Thursday, January 3, 2008

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon: What A Kick...In The Ears!

Back in October 7th last year, I spent much time criticizing about the lack of organization behind the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. While the city couldn't do much about the heat, they could have prepared a lot better to avoid the ultimate "meltdown" that they suffered, which included 12 people being rushed as critical condition to nearby hospitals, thanks to the lack of water available, for one thing.

But do you want to hear an even bigger kick in the pants?

On the same day, and about 400 miles away in Minneapolis, there was another marathon that would have to endure sweltering heat. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. When the gun went off, it was 72F and 87 humidity. 4 hours later, it was 80F and 72% humidity. Of the 8,106 runners who started the race, roughly 950 dropped out. Twi hundred fifty people were treated at the medical tent, including 50 who actually required transport to an emergency room. And yet, that is even the kick in the pants....

How about, a neo-nazi like squad of race officials who scanned through the over 10000 photos, in search of those who were using that those people could be disqualified and BANNED from the following year's race??!!!

In 2006, the USA Track & Field athletic committee voted to ban the use of headphones during its sanctioned races.

Now, while I duly note the rules are there for our benefit, what benefit is it for those who have no aspiration to achieve, or who cannot achieve a winner's status in this race? Imagine, someone shlepping (running) every day by themselves (like me). More than likely you too would carry some form of music with you, wouldn't you? I know there are plenty of runners, who require no incentive, or who even find the mere mention of wearing an iPod as distracting, but I don't think it is fair to impose a sanction like this. And above all else, the weather was brutal...Imaging someone who actually finished, just to be disqualified and then banned for wearing headphones.


And speaking of preposterous, so is my weight... 165.8 pounds...What is up with that nonsense?!
I guess going over to my father's was a key factor in my weight demise. Then again, it's difficult to have a normal meal at my Dad's. For once you enter the kitchen to sit down and eat, his eat-in kitchen table has already been laid out like a banquet or a feast!


dagonaz said...

Glad you ate well! Now...loose some weight!

The banning of headphones is sooooo retardican! Checking through all those pictures even more Retardican!

Anonymous said...

Having to get around a clueless runner wearing headphones is a major cranial disturbance. Running is a sport which is mostly mental, then of course, physical energy. Why bother running if you "need" the distraction of listening to music while you run? Or, how about the even more ridiculous runners participating in group training and wearing headphones? Running with headphones, iPods, books (I've seen this done), or any other distractions, isn't something done by a person who truly enjoys running. I myself hope many more races follow suit and disqualify runners wearing headphones, and using cell phones.

Alex Gonzalez said...

While I agree that there are runners that run races with headphones on that cause problems, I have not seen any issues with interference of any kind. I personally never blast my music, and never veer off to one side or another, keeping to my imaginary lane.
As for suggesting that people who run with headphones dont truly enjoy running. I completely disagree. There are many people, like myself, who are used to multi-tasking at every level. It's something that has been ingrained in our "craniums" since child-birth, literally.

I enjoy running with music, especially because I generally run alone and I love music also. It's a great way to combine two things you love into one event, and adds more meaning to it, in my humble opinion.

I will agree however on a couple of things that you said. Running in a group and wearing headphones is just outright rude. The whole purpose of running with someone, is to be able to talk and listen to that person next to you. Otherwise, run alone.

And as for the other gadgets you mentioned, I never saw anyone running while reading ( I wouldn't last 1 second on the streets of NYC), I saw (and think I mentioned it in my NYC Marathon blog), people actually stopping in the middle of a race to whip out a camera and take a picture. If that's not a distraction, then I don't know what is!