Thursday, October 23, 2008

How hard can it be?

I ran a really good 4 miler today; it's the first run in a week that actually felt good. It may be because I managed to get out the door early enough to take advantage of the cool morning weather. I'll know if that's the case tomorrow, I'm going to try a long run and I'm going out as early as possible.

So, faithful readers, you've probably all heard by now about the debacle at the Nike marathon in San Francisco on Sunday. The elite runners started 20 minutes ahead of everyone else. However, a runner in the "all the rest of us runners" group actually had a faster time than the elite runner who was declared the winner.

The most common comment I've read on the blogosphere is that this woman should have declared herself an elite competitor and then she would have been in with the proper group. And yet, I also read that the elite group was by invitation only; you couldn't just declare yourself an elite and join in. And what's wrong with everyone starting at the same time? If the elite runners had been put in the first corral to leave, and everyone had started the race at the same time, wouldn't that have eliminated this mess? Isn't that one of the great things about racing-that anyone can give it a try, and if you happen to be the fastest person, you win? Isn't that what we all learned when we were kids, and we wanted to know who was the fastest kid in school? You all lined up at the start; you all ran a certain distance; the first kid across the finish line was declared the winner. It's not that hard.

And Nike blew it big time. This could have been an amazing promo for them. A 5th grade school teacher beats the elites-sort of a Rocky style running story for women. Instead, they originally stuck with their first ruling about the winner, then they gave this woman the same prize and declared her "a" winner.

"A" winner, indeed. In my book she's "THE" winner. Nike should be ashamed of themselves.


The Running Bob said...

First to cross but second? So what place did she come in then?

BeachRunner said...

Yeah. I agree with you that Nike handled this very poorly. They initially denied her any award at all, and then were very slow to recognize her accomplishment (only after a huge popular uproar began brewing did they give her an "award"). I think they will reconsider the sense of having a staggered "elite" start for future events.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I agree. That's just crazy!

Tanya said...

Good question, Bob. According to Nike's official statement, she is "a winner" in the chipped time category. I checked the results page for the race, and she is shown at the top of the board. They seem to be saying there were 2 winners in the race.