Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Legitimate Course Distance

There is a lot of chatter on LetsRun about the Philly course being legitimate. Some fools with their Garmins ran the race and didn't get exactly 13.1 miles, so every one of them is questioning it. Other people are saying that they ran huge PRs off of insufficient training, and it has honestly put a seed of doubt into my head. But I'm convincing myself that everything is alright because of a couple of points.

  1. I trained hard. I've always known that I was faster than a 73-minute guy.  Did I think I was a 70-minute guy? Maybe not, but it was a great day and race conditions were perfect. I ran a great race and something special happened.
  2. The winners of the race ran times that are comparable to times that they would run elsewhere. Sure, it was the fastest half-marathon in North America ever, but those guys were already 58-59 minute guys. So running 58-high shouldn't be too shocking.
  3. All of my mile splits were reasonably consistent. If there were going to be any mistakes in the course set-up (no one is questioning that there is an accurate course, just not the one that we ran), the errors would have had to have been made in the first 3 miles or less. It couldn't have been after that because there were no places to deviate. If the course was 300-400 meters short, then I should have had one mile that was like 70 seconds faster than rest. That didn't happen, especially not in the first 3 miles. My splits were even.
The people on LetsRun defending the course are calling for the Garmins to share their splits to find the short mile. No one is doing it. It's not as though each mile would have been short to combine to make the whole course short. If there was a wrong turn, then one mile would have been off.

The course was legit. I promise I'll write about the actual race soon.

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Race Photos