Monday, September 21, 2009

Equinox 10 Best and 10 More to Think About

10 Best

Equinox Organization – The Equinox is well organized, and it runs like clockwork every year.

Volunteer and Community Participation – From the sign-up, through the course set-up, safety, and awards, not to mention extensive coverage in the News-Miner it seems like the whole town is behind the Equinox.

The Course – It’s challenging (umm, understatedly so) but scenic.

The Race’s Ambiance – Tie the above three Best Of factors with good weather (well usually) and you have a memorable marathon experience.

Equinox Spirit Award – In memory of George Bloom. What a great idea by his family, to honor his participation and people who give back to the running community. Jim Loftus certainly deserves the baton this year for keeping the track series going. Track Rules!

Estle’s Statistics Booklet – At nearly 200 pages, it’s full of anything you’d ever want to know about the event, it just keeps getting better and better—with lots of new stuff every year.

Stan Justice’s Record – I do have a hard time wrapping my head around that 2:41. Certainly equivalent to a low 2:20s marathon for a flat course.

Equinox Masters Records – Both Frank Bonzanich’s (2:58) and Sue Faulkner’s (3:18) all-time masters records are tough to beat. If he stays healthy, Saari will likely take it next year or the year after. I expect Faulkner’s to last another decade or more.

Mile 19 – Probably my favorite. Moments of calm and reflection, after the strenuous climb up the Dome and torture of the Chute, but before the bonk and downhill thrashed legs that you experience by mile 22.

Henderson-Ester Dome Parking – Good idea! That was always a madhouse, trying to make your way up through the cars and crowds. Now it’s nice and calm up there.

10 Things to Think About

Runner Identification – Now with three races going on at once, runners need to know who is who out on the course. The old relay vests were cumbersome, so no need to go back to that. But how about requiring relay and ultra runners to wear a bib number on their back. And the rules should be enforced so that if a runner doesn’t have proper identification they will be disqualified.

Equinox Obsession – What? Five blog posts, not to mention months of preparation, and I didn’t even do the full. Need I say more? Take me to the rehab clinic! (Where I’ll be joined by hundreds of others)

The Course – It’s a sick course.

The Train – It’s still out there, isn’t it? Waiting.

Legs – Like the old public service ad, “Parents do you know where your children are?” (mine didn’t), we should have Hawk Shop ads, “Legs, do you know what your brain expects you to do on the third Saturday in September?” (right now my butt hurts, hams, quads, and calves, and I only did 9.2 miles).

Mile 26 – That sucker is long, maybe 20 or 30 seconds, up to 100 meters.

Youth Running Awards/Promotion Needs Fixing – I’m serious on this one. The organizers need to retool the age criteria and awards. I don’t care if they’re walking or not, the full marathon should not include kids under 18. Start adding some awards for the 1.2 mile kids marathon (top 5 boys and girls overall just handed out at the finish). Encourage older kids to do the relay, with recognized age divisions (maybe 10 to 13 and 14 to 17). Eight or nine miles is plenty for that age, but those who run well deserve a little recognition. For now they're just lumped in the open or mixed classes with adults.

No Port-a-Johns at Relay Exchange – Yup, public health issue. One maybe two per exchange zone should suffice.(or maybe I just missed them this year)

I’ll Be Back – This is probably bad on a number of levels. My wife Tamara isn’t going to like it, nor will my legs. Meanwhile, it’s off to New York City on November 1, for a little fun run around the five boroughs.

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Blogger Alaskan Assassin said...

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