I do not understand the practice of basing the number of age group awards on the "previous year's participation." Every year people move into a different age group and different people show up to race. It seems to me that there should be 1st, 2nd and 3rd places available in every age group. Why give 4 and 5 awards in one age group and only 1 or 2 in another?
This is especially bad for older runners. What's to inspire a 70 or 75 or 80 year old runner to continue to enter races when some lump everyone over the age of 65 together or only give 1 or 2 awards, even though there are more runners in that age group?
A recent example is this year's Firecracker 4 mile in Derby. Now I love this race and highly recommend it. It's affordable, friendly, nice shirts, great home-made cookies. But, I think the awards discriminated against young and old alike.
Only 2 places were given for age 3-14, even though there were 13 male and 7 female runners. In female age 60-64, 1 award for 4 runners; male 65-69, 2 awards for 6 runners; female 70+, 1 award for 3 runners even though there were 2 70+ male awards for 2 runners. Yet, they gave 4 and 5 awards in 3 younger age groups.
I would really like to hear comments from other runners of all ages and a better explanation from race directors. Thanks.
I can't help but wonder if these already expensive races are either making more money, or loosing money by loosing runners, when they jack up their entry fees to an even higher insanity by using "cut-off" dates. Life happens. I can't always predict when I can and can't make a race. I'm certainly not going to plunk down the better part of $100 bill on a race I might not make. I can understand missing out on a T-shirt, big deal. When the weekend comes, and life works out, and I can make a race, and now I may or may not get a t-shirt, plus you want to jack up the entry fee another $15-$20+? I've skipped several races because of this. I can't help but wonder if this tactic really makes more money, than it looses last minute racers. It's so sad to see running all about the $$$ and not the runners these days.
I used to race almost every weekend in the 80's and 90's. I remember paying $5, $8, $10 entry fees, and some of the bigger events may have been as high as $15 or $20. I got badly injured in 1997, and was unable to race until 2012. Now I'm back and would really love to race every weekend like the old days. My gosh how things have changed. I'm retired now, and on a fixed income. Race entries seem to average $35- $40 (for a 5K!!!) and $80+ for marathons and half marathons. I understand the fund raisers, and the tech shirts, and the chip timing etc...etc... but damn, you race organizers are pricing things through the roof for some of us. I find myself needing to save up to run some of my favorite races, and simply not coming out to many of the shorter events. I just can't afford it. Keeping in mind that everything, including shoes, is more expensive and a much tighter economy. Thank you Mark Chamberlin for the budget buster Superbowl 4 mile race, and thank you Derby Running Club for keeping the Not-4-Wimps a low budget fun race. For all the other expensive events, please consider easing things up a bit for some of us. I don't need any more fancy tech shirts. In fact I don't need any more T-shirts at all. I'd gladly show up to more events minus the cost of t-shirts and other extras I don't really need. I just want to run and have fun, and not go broke doing it.
As a former runner, it has been disappointing in the last several years to watch the Wichita racing scene fall into further decline. I miss the years of the River Run where it took something under 31:00 minutes in the 10K just to secure a top 10 place, and for several years, if you were not under 10:00 in the 2 mile, you were not likely in the top 15 or 20.
I realize the days are long gone of pretty attractive prize money for the River Run which certainly attrached a national class field for that race for a few years.
I guess what I miss most are the days when just a weekend Wichita race meant some fast times at the front of the field. It was a lot of fun watching guys like Gary Gregory, Fred Torneden, Curt Shelman, Mike Schmidt, Tim Gundy, et al at the fronts of races. Those runners then gave way to a wave of former WSU runners - Mornay Annandale, Tjarrt VanNiewenhiezen, Pascal Pau, Trey Harrison, Joe Guitterez. They are several other outstanding distance runners in the Wichita area that I did not list above.
Where have all the elite runners gone? Have the morphed into triathlon/duathlon or are more runners just not competing at a higher level after they finish high school or college? Perhaps that was just a time when we the Wichita running scene was blessed to have some of the fastest runners in this part of the country.
After visiting with runners and volunteers following the Prarie Fire Marathon, it sounds like there is potential for the race to become something special for Wichita and the greater Kansas running scene. I wasn\'t able to run this year because of injury but the feedback I have heard has been positive. As with any first time event, I know there were some glitches but all in all it sounded like it went well.
I don\'t know how much additional sponsorship it would take, but hopefully in the future the race could have chip timing and on-line tracking. Also would be fun to see a \"Bill Rogers\" or other famous runners at the expo doing a clinic and signing autographs.
I know it comes down to money to put together a first-class event but maybe if we as runners and volunteers keep supporting the race it could be something special. Also wondered what people thought of having a marathon relay within the race like in OKC. I know it would add more participants but would it take away from the marathon / half - marathon event?
Many runners sometimes get anxious when they go against a tough opponent. They get nervous on who they are competing with and they get so worked up that they lose focus on their own running. In the end, they make mistakes and end up beating themselves up if they do not win. As a result, here is a list of techniques that a runner can use to help manage the stress of going against the competition.
The first step is to learn as much as you can on your opponent. Although this may seem obvious, some runners may think they already know what they need to know. Remember there is always something to learn about your competition. Read the reports about your opponent and watch him or her performance. Try to figure out an angle on how you can beat your competition. The more you know about your competition the better your chances are you will win. This will also help to reduce your worries in the future.
Do not assume anything about your competition whether they are stronger or weaker than you. Every athlete has his good and bad times and just because you may be facing a stronger opponent does not mean that you will lose. Remember that you and your opponent both have an equal chance of winning. You are both starting from scratch. This should help you to give you confidence going into your next event.
Focus on how you can best strive for perfection in your own running instead of worrying about your opponent. For instance, you are going against the number one athlete in the tournament and you are nervous. Instead of focusing on how good your competition is, focus on your performance. Concentrate on how you can perform your event and how you can best improve on your problem areas.
Realize that you can't win all of the time and that also includes your competition. You may be the best athlete in the world, however you will still sometimes lose. No one can win all of the time. When facing a tough competitor, use this fact to your advantage. Even the best athletes will make some mistakes.
It is not uncommon to get nervous when you go against a better opponent. All you can do is to focus on your skill sets and do the best you can. This will help you in the long run.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: www.managingfear.com
The 7the Annual High Five 1 Mile and 5 Kilometer road race
was held last Sunday on a breezy, sunny and cool morning in Derby's beautiful
High Park.Nearly 300 men, women, boys, and girls ranging in age from 5 to 73 enjoyed a spectacular morning of a good 'ol fashioned foot race surrounded by musicfrom Ron Brown's "Another Dimension" DJ service.11 area schools from Derby, Mulvane, Rose
Hill & Douglass were represented with Derby's Cooper elementary making
their High Five debut sporting the 3rd largest participating
club!Tanglewood elementary had the
second greatest attendance and in their 25th consecutive year of
running under the leadership of coach Don Shirley, the Derby Hills Dragons
brought home the participation trophy.
The High Five provides an opportunity for area young runners
to experience "real" road racing side by side (at least for a moment) with
participants like our male winner, Thomas O'Connell former Andover running
legend who currently represents K-State track and cross-country.They also had the privilege of sharing the
course with our new women's High Five course record-holder, retired New Balance
professional runner 28 year-old Amber McGown (Photo Below) who cut through the
wind and posted a 5:11 mile and a 17:54 5K beating Rebecca Jons' records by
0:40 and 1:25 respectively.Amber has
recently moved to Wichita and has expressed an interest in helping our kids
become better athletes.
After the race, participants
re-hydrated and re-fueled with some very "healthy" home-baked goodies provided
by the excellent bakers in the Derby Running Club.
Please take a moment to thank the running club coaches of
our communities for their efforts in providing the necessary leadership to move
the mindset of our youth towards healthy lifestyle choices.