Friday, January 13, 2012

Running with the Trials Competitors

Run I
Time: 47:57
Distance: 10.67 km
Pace: 4:30/km

Run II
Time: 29:46
Distance: 6.61km
Pace: 4:30/km

Meagan and I jogged over to the Hilton to meet up with Caitlin, and Allison Mascas and Scott MacPherson of Team Rogue Elite. The group of us jogged out to the Allen Parkway where there are no lights to cross. Lots of participants were out getting in their last runs before toeing the line tomorrow. Deena Kastor even said "good morning" as we crossed a street close to the hotel.

The hotel lobby is buzzing with activity and everyone looks fit. Both the men and women competing look smaller in person than in video interviews or pictures. Most of the participants I know are just happy to be in attendance and don't have any aspirations to actually be in the top 3. However, all wish to have a great race and take as many scalps as possible. On my second run with Jesse Armijo and Joe Moore, they both talked about picking up the carnage late in the race if they just ran a consistent pace of 5:15 to 5:20. I'm rooting for the little guys, the guys who are just happy to be in the race, the ones who hit late qualifying times at CIM or small marathons on the Gulf. They have no shot at being top 10 and little shot at being top 25, but it will be fun to watch guys like Joe and Jesse.

The rest of the day was spent hanging around the hotel and making sure Meagan had everything she needed. One interesting story that is relevant to the USATF uniform rules involves Craft. Meagan took her jersey to the uniform check-in and had no issues. On the other hand, Joe took his uniform to the check-in and came down to lunch with duct tape over the "Craft" portion of the logo but not the six dots.

After our meal, I went up to the uniform committee and simply explained that I had two athletes competing, both with the same logo and one has duct tape on, the other doesn't. I showed them my jacket and continued asking questions in the politest way possible. Craft didn't appear on the list of pre-approved brands, but  I eventually got to speak with someone who knew the rules. Turns out, they didn't know Craft was the actual apparel manufacturer and not some other sponsor which means the logo is permitted to be visible. I immediately told Joe to peel off the tape and that he would be good to rock the Elite Jersey. Problem averted!

I avoided the technical meeting and instead chatted with Pat Price of Writing About Running concerning some Karhu articles we would like him to explore. I met up with Meagan's parents and chilled in their hotel room before dinner. I ate dinner and enjoyed the very same meal I had for lunch (the steak was much better this time). I chatted with many friends running the race and wished them all best of luck. Tomorrow is going to be bad ass!

For updates on Meagan's progress during the race... follow me on twitter (@jokin359).

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