Race truisms

For the long bus rides to and from Kelowna for the Okanagan Half Marathon, I brought a library copy of The Runner’s Rule Book (Rodale, 2009) with me to read. I somehow ended up reading the remainder of the book, particularly the section relating to races, on the trip home, after I ran my race. Going through the section about racing, some of it actually applied to my experience in Kelowna.

  • “Rule 2.12: Write off the first mile.” Even though the Okanagan Half is smaller than Victoria or the two springtime halfs in Vancouver, it’s no less chaotic after the hordes cross the start line. Start slowly and run in a straight line and the rest should fall in place.
  • “Rule 2.15: You will hear the theme from Rocky.” I did hear “Eye of the Tiger” around km 18. That might have carried me through the final 3 km.
  • “Rule 2.27: Run the mile you’re in.” As I mentioned in my report, I tried not to think in terms of 21.1, but broke it up into more manageable 5 km segments. I was even pacing myself at 3 km intervals because my brain just wanted to process that too.
  • “Rule 3.5: Save the race shirt for postrace.” In the past, I’ve worn the race tech shirt during the event. But last year, I heard horror stories (or is it an urban myth?) of people who did the same, but the shirts were shoddily stitched, so those people finished with rashes or were bleeding in places where they normally shouldn’t over the course of a run. I have since worn a tried-and-true shirt for race purposes.

There’s plenty more in the book, including loving your tan lines, the joys of coffee, and the best times to wear your running gear, so find out more here, or get it wherever you usually get your reading material.

Oh yeah, I have one more point about the race. There’s a point at about km 12 (or between 19 and 20 to close the loop) where runners cross over. I had looked at that on the map as soon as I saw the course, and I thought that didn’t look right. In practice, it was quite dangerous, even with volunteer marshals right there giving runners the heads-up. There were no signs in the lead-up to the crossover and, if I remember correctly, it’s on a blind curve, especially on the 2nd pass. Hopefully the race organizers can look at that and re-examine how to make the course safer.


3 Comments on “Race truisms”

  1. PTGirl says:

    Good rules! And I agree about the cross over at the race… i near crashed into an on coming runner! Argh!

  2. Courtney says:

    Hey – I just found your blog. Funny thing is I found this book at Chapters one day when I had to kill some time and I ended up reading the entire thing. Some good points in it!! And still some of the rules come back to me on runs. Especially 3.5. And then when I go to races and see it being broken, I shake my head… Don’t they know the rules :)

    My personal favourite rule is the first one
    #1.1 – HAVE FUN
    No other fact is so fundamental to running or so very easy to forget: Done properly, running is fun. …
    … Indulge this instinct. Enjoy it. After all, there aren’t many animal impulses that we can act on in public without getting arrested.

    • Eric says:

      Another reason I like rule 3.5 is that I can wear the shirt post-race and make people wonder why the shirt still looks so fresh.

      And thanks for pointing out rule 1.1. If you have to follow one rule from that book, it has to be that one!

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