Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mardi Gras Mambo Race Report

10K (6.21 miles), 43:10, 6:57 pace, Max HR about 180

I ran the Mardi Gras Mambo 10K race on January 26, but I'm just getting around to blogging about it.

The pros: This was a beautiful course . . . from downtown Baton Rouge, along Nicholson where a plantation home is, through LSU, and down River Road back to downtown. I wanted to run under 45 minutes in order to qualify for a chip for the Crescent City Classic 10K, and my time of 43:10 was encouraging. I finished second place in my age group, although I left "early" and didn't stay for the recognition. They were handing out beer at the post-race celebration.

The cons: I felt a serious pain from the start in my right leg, which I've since realized is my right hip flexor (specifically the Psoas major muscle or the Iliacus muscle -- I can't tell which.)

Overall Review: I'm fairly certain I won't be running any more Baton Rouge races for quite some time. They mostly disappoint me. They always seem to run out of shirts, the courses may or may not be properly measured (although this one was on the money), they refuse to do chip timing, the results take FOREVER to post on race-day and an absolute eternity to get them online.

1) This race was a qualifying race for the Sr. Olympics (or something like that) and in order to attract people of all age groups, more than $1300 in cash was given away to various winners. Yet they still couldn't afford chip timing!? Hundreds of people ran.
2) My watch read 43:10, but my "official" time was 42:20. Who's running that clock and what kind of amphetamine are they using!? And despite mailing the results out, they still aren't posted to the web site. They're in a digital format, and someone needs to spend 10 minutes at the most in order to publish them on the web, but it's two weeks later and it's anybody's guess if they'll ever be posted.

I realize these races are typically run to benefit a charity, but I'm going to sit out Baton Rouge races until they get their act in line. If everyone boycotted they would be forced to run the race in a more organized and professional manner. If they did, I believe they would benefit by having more runners attend. I realize my individual boycott won't have any effect on their budget or add any pressure to change, but if I'm going to spend $20 bucks for an entry fee to a race, I may as well spend it where I can run an accurate course and get timely and accurate results.

I still owe you a Houston Marathon race report, which I promise will be much more up-beat!

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