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Thread: Are Novice runners overcrowding the races?

  1. #1

    Are Novice runners overcrowding the races?

    My wife was mentioning the other day how a lot of beginner runners (or people who have never run in their lives) were registering and filling up the races lately just because it's getting pretty popular amongst middle aged women. She has only been running for a few years now but is finding it increasingly difficult to find open slots in some of the popular races now.

    Have you guys seen this to be the case? Should there be some kind of pre-qualifier so the novice runners don't block out the advanced runners? Or should it remain "first come first serve?"


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  3. #2
    First come, first serve.

  4. #3
    Unless youre from kenya or uganda you are a novice.

  5. #4
    It is a slippery slope. You don't want to see entry into races become like getting a Spring permit to hike Coyote Buttes North (The Wave). I also don't believe that just because you are a novice you can't race.

    My thoughts are that the more popular / prestigious races should have some criteria that will give preference to qualified racers. For example, if you finished a 100 mile race you qualify for or get preference to the prestigious 100 mile race lottery. The less prestigious 100 mile race may give preference to people who have completed a 50 mile race. Some races will give you automatic entry the following year if you don't make the lottery the current year. There are a lot of different ways to do this but it all depends on what the promoter is trying to accomplish.

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  6. #5
    first come, first serve. everyone was a novice at some point.
    But if I agreed with you, we would both be wrong.

  7. #6
    I would say that your wife is the Novice runner and that she has no room to complain ;)


    but yes first come first serve :)
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  8. #7
    Two wheels from Hell live2ride's Avatar
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    The real big races do have qualifiers like boston and NY and some others, I say keep it as is as most all of the races are already filled by novice racers, and in the end the races are usually trying to just make money so they don't care who enters.



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  9. #8

  10. #9
    There have been a few races that I missed because they filled up so quickly. It took me three attempts to get into the St. George Marathon, and then I only got in because of their “third time’s the charm” rule. I also had to try 3 times to get into the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. But on the other hand I have run the Moab Half for the last 5 years and I always get in. But every year I actually attend and race. I have never signed up for a race and then not run.

    So my long answer is first come first serve, but if you get in you should train and run. If it is just a whim or you think it would be cool but lack the desire and determination to train, let someone who will run have the spot. Running the race is the fun part, what is hard is all the training required. When all your friends are running the race in April it looks great, but waking up at 5 am on a cold February to train sucks.

  11. #10
    Two wheels from Hell live2ride's Avatar
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    I can understand why it would be difficult to get into St george, a qualifier for Boston and very popular race, leadville, there have been people trying to get into that race for years, that has turned into the Boston Marathon for Mtn bike races, you are always going to have the exceptions of not getting into big races but I would hate to see people who want to start getting into the races not have the chance. hell that is how some of the nowbodys make a name for themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas View Post
    There have been a few races that I missed because they filled up so quickly. It took me three attempts to get into the St. George Marathon, and then I only got in because of their “third time’s the charm” rule. I also had to try 3 times to get into the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. But on the other hand I have run the Moab Half for the last 5 years and I always get in. But every year I actually attend and race. I have never signed up for a race and then not run.

    So my long answer is first come first serve, but if you get in you should train and run. If it is just a whim or you think it would be cool but lack the desire and determination to train, let someone who will run have the spot. Running the race is the fun part, what is hard is all the training required. When all your friends are running the race in April it looks great, but waking up at 5 am on a cold February to train sucks.



    Two wheels are better than four, keep the rubber side down.

  12. #11
    This will probably have a positive effect on running. With the increase of runners hopefully there will be more races to accommodate them and more local races to choose from.

  13. #12
    Do they have a roll call at the races and have a standby list for open spots?

  14. #13
    Two wheels from Hell live2ride's Avatar
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    I think it is too late at that time, they have made there money and probably dodn't really bother if you haven't picked up your packet? That is the time they could figure out how many people really showed up or not.



    Two wheels are better than four, keep the rubber side down.

  15. #14

  16. #15
    First come, first served. Many international-caliber races, like SF's Bay to Breakers, have runners seeded based on past race times. Back about 6 years ago, when I was much fitter, I was hoping to run a sub 45 min. 10K so I could be "sub-seeded" in the Bay to Breakers. This referred to being behind the elite runners but in front of the thousands and thousands of recreational runners. I believe Boulder Bolder also does this, via heats. Thus, the plodders have their place...in the back of the pack. They can enjoy their run without interfering with faster runners - a win-win situation.

    The thing that used to irritate me the most about the slowpoke recreational runners at road races is when they all try to cram up at the front of the starting line. C'mon...you are going to get passed within 30 sec. of the gun going off, and those who are actually running for time have to swerve around you and risk tripping or bumping into you. So, be courteous and position yourself accordingly in the starting lineup.
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  17. #16
    Zions the "s" is silent trackrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyonphile View Post
    The thing that used to irritate me the most about the slowpoke recreational runners at road races is when they all try to cram up at the front of the starting line. C'mon...you are going to get passed within 30 sec. of the gun going off, and those who are actually running for time have to swerve around you and risk tripping or bumping into you. So, be courteous and position yourself accordingly in the starting lineup.
    Reminds me of a road race I won one time. Kid takes off and I pull in right behind him and let him lead and keep pushing the pace. Came in the first mile sub 5:30. The next two miles are up hill. Me and the other guy in our pack took off from there.

    I don't know if the poor kid finished but he was no where visible to us after that point.

  18. #17
    Reminds me of a story my running partner told me. He was running a marathon with his wife who is a pro. But they trained together and he felt he could keep up with her. At the start of the race he takes off with all the other elite runners and leaves his wife in the dust, jacked up on adrenaline. Anyways about 3 miles in, he starts gassing out and running out of breath from pushing so hard. On an uphill portion he really starts going slow. His wife come up behind him, swats him on the ass and says "come on honey you can do it" and disappears into the distance.

    His entire ego disappeared with that single touch, hehe. I don't think she won, but she did place 1st in her class.
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  19. #18
    I also agree - first come, first served. I gotta say, though, being a middle aged women myself, that our age group has gotten huge. I cant believe how many 40-50 year old women ran the mid mountain marathon the last couple of years. Interesting.
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. ~ Frost

  20. #19
    Here is a great little write up on the Western States 100 lottery system. Comments also have good input. It's a good thing there are a lot of awesome races out there that don't fill up.
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  21. #20
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