… when it’s only 8.1k apparently.
Participants in this weekend’s Aviemore 10k race were very initially elated that they’d all beaten their personal bests by a big margin – me included – until they realised that the route they’d run had actually just been 8.1km. Then everyone was very confused. Apparently, there was no race marshal at a key left hand turn shortly after the start. The front runners took the shortest route … and everyone else just followed the people in front of them.
This was only my second 1ok race (and with the pressure it puts on my feet I’m not planning to enter any more races) so I felt just a little cheated that I’ll never know my exact time. However, I’m pretty certain I did beat my previous time by a couple of minutes, calculating the full 10k distance at my average pace over 8.1k. That’s good, since that was my only goal.
The organisers have published the race times but with no acknowledgement that this wasn’t actually a 10k race. (If it were, the winning time of 25.58 mins would have beaten the current Olympic record by 17 seconds !!). I suggest they should now provide two versions of the results – one with the actual times and another with the assumed 10k time based on average pace over 8.1k.
While this was essentially a charity run, like it or not, people are competitive. There are a lot of serious runners about and they do want to compare race times. And when you’ve spent hours training for a particular length of race you want to know you’ve done your best.
So, all in all, it was a qualified success … I think.