Thankful + a post about “back of the pack” runners

Almost every day Mike takes me out for a coffee and a drive before work. It’s something we both enjoy.

I often find myself staring up at the treetops and blue skies thinking about how much our lives have changed in the last year and all the things I am thankful for. I’m a nerd like that.

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I found myself feeling the same way while riding on my favorite part of the trail yesterday. Then I thought J, you will GET to run here soon. That little glimmer of hope made me so incredibly happy.

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But for now I will enjoy riding and be happy with the things I CAN do, like ride.

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I also have a new love for climbing hills now that I know what gear I’m in since they are numbered on the handlebars. This bike is definitely made for entry level riders like my dorky self. 

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Yesterday I read this blog post {<- a must read} about a runner who woke up sick the morning of the Runners World Heartbreak Hill half marathon. She started the race, quit, then un-quit to walk the course with her friends. She wrote about her thoughts on being in the “back of the pack.”

When a race states a cut off time, they shouldn’t roll up the carpets, start packing up water stations and opening the roads before that stated time.

Fantastic job Heather for writing about a topic that needs to be addressed with a lot of races. I have personally seen it happen at races myself. I commend you for advocating for the “back of the pack” runners. Every runner pays the same entry fee and they should be treated equal.

I also want to commend Runners World for responding gracefully to her post. I think every race director needs to read these two articles.

Things like this make me incredibly happy to be apart of this wonderful running community.

I want to hear your thoughts about this topic.

If you had the opportunity to talk to race directors, what would you tell them?

5 things you are thankful for right now?


7 Comments on “Thankful + a post about “back of the pack” runners

  1. I am not a fast runner but run an average pace for my age. Usually I finish then run back to meet my mother who is a slower runner on the course. I feel like I get a lot of cheers, water stations, food, and finish line treats. Needless to say, by the time my mom finishes, most of the crowd is gone, the entertainment is packing up, and there is less food or treats for the last few finishers. I feel these are the ones we need to encourage and have supplies for.

  2. Disregard for the back of the pack runners if a hug pet peeve of mine. Other things that drive me crazy at races are false descriptions of the course (ex: when the course is all hills but advertised as flat), running out of water/food, and not giving male and female awards in separate age divisions. You can definitely tell when a ace director is an actual runner.

  3. J, thanks for directing to that site and read. I call bullshit too. And if any of you so called “elite athletes'” response is to run faster, I’m gonna karate chop you in the throat! Come find me at shootskdenaloha prick… That’s a douche move on RW’s part. We should be all about support. At the least, there was no “end car” looking for these back of the pack people. Way to FAIL race director!… Effn sends me right now… wusah, wusah….gottah step away…

  4. I would address sometimes the swag bag…. listen I know it’s not the grammys but I’d like more than just a bag full of coupons that I can’t use…. maybe throw a GU in there or something I can use for the race ya know.. even fun samples would make me happy… I’d also address the importance of being organized from start to finish… sometimes they fall apart at the end during the awards ceremony… I’m also going to say this and it may sound terrible but I don’t care… I hate when they don’t duplicate awards… for example, I may have been third overall but first in my age group… ok therefore I deserve two… I know I’m being a brat and one day those medals may not mean anything but one day they actually may mean more and have an amazing story.

    I’m thankful that it’s ALMOST summer, I’m thankful that we FINALLY have sun, I’m thankful that there are only two more wks of school left, I’m thankful for two amazing babies who make me smile on a regular basis, and most of all I’m thankful that I’m healthy enough to do what I love and chase my children around everyday….

  5. I’m a mid-pack runner but when I can I like to stay after I’ve finished running races to cheer on remaining runners/walkers on the course and lemme tell you the “back of the pack” folks are the ones who truly inspire me. Sure, it’s always awesome to see the elites speed by but watching the “back of the pack” participants really give it their all to cross that finish line is what touches me most. Kudos to Heather for addressing an issue that’s a huge pet peeve of mine and to Runner’s World for their gracious response.

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