Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Baaaaack!

For the next couple of days, I'm playing host to Alanna (my friend from high school) and Josh (her boyfriend). We were in the car, and Josh asked me if I run with water on my long runs, and before I could answer, Alanna chimed in with, "He does now! He talked about it on the blog." (I'm so touched to have readers who remember these details.) And this reminded me that I've been slacking on this. With that being said, I'm bringing back the Friday Five. In honor of them, the week's topic...

Five Questions that Josh Had about Running (and the bibs)

As I may have mentioned before, I save the bibs from all of the races that I've run, and then hang them on my wall. (But in case I didn't, here's a picture of the wall.) It makes for a great conversation topic among visitors, and Alanna and Josh were no exception.

1. Why are some of those bibs missing tabs?

Some bibs have tabs printed on the bottom, which serve purposes like baggage identification (so that when you check a bag, you pin the tab to the bag, and they can match your bib number with the number that's printed on the tab) and t-shirt distribution (so that when you receive the free t-shirt that we all love getting, the officials have a way of recording that you already got one). For some races, I didn't use bag check, so I still have the baggage tab.

2. Which bib is your favorite?

If I had to choose, I'd say the NYC Marathon bib. I love orange, and the orange on white just looks great. Plus, I currently don't have any bibs with orange (though I do have quite a few with red).

3. What was your best race overall?

I needed clarification on this one, because you can't compare a 5K result to a marathon result. The pace is going to be different. But Josh wanted to know about best race in terms of place finished. (Though now that I think about it, this isn't a fair comparison either because some races are larger than others. I could look at them as proportions by dividing my place by the total number of finishers. But let's face it, that's too much quick math work.)

This one time, my cousin convinced me to run a 5K race in CT with her. It was small enough so that they didn't use chips. But anyway, I finished in the top 25, placed 3rd in my age group, and got a trophy for placing that well.

4. How do they assign the bib numbers?

This one depends on the race. Sometimes, it's as simple as when you signed up (i.e., the first person who registers gets 1, the second person gets 2, and so on). Other times, they'll group you by projected finish time before assigning numbers. NYRR asks for your fastest per-mile pace from any race that's a 5K or longer, and then uses that to group runners into corrals. I don't know anyone within NYRR who can verify this, but the legend is that once they group you, they assign numbers by alphabetical order.

5. How come the Portland Marathon bibs are the only ones with your name printed on them?

Some races give you the option to personalize your bib, so that spectators can call out your name as you run past them. The Portland Marathon is the only one I've run that offered that. Philadelphia has started allowing runners to personalize their marathon bibs, but this started after I ran that one.

Hope everyone has a fun weekend!

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