LaToya Shauntay Snell has run over 200 races and knows where he finishes. It’s near the rear. As such, she expects to be seeded into the final group in multiple wave races. But at last month’s Brooklyn Half Marathon, she found herself in wave one.
NYCRUNS, which hosted the race, did something unusual. All runners planning to run 12 minutes or less per mile were included in the first wave to give them more time to finish before the road portion of the course reopened to traffic.
“Words cannot express how relieved I am as a latecomer,” Snell said. He didn’t have to deal with the pressure to meet the course time limit.
Some races take a different approach.of providence marathon It gives runners expected to run about 14 minutes or less a chance to start the race an hour early, with a few caveats. Runners are warned that roads are not officially closed, aid stations may not yet be in place, and course marshals may not be in place.
As the running community grows, average finish time Most races are getting longer. More horses are finishing at the back of the pack, and race finishers are generally later than in decades past.
more reasons to run
Evans says many races think about diversity in terms of race and gender identity, but “size and speed diversity are not yet in mind.” One example is his shirts, which he said are often not available in larger sizes.
“Being able to provide accessibility, size inclusiveness and speed inclusiveness to all races will help everyone in the long run,” Evans said.
Not all races do. The Boston Marathon is famous for requiring times to qualify, but race director Dave McGillivray said he made the decision several years ago to use times to distribute bibs.
However, he also runs an events company that hosts several races each year for the organization.
“In my view, if you let someone into the race, you should leave the finish line open until the last person crosses the finish line,” McGillivray said.
It’s not just the goal line that counts, he added. Course support, medical tents, amenities and the course itself are all part of the package and must be considered by the race director to ensure that they are considered how best to serve all participants.
New York City Marathon race director Ted Metels agreed. A few years ago, the marathon launched a “final finisher” initiative to give runners a positive experience as they cross the finish line at night. Professional runners return to help hand out the medals, and Metellus and the volunteers strive to turn the finish line into a big party.
“They turn the corner and come up the driveway and you hear something,” he said.
After last year’s marathon, Metellas said the New York Road Runners, which host dozens of races besides the marathon, are trying to convey the same level of energy and celebration of the final runners at other races.
Snell first noticed it at Ted Corbitt 15K in Central Park in December.
“I was the last runner,” she said. “Some people celebrated. People stayed and cheered me on.”
Metellus said one of the changes the Roadrunners have made is to distribute cowbells to volunteers stationed along the course of each race. At the Newport 5K in Jersey City, New Jersey, volunteers rang cowbells and cheered for women as the final entrants approached the last mile as sweepers chased them.
Jill Grunenwald called it “running with a police escortThis is the title of her book with the subtitle “Tales From the Back of the Pack”.
“The thing behind it is that everyone is on the same page,” she said, calling it “a club kind of thing.”
And Back of a Racefield is a racing club.
Mettellus said that when you’re at the start of a multi-wave race and you try to get the runners excited, the more behind the pack the more energy you get.
“It starts with this quiet murmur and starts to get louder and louder as the race progresses. It’s usually the mid-to-back waves that are the loudest,” he said.
Tips for slow runners
Talk to runners who often finish behind the pack in races and they’ll say the same thing. Check race time limits before signing up.
This is one of several things slower runners have to consider when choosing a race. From Eliud Kipchoge to those aiming to complete a marathon in six or seven hours, everyone is running the same course, but there are some additional considerations for backward runners.
If you are close to the limit, ask the race organizer what will happen if you are late. Some races require you to reach a certain point at a constant pace, otherwise you have to stop. You may continue running in some races, but the road may be reopened and moved to sidewalks.
Find out when the water station closes. Depending on the length of the race, you may need to bring your own water and energy gels.
For races that allow runners to be tracked via the app, find out when timing mats will begin to be removed on the course. If it might happen before you get to that point, let your friends and family know ahead of time so they don’t wonder why it seems to have stopped.