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Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:18 pm
by Konstantin
My next race is the Plymouth Half Marathon. I'll be aiming for a Pb, and it's a high profile event at which to get the vegan Runners vest seen. I'll be aiming for 1:30:00, which should place me about 160th of 4000 runners. Where should I start?

There is a 1:30 marker on the starting funnel. It's about halfway along the start, so I'll be in a crowd, which will slow me down. I'll have to push past the inconsiderate element among the 2:00-2:30 runners who start at the front and run 12 minute miles with three running abreast. This would have the beneficial element of lots of people see a VRUK vest speeding past them.

Alternatively I could aim to start with about 160 runners ahead of me.

A third option is to start 10 minutes after everyone has gone, and run through the crowds as they thin out.

Re: Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:31 pm
by fredrikw
Having to pass a lot of people might sound like a good idea in theory, but it might only be frustrating and slow you down. Chances are that if you're really far back, the crowds won't thin out at all.

I'd aim to start with 160 runners ahead of you, which is where you expect to be when finishing. You and your VR vest will be visible anyway, and you'll have a better race for yourself as well.

Re: Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:04 pm
by MikayP
although yes it would be proper to just say in your goal time and in 160th in the starting area, no one does that unfortunately. id say 1/2 of my running races ive had slower times due to having to run on sidewalks, dividers, through crowds, because the people who started ahead of me were too slow. if everyone was true to themselves it would be nice to be able to start in the 1:30 area, but unfortunately you cant if you want your best time possible. start closer to the front in my view and find a person who's pacing the same speed that you're going for

Re: Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:59 pm
by Konstantin
I think part of the problem ias where the markers are. They place the 1:30 halfway down the 400 mtres funnel, yet half rthe runners will not acheive anything like this. I would put the 1:50 at halfway for this race.

Starting after everyone has gone is going to lose the effect of running in a race. People probly won't thin out, and I won't have people my speed to run with.

[quote="fredrikw"]Having to pass a lot of people might sound like a good idea in theory, but it might only be frustrating and slow you down. Chances are that if you're really far back, the crowds won't thin out at all.


There's so many slow people clogging up the front of the race (fatties holding hands as one runner around my speed says) and I find it soooo frustrating one day I will lose if and get disqualified for elbowing people out of the way.

I'm going to try to start nearer the front, with around 200 people ahead of me. That's fair.

Re: Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:09 pm
by Querfeldein
Firtly, starting 10 minutes behind everyone else is not going to work for a PB.

I usually do two things: Look at previous years result and estimate how many runners will likely finish in front of me, and look at the runners around me, to get a rough idea of whether they will be running at about the same pace as me. I also then look at the runners immediately in front of me, and see whether I am comfortable with running behind them for the first couple of hundred meters or so. After that, the race usually thins out enough to pass comfortably.

Re: Starting line etiquette

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:20 pm
by runner
if there are no fances between the times you can go a bit more to the front. some races have different sections and put you in the section you indicated (with or without proof). you can ask people how fast they run. if they run 1.50 you pass them if they are running 1.30 you can stay with them.

also depends a bit on how wide the start is. I got in the 3th group with 36.15 (10k) at one race just before the start they opened the fances so we started more or less at the same time as the first runners (5th run) 20 meters wide..

it's a bit of a mix between not bothering fast runners and not compromising on your own result