Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Run with a Friend and Some Marathon Changes

First, I was lucky enough to have Neophyte TriDuRun for my 16M (he had 17) on tap. We had better weather than expected and only had to deal with the 17MPH winds for the second half of the run. We covered much of the LM course. Only later, did I discover something new.

They changed the LM course…again…I’m pretty sure. Now, before everyone grabs their pitchforks and torches, let me explain that the change (if it is an official change) is slight. But, we are 8 weeks out from the marathon and the course should only be changing because of some unforeseen event such as massive flooding or some equivalent act of god days before.

First, I discovered the change when I was clicking around on the LM webpage, noticing how they had not updated the ‘interactive map’ but discovering a PDF of the ‘new’ course was available on the marathon page. Only, it didn’t announce the course contained within was new; or even altered in any way. More like the casual—I hope you don’t notice—manner in which I answer the Redhead’s questions about how many Girl Scout Cookies I’ve ordered. “Yes, I only ordered 11 boxes from my niece.” Completely failing to admit I’ve secured those little combinations of joy and deliciousness from other enterprising Girl Scouts as well. So, I quickly check my email account because I’m sure, since they confirmed my registration via email, they sent out notification to all currently registered participants about the change. Only, they never sent me a confirmation email, they only took the money from my account. No email.

Nope, the LM dropped this in the most ‘just a take a look in case you are interested’ manner possible. Well, I am interested. And it was then that I noticed the added bulge just west of Pennsylvania and the missing ‘Potter Park loop.’ Hummm. I quickly go back to the ‘interactive map’ and notice the word-only course description remains unchanged. Ugh.

Then, in small lawyerly print on the bottom of the PDF I notice this little gem: “This route is preliminary, pending USATF certification.” Ugh.

Is the change huge? No. Does the change drastically alter the elevation by including or excluding a hill? No. Why make the change? I have no idea, but I’d love to find out. Does this make me worried that the route may change again in the next 8 weeks? Extremely. Why? Because one of the selling points to running this race is the opportunity to train on the actual marathon course. My own personal experience is that, small modifications to any of my usual running routes will take it from easy to difficult or extremely hard to average.

Even if this change does not alter the difficulty of the marathon, a final route would be wonderful.

10 comments:

Ironman By Thirty said...

Sounds shady.

It sounds like the LM is writing the book on what not to do when organizing a race.

Jordan said...

That would definitely be frustrating for someone trying to train on the proposed course only to find out that it changed and no notice was given. Kind of glad I decided against this race, doesn't sound like they've got all their ducks in a row...or even all of their ducks.

B.o.B. said...

yeah, this whole changing it every week thing would annoy me too. make up your minds race people!

(also it's good to know as a possible future race director!)

Jamie R said...

How about we put this post on the Lansing Marathon's Facebook page and see if we can get an answer? I don't want to post it on there if you are just "privately" venting.

Nitmos said...

Yeah, this race seems a bit amateurish. I inquired several weeks ago about the relay race, since no details are posted, and STILL haven't received a response. Maybe a few days before the race they'll bother to answer my questions. Then we'll have 48 hours to assemble a eam - and GO!

Curious, why do you feel the need to train on this actual course? There seems nothing intrinsically unique - or challenging - about this course to gain an advantage by practicing on these mostly flat, pretty common, city streets??

Jamie R said...

It's not as flat as you might think. Also, I've seen how much better you can be when you know the exact route and what to look for. Check out http://neophytetridurun.blogspot.com/ to see the elevation from their last run.

Viper said...

The Akron Marathon folks tweaked the course for this year, supposedly to make for a flatter race. In doing so, we have to climb a steeper hill after one of the more grueling sections, around miles 15-18. Should be fun! Cheers ...

Neophyte TriDuRun said...

There are many skeptics in the area that have been (and still are) saying "should have waited till next year". This could be a great event, but it is seeming to be quite amateur in the organizational planning department.

Neophyte TriDuRun said...

Thanks again for the run! You really didn't want to run a loop inside the smelly zoo anyway!

The Laminator said...

Hey Spike! Thanks for the update. I also wondered why I didn't get a confirmation email and e-mailed the race people about it a few weeks ago and never heard back from them either. I thought it was just me!

Now they're changing the course? From week to week? That's a little disturbing. Hope they settle this soon...those of us running might like to know!