Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Hero Tom Qualifies for Boston at the Philadelphia Marathon: November 18, 2007 + Philadelphia Marathon Review

For all newbies, here's the background you need:
  1. All marathons are 26.2 miles. If the race is not 26.2 miles, it is not a marathon.
  2. You can't run the Boston Marathon unless you qualify or have a lot of money and buy your way in. Assuming you go about it the bona fide way, you have to cross the tape in a very speedy fashion at an earlier qualifying marathon. Qualifier times are age-graded so anywho can compete. This is why Boston has been called "The People's Olympics."
So yay! Tom devastated his qualifying time of 3:15:59, hauling ass in 3:14:44. We're all going to Boston in the spring!

SRating: The Phillie Marathon is largely a praiseworthy affair. Diligent volunteers, interesting course well laid out for spectators, good food at the end, Gatorade waterstops.

Yet a triumvirate of slip ups:
  • First, someone forgot to remove a barricade behind the start line separating different groups of runners. Luckily a couple of participants took it away, otherwise everybody behind it would have been smashed up against it by ten thousand surging racers after the gun went off.
  • Second, no one monitored who was lining up where. As usual, joggers, sloggers and even some people with canes lined up in front of cheetah fast runners. God bless the five-hour potbellies for gutting out twenty-six big ones, but please. Exhibit just a little bit of courtesy for the poor, quick people who trained harder than you and are now going to miss their goal times because they are stuck behind a wall of jiggling asses.

    I just don't get it, yet it always happens. If you run ten-minute miles, why are you standing in the corral for six-minute milers? Do you think some speedy pixie-dust is going to rub off and turn you into a rocket in sneakers?
  • No markers at the end of the race calling out how far to the finish. At the NYC Half ("The most well-run race of all time," according to Tom) they had markers every 100m for the last half mile. When you've just pounded over this much road, you want to know EXACTLY how much farther you have to go.


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