Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Houston Marathon

First attempt ever on my low-tech blog at putting a badge that I copied.  No idea why I'm bothering.  Procrastinating I guess. 

I felt a little proud of myself for completing the Houston marathon's post race-survey and mentioning a few of the things I noted in my race recap -- like the fact that they needed sex-specific finisher shirts and that packet pick-up was so efficient I enjoyed the expo and had time to shop. 

But of course then I got to the part of the survey where you can vote for the most spirited water stop or something similar.

As I noted, I ran this race about 30 minutes off PR pace.  (I like how I say that to suggest it was supposed to be an easy race when I signed up, not that I was just slow because I'd been lazy for months.)

So I'd think if I were ever going to be able to complete that kind of question, it would be on a slower marathon.  I'd never have any hope of even guessing at an answer on a PR attempt marathon.

My question is, who can ever actually answer that question? 

I won't say I'm oblivious to volunteers or spirit, I notice both as I pass through a water stop or cheer station, even when I'm going for a PR.  But my main focus is getting fluid and continuing to move.  How in the world am I supposed to remember which mile had the best group and put that on a form?  Even if, as a hypothetical example, some water stop had wheelchairs they put you in and pushed you along for half a mile while giving you a foot massage and they were all wearing yellow shirts, am I going to remember the name of that group or the exact mile where it happened in order to record it on a survey?

It seems like that kind of question is targeted to local runners who choose a group with whom they're affiliated so that group can win a prize, not because they actually did the best job.  I mean, if I ran a race in Dallas, I'd pick my running group's water stop -- they do a good job, they offer tissues in addition to water/gatorade, they cheer a lot (particularly for people they know), but I wouldn't really be able to objectively say they were the best so they should win a prize.  Other people hand out tissue and water and cheer for you. 

So this blog post has a point after all.  I hate that question posed by a race organizer.  Is it just me, or is everyone else fairly oblivious and unable to answer that kind of a question in a race survey? 


  1. I didn't care for that question either. I think a marathon is too far of a distance to take notice on which water station was the best. With 24-26 water stations, it's hard to keep them all straight and that is the farthest thing on my mind mid-marathon.

  2. I wouldn’t have been able to answer that question either and if it was a question that required an answer in order to move on, I would just pick the mile 3 water stop cuz 3 is my favorite number. Haha!