>> Monday, July 15, 2013
This has been a bit of a roller coaster. Here are the ups and the downs:
When I ran a 4:40.5 mile last Wednesday, my Garmin called it short.
Then people questioned a Garmin's ability to handle those sharp turns at sub-5:00 pace. And people kept saying it was a certified course. (And I knew it was certified, but it still didn't seem right.)
Then Rick Recker, the USATF/MN Course Certification Chair, asked me if I had photos of the finish line. He had a suspicion that the wrong fire hydrant was used as the finish line.
I sent him a few photos, and he was able to pinpoint what he needed to know. He responded with "Course checked out. Marks are good. Nice PR." I nearly wet myself!
Then Rick heard from someone else that they thought the start was off. Rick never considered that because the certification notes make the start line very clear/easy to place. I sent him 4 photos that showed close ups and wider shots of the start.
Rick responded with this official note:
If I now call this a 4:50.0 mile, it's still a "Road Mile PR" (easily beating my only other road mile which was 4:55.9), but I'm under a half second shy of my "Track Mile PR" (set at the 2011 Meet of the Miles at 4:49.53).
SIDE NOTE: If you've never seen official USATF Certification notes, go find some from a local race. They are full of random little drawings like the one you see above. I looked up local race a few years back, and they had notes and drawings like: "mile 9 marker: 4 feet past the 2nd stoplight north of Main Street." Or something like that. And there'll be a crude drawing of it. Click here to search for your local USATF certified races.
One final thing... in my race report, I showed this photo of me near the finish and asked "What's THAT face?"
"I'm going to enjoy watching you die, Mr. Anderson. I'm just not enjoying the final 200 meters of this race."