Friday, June 8, 2012

Week of Running: June 8

Besides of course the Page 6 story of the Nick Symmonds and Paris Hilton liaison, there were some other newsworthy stories from the week of running:


Meghan Vogel of West Liberty High School in Dayton, Ohio, made news this week when a video of her helping a competitor finish a state championship race circulated around the Internet. Vogel, a junior, had won the 1600 earlier in the meet, and was entered in the 3200 - but not expecting much. She was in DFL when a competitor ahead of her (Arden McMath, of Arlington High School) began to blackout and collapsed on the track coming into the final straightaway.

Rather than pass McMath, Vogel stopped, helped her up, and carried her across the line. Pretty cool.

An International Marathon NOT Won by a Kenyan or Ethiopian

The Stockholm Marathon was held over the weekend and with the worst conditions in the race's 34 years. Temperatures were in the upper 30s with rain and strong winds, which had some of the top runners "laughing unrestrainedly" halfway through the race.

And the winner came from an unlikely country: Jordan. Methkal Abu Drais timed his race just right, as he passed Tulu of Ethiopia inside the last 2km and won the race in a "slow" 2:19:16 - which is actually not far off his PR of 2:18:xx. I can't remember the last time we saw a major international race with the winner not hailing from Kenya or Ethiopia.

Cashed Out

As frequent racers, we've all just kind of become used to the increasing cost of racing, but it's getting to the point that the price of these events is no longer reasonable. But, as "race organizations" like Competitor Group have figured out, why charge less if you have 20,000+ people willing to pay beaucoup bucks for the privilege of running?

Running Times posed this question in their recent issue, and it's worth a read. In 2011 I raced two Ironmans ($625 apiece just for race entry) and two half irons for 9 triathlons total, where the least I paid was $130. NYC Marathon is $225 now. Boston keeps going up. At what price point will all the participants finally say ENOUGH and boycott the events until they come back down to reality?

The unfortunate thing is that for some who don't race as much, they're okay with paying $100 to race a Rock n Roll half, because it may be the only race they're going to do. Annoying.

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