I've been bad about blogging lately. Truth be known, my internet connection has been loopy the last week or so and I've been doing quite a bit of writing and time consuming homework for a class I'm taking via correspondence with Univ. of Alaska to renew my teacher cert and just have not had the time to keep up here. Zelenograd....I don't even know where to begin here but I suspect Zelenograd 2012, sadly after having run here since 1998, may be my last Zelenograd Half. I know the new organizers are trying to do their job, but the fact that the particapant numbers have dropped over three times since Boris Prokopiev left the helm speaks volumes. Plus, this year, for the first time ever in all my years racing here, I actually saw people turned away for not having a stupid medical certificate (spravka). This is a whole can of worms in and of itself. Among those turned away was the MEN'S TWO TIME NATIONAL RUSSIAN MARATHON CHAMP FROM 2010 2011!!! COME ON HOW LAME IS THAT??? That would be like telling Ryan Hall or Meb, "Sorry guys no piece of paper so you aren't fit to run, go home!"
A friend of mine from our running club had a real spravka and went to get his number the day before to avoid the lines on race day. The doctors on duty at registration didn't like the STAMP on his spravka and rejected him! After learning this, I started thinkning of a plan B in case the docs didn't like my spravka when I went in. The organizer offered this person a chance to pick up his number race day after the misunderstanding, but he didn't bother to race. My plan B was simply to try and play the foreigner card. When I was in grad school that got me out of this stupid spravka formality. So, I went to get my number I just casually asked if foreigners need spravki and they gave me my number right away. I had my passport with me just in case.Plus, this yr their online registration was much better. You could now pay with a bank card instead of having to waste time going to the bank to do a money transfer if you want to register early.
OK, so that solved my issue, but what about the buttload of runners who ended up running without numbers? In the past, organizers always let you sign a statement similar to a waiver in the US if you are spravka-less NOT THIS TIME. WHY SO STRICT ? Last year some young guy with epilepsy died at this half. OK, I realize this is sad, but unfortunately these things can happen at ANY event. Look at the major marathons around the world. Almost every yr. someone dies in Chicago. The organizers cannot be held responsible. When you get some 40,000 people out for an event, unfortunately things can happen. Sadly, one of my friends in the running club died after crossing the finish in a marathon just outside Moscow. This was a truly tragic thing and I was in shock for quite a while after, but the organizer of that marathon was in no way held legally responsible. This whole legal issue was discussed in full on our boards/forum and the lawyers in the group said that under Russian law, there really is no law that would hold the organizer legally responsible. Hmmmmmm? Really???? So why the fuss???? Basically the organizers just wanted to cover their asses from all ends just "in case". Ok, so I give you a spravka and play by the rules. It's not a 300% guarantee I won't die out there either. So what gives? Basically, Soviet bureaucracy was resurrected in full.
Where's the logic? I can drink, smoke, go out behind my house and join the junkie losers shooting up in the yard, but I can be banned from doing something that is GOOD FOR ME? Yeah folks only in Russia! AWESOME. So turn me away from running so i can take up smoking, drinking, or perhaps drug addiction instead!
Ok enough on that sore topic-to the race. It was craptastic from start to finish. The course was new (although accurate this time). The organizers did a good job measuring it as the old course was nearly 400 long. The new course had some long hills in it which should not be an issue for me but my legs were not in the mood to run them I guess and I just couldn't change gears in the second half and pick it up like I usually do. I'm not sure if it was also related to the weight loss from the food poisoning 2 weeks earlier. In a short race I can hold up but in a longer race, I can't be rail thin. I was sitting around 51kg when I should be at least 54 preferably even push to 55 though that's very hard. I lost 4 and gained only 1 back. I'm 176cm (or 5'9" and being like 112lbs is too flippin SKINNY). Whatever it was my race sucked like Alaska mosquitoes in the summer. Sure it was under 1:30 but is that supposed to be good??Nah. I did run with the same guys I ran with at Luzhniki though.
After that fail, I cut town the next weekend and ran 35k on hills. I haven't been able to do regular killer hills because the place i do them is shut. Well the hill isn't shut, but the locker room at the track where I leave my stuff is. So, either I go out of town on the weekends or run the wimpier hills in the park which are too wimpy for me:(
Coming soon- report on 2 mile xc run 4-Aug hint it was much better and I redeemed myself for my sh!tty performance in this half.