Notes from the Back of the Race

To race organizers, from the people at the back of the race:

1. Honor your start time, and honor your time limit – if you have to get people off the streets in a certain time frame, for the love of all that’s good and holy, please start on time. And if you have to limit the time people are on the course, run a “pickup” wagon for those who won’t make it. Instead of humiliating us with the guys picking up the cones acting as our race support.

2. Don’t abandon the finish line – My first duathlon, I experienced the thrill of being cheered into the finishers’ chute. Then some runs, when I take a long time, I experience the chill of being the only one who cares that my timing chip has crossed the finish line.

3. Don’t run out of water

4. Communicate to keep water stations open and traffic clear – just because you can’t see anyone coming doesn’t mean they aren’t back there. And abandoning posts makes it REALLY hard for us to get off the course.

5. My time matters too. Please don’t assume that just because I’m the last one in that I don’t care about my race time, or the real distance I’m running or riding.

This one is just a pet peeve, but please tell the guys in the truck / sag wagon / cone pick up to stop breathing down my neck. It felt like I was being stalked by a huffy dragon. I’ve had the same feeling on bike rides. Yes. I know I’m slow. I know I’m last. Park the stinking truck, wait 5 minutes, then go pick up cones. Park again. Just don’t hover. It’s creepy.

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