Runworks
Welcome, Guest      Blog      Forums      Calculator
     Log in  


 
 Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Marathon
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:23 am
Confusion reigned in the women's race at last weekend's Miami Tropical Half Marathon. Like many races, Miami started the elite runners first, giving them a two-minute head start, with the assumption that the eventual winner could only come from that elite group. But in this case, an everyday runner posted the fastest overall time, but crossed the finish line second due to the elite's head start. So who won the race? It took nearly an hour to sort it all out.

Here's how it happened. The race began with the official starting gun, with a small group of elite women starting together and taking advantage of the clear course. 1:54 later, a second gun went off to signal the start of the race for everyone else: the everyday runners and mid-packers who made up the majority of the participants. Ohio's Debbi Kilpatrick-Morris was the first of the elite group to reach the finish, covering the course in 1:18:32. Next to reach the finish line was Veena Reddy of Pennsylvania, who had started with the second group. Although she reached the finish after Kilpatrick-Morris, she covered the course in 1:16:55, making her the fastest runner of the day.

Kilpatrick-Morris was eventually declared the champion, and Reddy was awarded second place. In road racing, gun time rules, and the first person to cross the finish line is the winner, regardless of when she crossed the starting line. The race officially started at the first gun when the elites took off. The fact that Reddy was effectively penalized by 1:54 is unfortunate, but consistent with the rules. Scoring this way ensures the simplest possible accounting in the final stretch: anyone behind you on the race course will finish lower than you in the final standings. To have it otherwise would be a confusing mess. If Reddy thought she had a shot at winning the race, she should have lobbied to be included among the elite group that started first. The fact that she didn't cost her the victory.



OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:01 pm 

What an incredible rip off! This is every mid-pack runner's nightmare...to run the race of your life, only to have the win taken away from you because of some technicality that favors the "elite" runners.

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:16 pm 

This is outrageous. The winner of the race should be awarded to the fastest time. The fact that Reddy didn't petition to be included with the elite runners doesn't matter. She may not have felt that she was going to run as well as she did and therefore shouldn't be penalized. If accounting for her 1:54 later start complicates things then they shouldn't have separate start times. It's the separate start times that complicated the race.

What the race organizers are saying here is that if you're not an elite runner don't even bother trying to challenge any of the elite runners because we won't recognize your effort even if you do beat them.

In the NYC marathon they start the women about 30 minutes (or so) ahead of the men. If runners in the NYC marathon were treated like the runners in this race then the first man to finish could never claim top spot because he came across the finish line after the first woman, even though he was faster than the top woman.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:38 pm 

This is the most offensive thing I've ever read along these lines. I agree with holding the clock time as law IF THERE IS ONLY ONE CLOCK. In this case there were two clocks. It's not like the faster runner was back in the 10 minute/mile group and it took her 1:54 to cross the start line. She was held back and not allowed to go for that 1:54. In a society that gives out two gold medals for ice skaters who think they did better than a judge said they did or a gymnast can cry that he shouldn't have to give his gold medal back, i can't believe they came to that decision...

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:30 pm 

As frustrating as it must be for Reddy, I agree with the way the race organizers called the results. What we're basically talking about here is the difference between gun time and chip time. Gun time is always what counts for determining overall finish placement. If they went by chip time, it wouldn't make sense at all. You'd be bearing down on the finish, and see someone in front of you, but have no idea whether you were actually ahead or behind that person in the standings. Using gun times makes it a race; using chip times would turn it into a series of individual time trials, like the way ski racing works. Without using gun times, you could never have a sprint duel to the finish. That wouldn't be much fun.

This happens at every race, just on a smaller scale. For example, gun time is (almost always) used to determine age group finish standings. If you have the fastest chip time of anyone in the M40-44 group, but another runner in your group crosses the finish line first because you started way at the back of the pack, you lose. It might not seem fair, but it makes a lot more sense than the alternative, and everybody knows the rules.

The only thing out of the ordinary here is the two minute head start given to the elites. More often, the other runners start immediately behind the elites, only a few seconds back. That often creates problems, though, because runners looking for 15 seconds of fame will sprint like hell to get in front of the elites and get on TV, getting in their way and interfering with the "real" race. Starting the everyday runners two minutes behind solves that problem. True, it means they don't really have any chance of winning, but anyone with a chance of winning has almost certainly run other strong times in the past and could qualify to enter the elite group. Why Reddy didn't do so is a good question.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:41 pm 

This is confusing. I checked the official results, and Reddy is credited with a chip time of 1:18:40, not 1:16:55. That can't be correct, if the rest of the story is true as reported. Hmm...

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:16 pm 

I read the article and it appears they are treating the first gun as the only gun. Thus there was only one clock time. Reddy's time includes the 1:54 she was held back.

Upon reading the article my reaction has been a bit tempered. I understand better from the remark made by Kilpatrick-Morris.

"This has never happened to me," said Kilpatrick-Morris, who had no idea a woman behind her might have been running faster. She agreed with the final ruling, which netted her $1,000, saying, "How can you be race-competitive against somebody if you don't know they're there?"

She has a good point in that if you don't know about those behind you racing the clock you can't answer the challenge by pushing yourself harder. The fix to this is to have separate starts lines for both groups but allow them to start at the same time...and then have the two starts merge at some point early into the race so that if a "common" runner is running faster than an "elite" runner they'll be able to compete against one another to the finish line.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:35 pm 

mfox wrote:
I read the article and it appears they are treating the first gun as the only gun. Thus there was only one clock time. Reddy's time includes the 1:54 she was held back.

Right, so her official time was 1:18:49. But her chip time should have been 1:16 something, counting from when she actually crossed the start line. On the marathon web site, though, it says her chip time is 1:18:40. I don't get it.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:16 pm 

It seems her chip time (and everyone's time) started when the first gun went off.. Though there was a second gun for the second start there wasn't a second clock. They literally held the runners back for 1:54 and then sounded a gun to let them all go. I doubt there was even a chip mat at the start...no need to have one if the only time is clock time (no net/chip time).

This really sucks! I wonder if there were any folks shooting for a boston qualifier and missed it by 1:54 or less.


Duddits Cavell


Joined: 12 Feb 2005
Posts: 1

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:07 pm 

If reports close to the situation are to be believed, Veena Reddy did, in fact, lobby repeatedly to be included in the elite half-marathon field. Based on her credentials - see www.phillytc.com/bios/bio-veenar.html - she clearly should have been. But she was denied.

Also, there were in fact two separate starts, and Reddy's actual time was 1:16:55. The gun-chip differentials listed on the race Web site do not reflect what went on this morning. So it could be very reasonably argued that Reddy was unfairly dorked out of first place. It would have been one thing had she been an upstart who'd made no effort to be included in the event's small elite group, but such was not the case.

The bottom line is that none of you should run road races in Florida, a state that should -- at least the southernmost part -- be excised from the rest of the country like a tumor and sunk in the ocean. It's hot 11 3/4 months out of the year, there's no terrain variation, there is nothing to look at besides strip malls; poor race management is only one more ghost in the running machine. People in that part of the country have yet to figure out that throwing money at a situation won't necessarily iron out all (or any) of its problems.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Fastest Runner Places Second At Miami Tropical Half Mara Posted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 1:51 pm 

Duddits Cavell wrote:
If reports close to the situation are to be believed, Veena Reddy did, in fact, lobby repeatedly to be included in the elite half-marathon field. Based on her credentials - see www.phillytc.com/bios/bio-veenar.html - she clearly should have been. But she was denied.

Wow. Where did you hear about this? None of the news reports I read mentioned it.


View posts:     


All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1
 


Copyright © 2014 Runworks. All rights reserved.   Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group

Questions or Comments  Privacy Policy