Speculating on the Rest of the 2012 MDRA Grand Prix Series

>> Thursday, August 02, 2012

Do you know what I hate? Pre-game football commentators talking about how the game / season is going to go down. They're wrong more often than the weatherman, and they're paid more. I don't need their speculation... I'm here to watch a sport. They annoy me.

Do you know what I'm about to do? Speculate just like them. I hate myself sometimes.

The results are in after 9 of the 14 races in the 2012 MDRA "Grand Prix" running series. And nothing has changed for me since the 4th race - I'm still in the lead:

The series counts your 10 best finishes (so you could essentially miss / skip 4 races), so it's about time to look at the different people in this series. I'll go from "least concerned" to "most concerned."

• Kirt Goetzke, #2. Kurt's a staple in MN distance running. To say he runs a lot of races is an understatement. A few years back, he ran 100 races in the course of a year, and each year he tries to beat the previous year by running 1 more race (or so the legend goes...). But he hasn't beat me at a race, so if I get 10 races in, Kirt's not an issue. (The same goes for racing buddy Omar, Rick, and Eric in 3rd, 4th, and 5th - they're all close, but if I get 10 races in, I should be good.)

• Patrick Russell, #17. Patrick was in the early lead, and SteveQ even told me something like "If you beat Patrick at any distance, I'll buy you a car." Well, I haven't beat Patrick, but he's missed 5 races. So if I only miss 4, I have him beat.

• Nathan Campeau, #20; and Michael Nawrocki, #30. These guys were major competitors early in the series, but they've missed too many races since then. Nathan beat both Michael and I at the Winter Half, and it was that race where I was TRYING to catch Michael! He pulled me to a strong finish!

• Scott Davis, #7. You've seen a lot of Scott in my last 2 race reports - he finished just in front of me at both the Rice Street Mile and the Run for Blood 5K. Of the 6 races we've ran together this year, I beat him twice, and he's beat me 4 times. But at the New Prague Half Marathon, I had a GREAT race and earned a lot more points than Scott. He's missed 3 races, and if he misses 1 more I don't think he can catch me. But if he runs the rest of the series (posting more points than his lowest-point-earning New Prague Half which means that score would be thrown out), he'll get me. I don't know if he's planning on running every race, but this might get close!

• Ben Merchant, #6. Ben's my biggest issue. You can see he scored a perfect 1000 at all but one of his races! He's a speedy dude! (He just ran a 16:33 5K and a 4:27 mile at the last 2 Grand Prix races!) But, he historically hasn't raced the "farther" races: notice that he's skipped the 2 half marathons and the 1 marathon. And last year he only did 4 shorter races in the series (but scored a perfect 1000 on all 4 of those). If he finishes out the series or only misses 1 more race, I'm toast - he's the winner. But if he skips the upcoming half marathon and the TC Marathon, I have a chance. Oh the drama!!!

A little birdie told me that Ben IS planning on racing the TC Marathon. Here's part of what I was told: "The fact that he did both Rice Street and Run for Blood makes me think he is tuned into the Grand Prix results. He may even want a perfect score if he runs the remaining races." And yeah, he could post a perfect 10,000 for the series if he does well at all of the remaining races. I think I'm going down. But at least it's to a speedy, speedy dude!

If Ben wins the series, the winner will have been the fastest runner.

If anyone else wins the series, the winner will have been the most consistent runner.

ALL of these guys are super nice (I've met most of them and chat with most of them at the Grand Prix races), and this "speculative" post is all in fun. Being we're over half way through the series, I just HAD to look at all of the runners like this, but no ill will is meant to anyone of course. And I don't want to try to win the series by wishing other runners skip a race or 2.

This blog post is something I think most people in my situation would think through in their head, but being I tend to over-share, I'm sharing this. I hope I don't come off as a jerk - just trying to see what the rest of the season might hold. Just like the football commentators that annoy me so much......

p.p.s. And can I just say I'm super impressed to see my former student Jeremy currently in 9th!! I told him about the series sometime around February, and he signed up right away and has done every race since! Nice work, Jeremy!


SteveQ 10:24 AM, August 02, 2012  

Last year, my friend Colin won the series and just about everyone was saying, "Colin who?" He eked out the win because Goetzke got injured. Consistency wins.

Merchant only has three misses so far, so he can skip the marathon (or tank during it) and still have the full 10 finishes. Your big hope is that he kills himself in the marathon and can't run well in the later races because of it.

Yes, I said I'd buy you a car if you beat Russell in a race. I also said he wouldn't run enough races to be a factor.

I think we'll finally race each other - I'm thinking of doing Rocky's Run!

Steve Stenzel 11:32 AM, August 02, 2012  

Steve Q: hope to see you at Rocky's!

I just went back and looked... on Feb 6, you said this: "If you beat Russell in a race, I'll buy you a car! He probably won't do enough races in the series to win overall, but he's hard to beat in any one race." Man, you are RIGHT on! ;)

Oh, and even if Ben runs the Marathon and tanks some races after that, I doubt I can even catch a "tanked" Ben... We'll see!

roughkat 3:04 PM, August 02, 2012  

A little birdie told me that Russell was hoping to complete the series. That was over a month ago, but the bird's name was Patrick.

Steve Stenzel 3:29 PM, August 02, 2012  

Roughkat: GREAT! I haven't formally introduced myself to Patrick yet, so hopefully I'll be able to! (He's one of the few I haven't met.) I wanted to say hi after the Lake Johanna 4 mile, but he was with his family and I was looking for my wife to finish.

Even if he finishes it out, he won't have enough points to win if I race at least 2 more races (as I stated in the post). And that's kinda what SteveQ was staying too when he said "He probably won't do enough races in the series to win overall."

I'll keep an extra eye out for him at the upcoming races!

Jeremy Reichenberger 9:24 AM, August 03, 2012  

Thanks for the shout-out Steve! Appreciate it! Thanks for getting me involved in the Grand Prix! I've been loving it!

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