i didn’t run today, and that’s a good thing. because runners disgust me.
back before the days of garmins and other gps devices, you never really knew how long a course was. if you were lucky, the RD used a measuring wheel or a Jones device to come up with an exact distance. but many times it was just a drunk guy the night before the race driving the course in his jeep. but i never worried about it. miles is miles. and there was no way to prove the course was off anyhow. you ran, you grumbled, you moved on.
but now, noooooooooooo. Fancy Runners have their little electronic measuring devices with them at every race, microanalyzing the distance and grousing over the slightest discrepancy between the advertised race length and what their precious little companion said.
which brings us to this weekend’s half-marathon in Bangkok. It was put on by the Jogging Association of Thailand. COME ON PEOPLE!!!! IT’S THE JOGGING ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND! WHAT ARE YOU EXPECTING HERE?
Still, as runners crossed the finish line, they noticed that their watches didn’t quite match the exact 13.1094 miles advertised. But you must understand. Race courses are measured using the absolute shortest route. All tangents, no weaving. So you should expect your distance to be a bit longer. and who said garmins are absolutely accurate anyhow? little fairies up in the sky. and fairies are practically lawn gnomes. and lawn gnomes can’t be trusted.
and now the runners are howling. oooooh, your course wasn’t exactly accurate. we had to run too far. the annoying part? IT WAS ONLY 3.6 MILES TOO LONG!!!!! so the race guys put a barrier in the wrong place, ausing the course to expand by a nudge. That’s not even 4 miles over the advertising distance. that’s pretty much a statistical rounding error. ok, so it was a a 16.7 mile race. is there some rule that a half-marathon HAS to be 13.1 miles? oh, there is? huh.
at the end of the day, i think the solution is obvious. ban lawn gnomes. and embrace the half-ish marathon. bonus miles is bonus miles. i hope the race charges them for the add-on.
come to think of it, i didn’t run today. so i’m counting it as a 3.6 miler. there’s no pace like gnome …