Welcome, Guest      Blog      Forums      Calculator
     Log in  

Some links below may be affiliate links. BMOW may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these.

As an Amazon Associate BMOW earns from qualifying purchases.

Return to topic list
<< What's your 1 mile PR? Wrap up your 2005! >>
 Dumb Mistakes

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Dumb Mistakes Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:52 pm 

What sort of dumb mistakes have you made while training, or participating in a race.

Here's an odd one. I finally got the whole family to run together in a 3 mile run in Central Park sponsored by the New York Road Runners Club (they have a race there nearly every weekend). My oldest daughter had to cancel at the last minute due to a sudden change of plans. I had picked up everyone's race packets (Bib, shirt, and championchip) from the NYRRC office a few days before the race during my lunch hour. Knowing that I now had to return my daugther's chip myself I decided I would hand it to one of the people who collects them at the end of the race. But as the race time approached I soon realized that I didn't have a convenient place to keep it with me. I didn't want to tie it to my shoe fearing that it might look suspicious (that's another story). So, I decided to just slip it in my sock where I felt it would stay securely.

Well, I ran the race, turned in her chip and waited for my wife and two other daughters to finish the race. We all met up after the race and went home happily ever I thought. When I got home I went online to the NYRRC web site to check everyone's official time. I immediately noticed that my oldest daughter, who didn't run, had the same finish time as I did. When I told her and the rest of the family they all got a little laugh out of it. But then I noticed that my daughter's finishing time (actually mine) had placed her in 3rd place in her age group. I thought "Holy crap." I found that there was a 15 year old girl out there somewhere who had finished fourth and was actually entitled to a 3rd place award. Now I was feeling like quite an idiot. I immediately contacted the person in charge of race results and explained what I had done. I felt particularly bad that not only did she not get her award but she didn't get the recognition due her at the awards ceremony after the race. I apologiezed profusely and offered to write a personal letter of apology to the girl if she was willing to release her contact information. The person I spoke to thanked me for notifying him of the issue and said he'd adjust the finishing times, remove my daughter from the results, and they'd mail the 3rd place award to the girl. I felt better that he didn't berate me for being such an idiot but I still felt bad that I never got a chance to apologize personally to this girl.

So I live and learn.


Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:54 pm 

Oh wow, does that suck!

Last Saturday, I had a class all day and knew I would have to miss my long run. Well genius-boy here realizes that his wife is attending a party 10 miles away from home that evening, so she could just take him there and he'll run home, in the dark, through Hollywood.

All in all, it worked out well and was incredibly entertaining, but, at a fork in the road that would either take me towards home or onto a FREEWAY, guess which route I accidentally followed?

So here I am, beginning to realize that I'm on an exit ramp to one of the busiest freeways in the nation, in the dark, and only halfway home. After winding up beneath a cloverleaf and locked in by a chain link fence, I (cautiously) retraced my steps back to the split and journeyed home. I figure I added about 1/2 mile to my run and freaked out at least 20 motorists.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:54 am 

Mfox, i had always heard that those chips only work if they're on your shoe, close to the mats, so i might have made the same mistake someday. i also heard that the reason elite runners wear two is that their stride can be fast and lengthy enough that they can step over the mats quite easily, never recording a time. In fact, i was looking at the elites finishing times at Chicago this year and Evans Rutto apparently 'missed' two splits along the way. Needless to say he ran the whole race, but somehow, even with two chips, didn't have 100% recordings. Also, I've heard that's why races have two mats at both the finish line and start line, for built-in redundancy.

Sorry, that was a bit off-topic. My biggest training blunder was when i was visiting a friend in a suburb around Albany, NY. I went for a morning run, GPS on, and alert, carefully remembering street names and turns so as not to get lost in the cauldesac maze. I still got lost. I did about 10 miles and got back to the general area of his house, but couldn't find it to save my life. Not only was it very early in the morning and no one was around, but I couldn't find a gas station or anything open that time of day to find a phone or directions. Or as it would turn out, a restroom that i very much needed. I continued to zig zag and run around in circles, looking for a familiar sight, but no luck. Fortunately it was a somewhat wooded area, so i ditched in the woods and did what i had to do and hoped i remembered what leaves were safe to use and which ones weren't. Ironically, as soon as i exited the 'bathroom' i took a road i hadn't yet and sure enough, i was a mere block from my friendís house. My 10 mile run probably was more like 15. Needless to say i spared my hosts the details of my embarrassing 'adventure.'


South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:54 pm 

The chip is worn on the ankle in a Triathlon (you don't wear shoes durign the swim) and I've seen it attached to the lower frame or fork on bikes for road races. So I think they work fine within about a foot or more from the mat. My understanding of the two mats at the start and finish isn't for redundancy but that the first mat is basically a magnet that energizes the chip (a transponder). The chip then releases the energy as it goes over the second (detector) mat. This release of energy is in the form of a "signature" signal that is unique to each chip and thus identifies the chip. The process supposedly takes about 60 miliseconds. This would explain why the chip lasts so long (for ever?) and doesn't require a battery. I've had mine since 2001 and have used it flawlessly in about 50 races or so.

Back on topic: I once went on a trail run near my house with my daughter. This was the first time we'd run together and the first time I ran on these trails. I had just started running abuot 6 months earlier and she had just recently been running, for the first time, for her Junior High track team. So I figured a nice easy and short run (3 miles) on the trails would be managable for both of us and I convinced her to join me. Well, I never would have imagined that the trails would twist, wind and branch off as much as they did.

After about a mile and a half into the wood we turned around to head back and I couldn't remember which turns we had taken...they all looked alike. My daughter had just been relying on me to lead teh way and wasn't paying much attention either. I was beginning to feel a bit embarrased. After all, we were only two miles from our house and probably less than a 1/2 mile from the trail head. The sun was setting and, because of the thick foliage, the woods were gettng a little dark. I knew I had to get us out of the woods before it got too dark or face even more embarrasement.

It turns out we ran, and walked, about an extra two miles running parallel to a path that would have taken us back to the trail head. We eventually made it back unscathed but my ego was a little bruised. I've since spent a lot of time running those trails and am much better and navigating the twists and turns, even in the dark.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:31 pm 

Heh, you guys are hilarous. Fortunately I've never done anything too silly during a race, unless you count going a bit off course and getting temporarily lost. Of course having said that, I'm now destined to make some colossal blunder next race...


Hood-Ridge, NJ
Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 4

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 4:06 pm 

This one's pretty embarassing, and, in hindsight (no pun intended), a bit funny. So I was on a long run on the same trail that I usually run. I'm probably at mile 11 out of a 13 mile long-run and all the sudden, I've gotta go to the bathroom...bad. I try to keep running, but I just can't seem to hold it anymore. I run a bit further, and I just can't hold it any longer. I waddle off the trail and practically explode under a bridge. Man does it feel good. Then, I look around for something to wipe with and to my delight, there are some long, narrow leaves on a nearby tree that will work. Only when I get home later and have a massive itch do I realize that I wiped with poison sumac. That was the worst night of my life...I itched so bad that I didn't get a wink of sleep. It was terrible, and the rash spread all over my lower parts, as well as my stomach, arms, legs, etc.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Dumb Mistakes Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:43 pm 

Aieee! Poison sumac! That must NOT have been pleasant. That will teach you to take care of your bathroom needs BEFORE your run next time. :-)

View posts:     

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Copyright © 2014 Runworks. All rights reserved.   Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group

Questions or Comments  Privacy Policy