|At the 20 mile mark of this weekend's local marathon|
I don't get it. Why, with aid stations every two miles, would you wear a supplemental drinking device that adds weight?
I went to the local marathon Saturday. I really felt for the athletes. Watching the start (at 67 degrees unfortunately) and people clad in any number of different attires. Many had some form of long sleeve garment, even a sweatshirt or two, based on the weather prediction of 60 at the start and a high of 74. "Good thing they're calling for 74 today 'cause it'll be 85 tomorrow."
Ah, but the weatherman was wrong, and tomorrow came a day early. It heated up quickly such that the race course looked like one big Good Will shop, just spread out a bit. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of discarded clothing items on the side of the road starting bout mile 3, and among them, many supplemental drinking systems. I imagine the racer remembered where he/she left it and planned to return and get it after the event.
But there's an unneeded step in an already very long day for many. My point here is that although many racers were first timers, and correctly they did what worked for them in training, this was one of those instances when simply asking a veteran who'd run this type of event before what they recommended, and would have saved them this step. A marathon is hard enough already. Now sunburned, exhausted, and maybe even coming from the opposite side of town, these racers have to go back out and retrieve something valuable.
This brings me to the larger issue of homework. Race homework. So many events have huge expos these days that the newer to the sport can find someone, maybe even one of the sales people in the expo with years of running under his/her belt. Preferably, lessons like this have been learned in that local 5k or sprint tri. Go to any book store for reading advice. Joe Friel's Training Bible series or his very popular Your First Triathlon can ready even the most recalcitrant of us. In short, do your best to have race questions answered before you leave home on race day.