Home > half marathons > With a month to go … plus a rare rant

With a month to go … plus a rare rant

One month from tomorrow is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. You know, that race I’m training for? I haven’t really mentioned it too much. I’m not sure why though. Maybe it’s because last year was such a disaster with the heat and was easily one of the worst race experiences I’ve ever had. With a month to go, I’m feeling pretty good about where I am with my training, but I know it’ll still be a relatively slow race for me.

My goals for this race are pretty much dependent on the weather. I learned that lesson last year. This year, though, I don’t want to be happy just finishing. I don’t want to be forced to walk like I did several times last year. But if it’s hot again, I can’t really rule that out. With Labor Day this year on the last day it could possibly be, this race is essentially a week later than it was last year, which could make a huge difference with the weather. Labor Day weekend is usually crazy hot or the first relief from the summer heat, which I’m hoping for.

My ultimate goal in the next year or so is to break my half marathon PR, which is 1:44:23 in the frigid Shamrock Half Marathon in 2007. This isn’t the race to do that. The nice thing is last year was so bad time wise that it’ll be easy for me to break the forgettable 2:06:03. If it’s nice weather — meaning low humidity and temperatures in the morning in the upper 60s — I’d like to be around 1:50. If it’s hot and humid, I’ll shoot for beating 2 hours. Once race day gets closer I’ll adjust those goals as necessary.

* * *

Looking ahead a bit to 2010 (which is just really weird to write), I am all but sure I will not do this race again. I am unimpressed with the promotions offered to people who didn’t sign up early to save money. Just check out the Web site right now and see the “Register on the 9th and Reap the Rewards” offer coming up in a few days. The first 50 people to register that day get a “sponsor gift” — new shoes to the first 20, a nice gift card to P.F. Chang’s. While I did “save” money by signing up early, where were the sponsors then to get people to sign up? This coming from a race that has never had an issue with filling up.

I know the economy is bad and this offer may be a direct reflection of that, but it is not a good move at all. Not for the Rock ‘n’ Roll group and not for the sponsors. I’m not a big fan of New Balance anyway, but a chance at a free pair of shoes would’ve been nice back whenever I signed up for this race. And a gift card to P.F. Chang’s likely would have led to my first visit ever to that restaurant.

This isn’t the only reason I will probably not do this race next year, but it did kind of send me over the edge in the past couple of weeks. Responses to them on Twitter and Facebook did generate some personal responses, but in the end they were very generic and basically told people to read the small print to still enter to win the promotional items — “with all promotions it states in the official rules that anyone can register for a promotion by sending in their name and contact information on an index card by the last day of the promotion.” I’m sorry, but after I’ve signed up for a race, I don’t read that fine print on promotions that don’t apply to me.

Sorry for my rant, but I had to get it out of me.

  1. michjoy61
    August 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Good rant and I totally get why you feel the way you do!

    Just have fun and run a good race. Your goals are very attainable. Adjust for the weather and your home free!!

  2. August 6, 2009 at 6:52 am

    I hope the weather is much better this year. A friend of mine ran it last year and said it was just brutal

  3. August 11, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Yes, last year was brutal. Worst experience weather-wise I’ve ever encountered.

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