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A race that anyone can win. Your speed doesn’t matter

Monday, February 25, 2013

This is not a deceptive title hiding some deep philosophy. I don’t mean the “race of life” or racing to a “new you.” This is a real road race - a 4 mile race where you “predict your finishing time” on your registration form.

Awards are given according to whoever comes closest to finishing in his/her predicted time. I’m going to do this. I understand it’s a tough hilly course and I suppose anyone who lives in the area of the route will have an advantage. I hate hills, but I still think it’s a great idea.

No watches of any kind are allowed.

Instead of all starting together and finishing one after another as in a regular race, it’s like a “pursuit.” There’s a countdown clock and each person starts off according to his/her predicted time. Then theoretically we should all finish together. It’s all just for fun and the minimal entry fee of $7 ($5 for students) is to support the local HS’s running program and encourage fitness in the community as a bonus.

No one is "straggling in" at the end and at the finish line no one knows how much of a "headstart" anyone had. We're all in this together.

I think it will be a great experiment in knowing and listening to my body. Do I know what a 6.0 pace feels like without the treadmill display staring me in the face? If I take my customary 1 min walk break per mile, am I really at 4.0? Can I gauge my heart rate without that Polar strap around my chest or manually checking my pulse against my watch?

I’m going to predict 42:15 since I’ve been told to expect some serious changes in elevation. If I’m slower, I’ll know what I have to work on. If I beat the time, I’ll be very happy and if I’m really close to my prediction, I might get an award. How can I lose?
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