Sunday, March 16, 2008

Complaining is Allowed

At my race, complaining is allowed. So is whining. Unlike some of those Fat Ass runs where you can't complain for fear of being DQd, feel free to bitch and moan all you want at the Clinton Lake ultra. After about 20 miles of unrelenting hills, you'll start getting cranky. All I ask is that you don't take your frustrations out on my volunteers. You can give them feedback ("You should put out more S-Caps for the runners") or make requests ("Got any Chips Ahoys?"), but leave any angry diatribes for me. I'm the RD and that's my job. I'll be on the course with you too...so feel free to heap plenty of praise my way...or let the expletives fly! I'm an evaluator and I appreciate sincere feedback. How can an event get better without some critiques? All runners will receive a web feedback survey from me after the race. Let me know what you liked and didn't like. I'll send a similar survey to my race volunteers--they are in a great position to relay runner thoughts (and provide their own observations). As both a runner and RD this year, I'll have plenty of my own observations to add to the mix. I think this year will be a great one...and I plan on next year being even better. So when you are heading up hill #99 (I counted 33 per loop), just remember you signed up for this race...and that hill #99 is the LAST one on the course. From there you make a left turn onto the road, go across the lake, and into the parking lot and finish line. Congratulations...you're a finisher! All concerns will fade away as one of my volunteers puts that finisher medal around your neck.

4 comments:

Ian said...

Nice post Chris.

Brian Gaines said...

looking forward to race chris. I was surprised to see you running a bit slower than in November when you did the loop in 1:29. Nice running with ya. Staged run seems like a neat idea. Should allow you to fully experience McNaughton over the 3 days.

For those that didn't partake in any of the training runs or for those that are taking the course for granted; one word (sort of) "Don't!". It's a tough trail. I was swearing to myself during the 2nd loop yesterday morning. That mud kicked my ass, but we finished; albeit 20 minutes slower than the first loop. CL trails beat me down by hill #66. I ran with Jorge the 2nd loop. Relentless forward motion was what it was all about for these tired legs.

Complaints? None so far, but if it's muddy like yesterday, maybe mother nature will hear a few ;-).

andrew said...

no complaints here -- i did 20 at clinton last week. i was beat but i finished running (slowly, but running) and, like brian, 20 minutes slower than loop 1. how do the rest of you negative split that thing? the course is really funny -- i had to suck it up pretty hard to stay focused bcause of fatigue, but the scenery/challenge is interesting enough for it never to seem like a drudge. the thing that makes it so hard is the same thing that keeps you wanting to make it to the end. nice pick for a long race, chris.

anyway: a couple of questions about H20 and the race.

1) will aid stations at the ramps (at the 'start' and mile 5, yes?) have pre-mixed succeed! or will you have powder for us to mix?

2) will there be any water on the course, at un-manned aid stations? (i think i remember reading that this was a possibility)

3) is anyone carpooling? i'll have to rent a car or leave my family without one, so i'll pay gas, snacks, a six-pack or two. . .anything to sweeten the deal. i can get to anywhere in champaign-urbana before the race, if that makes it more convenient for anyone.

Chris said...

It's hard to negative split this course. I really hold back on my first loop and then try to kick it up a notch on the second one (it feels like I'm going a LOT faster, but it ends up 10 minutes faster). I can run one loop in about 1:25, but not two loops at that pace!

Aid stations will be at the start and canoe parking spot (about mile 5). We'll have water and Succeed! Ultra (already mixed) in coolers. And there will be soda and ice too.

There will not be water-only aid stations in-between the main ones UNLESS it is forecast to be warm that day (70 or higher). If it is in the 50s (normal temps) I think aid stations 5 miles apart are fine.

I want to encourage people to carpool to the race start just to save parking spots (and the environment). I don't know how to hook people up. I'll post to the registered runner list with a few announcements and I'll include the plea for car pooling (and I'll mention it on this blog too).