ‘eventful’ event, enough so that I described it on our local runners’ site (the content of which is below), still glad I ran it.

Ok, a long post…

Want to preface this by saying I don’t like to complain about a product or event, especially online, and especially about a running event, as I know how much time and effort goes into organizing and directing them.  That being said, I want to describe a less than thrilling experience at this morning’s Grimsby Half Marathon.  I don’t want to rip the entire event as I’m sure many people there worked hard and had the best intentions, but I experienced three big problems:

Problem #1: I, along with a couple of runners, was sent (or more like not told we were going) the wrong way.  About 4k into the race, I was in the 2nd pack, we were 3rd thru 5th place at that point, about 30 secs off the 2 leaders.  We were never told nor did we see an obvious sign to take a right turn, and missed a small loop we were supposed to do.  We only found out when we saw and heard the lead pair coming up from a side road behind us…

Problem #2: To add insult to injury, the lead marshal on his bicycle actually yells at us for ‘not turning, back there!’  When one of my co-runners tells him that no one told us, the guy says ‘didn’t you see the others turn!’ Um no, because we were ahead of them and we did not see the leaders turn.

So the three of us ended up doubling back, all of us pissed, back to the turn to stay on the course.  One of the guys had GPS and said we added about 600 meters – probably adding at least a couple minutes – onto our run. One of the guys in my pack ended up dropping out a couple miles later because he was so aggravated.  The other runner and I finished, salvaging something.

 

Problem #3 (the biggest one) was the response from the race director (we assumed she was) to us. The runner who dropped out, he was an experienced elite masters runner, explained (politely, he was Canadian after all) the course issues and how we were sent the wrong way.  Her response was to meekly point out to him that there was a course marker (none of us saw it if there was one).  All we could do was throw our hands up. We weren’t expecting nor asking for a change in race results, just some acknowledgement and a willingness to fix it in the future.

 

So here’s my rant: the biggest issue for the three of us who were sent the wrong way was not about placings and awards – this isn’t the Olympics or anything – but that the race didn’t provide the basic requirements of a road race: clear marshaling and directions on the course.  And this wasn’t an inexpensive race.  Their response was just what not to do in customer service: not taking any responsibility or acknowledging a mistake.

The event seems to want to reach out to Western NY since it lists in Buffalorunners, this is just some constructive feedback to the organizers.  I like small town races, I support them, but I also expect them to provide an organized race.

Some lessons…

This probably goes without saying, but some recommendations to would-be race directors (or even experienced ones):

  • Encourage all course marshals to give course directions to all runners, even if those directions seem obvious.  Runners are not in a ‘right frame of mind’ during a race, nothing is obvious to them.
  • If your primary thought is that race participants are a nuisance, you shouldn’t be in the road racing business.
  • If as a race director, you’re not a ‘people’ person, then find and designate a ‘people’ person(s) (most likely volunteers) to be the contact for runners before or during the race.

These suggestions probably are obvious to race directors, but weren’t at this morning’s event.

(The results, if you care to know, 3rd overall in 1:23, added 4 miles afterwards running back from the car rental, and 1 mile warm up beforehand…18 miles for the day)

…whew, now I’m going to get some beer…

a wonderful present

sunday

the road to new york

Bright and early at 7:30, ran the brand new 15k race this morning, and it went very well – 3rd overall in 53:54, a 5:46/mile pace, hadn’t raced this distance in 5 years and did not lose any time since the last one.  Really happy with the time.  The weather was ideal – cool 70 degrees with a slight breeze – especially after the past week of heat and humidity.  Last Sunday’s tempo run in the h & h paid dividends today.  And the race was primarily sponsored by a local craft brewery, so a great post-race party with friends…a great way to spend a birthday…will celebrate it formally tomorrow!

hot days

tuesday

the road to new york

Hot and humid all day, no relief in sight for a few days, got in a 5 miler this afternoon.  Still planning to go to my track club’s mile race tomorrow evening in the heat, looking at it more as a workout than a race.  Maybe have a beer or two afterwards.

the run, meh; the event, terrific

thursday

the road to new york

A nice 9 mile recovery run in the park and around town with the earphones and music on, rarely listen to music in runs but wanted it today.  The run was recovery after last might’s 5k…

Last night’s Ronald McDonald House 5k went ok, finishing in 17:19, a slightly disappointing time but 4th overall, 2nd masters finisher.  I like the course and would like to have gone faster, but had a stomach thing all day, might have eaten something bad the day before, was feeling lousy all day race day…so considering everything, the race went as well as it could have…

But aside from that, it was great running it with my son as we normally do, and was great fun afterwards as it usually is with this race and it’s post-race party.  Good times with great friends and great locally brewed beer, with great food provided by the Ronald McDonald House.  

Quickly forgot about the less than thrilling race performance and remembered why we run…

inversely proportional

wednesday

4 weeks til Boston, we’re tapering

10 easy paced relaxing miles in the park tonight in a suddenly winter-like temp in 20’s, it’s only temporary but I didn’t like it.  But the start of taper is going well.  Was home today with some free time, had a beer, and it knocked me out a little bit.  Been pretty good about alcohol intake during the past months of training, and looks like my ability to handle it has gone down…maybe inversely proportionally to my ability to handle mileage…

5k in a heatwave

Currently experiencing a mini-heatwave here in western NY, tomorrow’s forecast to be the hottest day of the year, probably hitting 90 with humidity and a 5k race.  Ran a very easy 6 miles (4 miles yesterday in the heat) just to get the legs going, lots of hydrating and sunscreen.

Not too fazed about running this 5k tomorrow, what are you gonna do, it’s summer and it gets hot.  Besides I love this race, a popular event, benefits the local Ronald McDonald House and has a great post-race party with some excellent locally brewed beer.  It’s just a few blocks from my place, so it’s quick jog to the starting line and a nice walk back home after the race.

What else…my son will run it with me again this year, and it’s the 2nd to last race before I turn 49…