More Marathon, Half Marathon course changes

[Edited 4/22]

The More Marathon, site of my first and third full marathons, takes place this Sunday in Central Park.

The good news is: NYRR seems to have taken some steps to reduce the crowd clog issue, at least for the first lap — I predict the usual chaos once the full marathoners hit the half marathon crowd on their second loop. They’ve also tried to simplify what was a complicated course: two outside loops, then three inside loops, then a fourth that rounds the bottom of the park. Just try to keep that straight when you’re already “loopy” from a lack of glycogen.

The bad news is: Marathoners now have to run four full outside loops of the park — hitting the hills at the north and south end four times. Killer course. I know because I did one training run there that featured four times around and it was quite an effort. Moreover (*cough*), even faster runners in future events can probably kiss their chances of breaking the course record (2:45:35) goodbye now too. [Or maybe not, as becomes clear in this press release.]

I’m somewhat tempted to do my 20 miler in the park on Sunday, to soak up the racing vibe and relive some pleasant memories. But that would probably be insane. What’s worse: Doing battle with vicious geese and idiots on bikes up here, or running alongside [7,000] 9,600 runners and walkers down there? [The following is a poor attempt at humor] At least I could score some free water, probably. Hmm.

10 Responses

  1. I was going to say “yes, if you enter officially”. It’s not good racing etiquette to run as a bandit in a race just to do a training run.

    Even though it’s a different course it would be interesting to compare your 20 mile split and HR data with your races there.

    • Ewen, I wasn’t planning on banditing. The Central Park races take place in a coned or roped off area of the road, leaving the other half open to non-racing runners, walkers and bicyclists.

      I would never bandit any race. The water reference was a joke, obviously not a very good one. My plan was to bring a few bucks and buy water off a cart.

  2. Run the marathon!.
    If you have a old startnumber, you can use that for Sunday ;-).
    Go for it.
    And how many new running shoos you take in one year?.
    I think 4 ore 5?.

    • Yeah, sure, Rinus. (I know you’re kidding.)

      If I decide to do this, I’ll probably run the opposite direction (so I can see the racers coming toward me) — in which case I’m sure I’d stick out like a sore thumb!

      The magic number for shoes is: 12 pairs. I toss them after 300 miles (and around 250 for the lighter racing shoes). At around 4,000 miles per year, that’s about one pair a month average.

      I should upload a picture of all my shoes…

  3. Last marathon I was in (CIM) I saw someone running the other way with a bib on and was puzzled until it was time to think of the next thing. Wasn’t a relay bib either.
    Is your 300 mile shoe life on the cautious side, or do they really start to give out at that distance? It’s interesting how it varies between runners. Mine have been pushing 500 miles lately.

    • Jim, if you saw the bebibbed runner (sorry) toward the end, they may have been doing a cooldown run. I do that sometimes after races (or I run lots of extra miles if it’s sandwich training run) and it confuses the hell out of everyone.

      I find that the occurence of weird little pre-injury niggles increases past the 300 mile mark. I figure it’s better to avoid injury than to try to squeeze out a few extra dollars of shoe life. I can definitely feel when a pair has lost its “spring.” Sometimes that happens before 300, depending on the model.

  4. Yes, i was kidding!.
    12 pairs in a year, i belief you!.
    You run many miles and it is good yoy have new shoos on time.
    I think i buy 4 shoos in a year.and about 1300km / 1500 km for one pare.
    I like to see the pics of your running shoos and do you not have pics off your running outfit!.
    Whe want to see more pics on your blog!!!!!.
    Have a good time sunday.

  5. We simpletons like our humour to be bleedin’ obvious.

    Why not enter officially and run at your planned 20 mile training run pace and stop at 20 miles? Pluses – you get to run the new course in the correct direction with others running at your pace; you get to use the course aid stations; it will be easier than running in the opposite direction. Minuses – you get a ‘DNF’ next to your name; you don’t get to see the leaders multiple times.

    • Thanks, Ewen. Besides the fact that the race is closed to registrations, if you saw the course you’d see why no one in their right mind would bandit this race (and I won’t even run it anymore): It’s multiple loops of the park in a 12 foot wide section of the road, clogged with 9,000+ people, many of whom are walking.

      My race reports from this race are pretty entertaining, as they describe what it’s like to dodge around and leap over all those people.

      Also, if I run the opposite direction, I’ll get to see the luminaries (Magda Lewy-Boulet for one, as well as three-time winner Susan Loken) coming toward me.

  6. Come watch the race and bring stuff to support the runners. It is going to be 82 degrees and few of them have trained in the heat. So bring orange slices, Gatorade, ice, etc. to help them out.

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