After the debacle in Chicago last weekend, is the future of the mega-marathon in jeopardy? Probably not. But should it be? 45,000 runners is insane. Absolutely, utterly insane. Complaints about the heat aside—and while hot and humid, it wasn’t that hot and humid (especially compared to the 26+ mile training runs I’ve been logging in the Texas heat this summer)—45,000 runners is just too many. Way too many. It sounds miserable. I can’t imagine what the starting line was like in Chicago. Just lining up the runners must be a gargantuan chore.
I’ve run some big marathons (e.g., NYC, Marine Corps, San Francisco), but nothing on the scale of the Chicago Marathon. And even in those big marathons, the RDs adopted wave starts, which helped alleviate the early congestion. (San Francisco in particular did a fantastic job with numerous wave starts based on predicted finish times.)
Personally, my interests are shifting further from the big-city marathons to smaller, more intimate events. My two favorite races of the past year were the Waco 5-0 and the Andy Payne Memorial Marathon—both of which had less than 100 runners going the distance.
Speaking of smaller events, I wonder how many folks will be at my next run, the Ultracentric. (The Ultracentric is a timed-event around a 2.4 mile loop course. I will be going for 12 hours, trying to get at least 50 miles in the time.)
My training for the Ultracentric was great, consisting of several marathon distance runs around west Fort Worth in the early morning hours.
Until last week.
On Saturday morning, I started out a little before 6 a.m. from the house, but after only a few miles, I began to notice a slight discomfort in my left Achilles tendon. I stopped, walked a bit, did some stretches, and then resumed running. Same issue, but now it was moving from discomfort to mild paid. Damn. After 7 miles, I decided it was best to call it a day. I walked back home, hoping that it was only temporary.
But when I went for a 4 mile run yesterday, the pain lingered. Not too bad, but enough to cause concern.
I’m 5 weeks from the Ultracentric, and I’m taking the next week and a half off from all running. I’ll bike and lift weights, but that’s it. Hopefully, the Achilles will heal and all will be fine for the run in mid-November. It’s not too painful, and based on my Internet research, whatever mild damage may have occurred should work itself out soon.
Keep your fingers crossed, folks.