Here’s another in my where-I-run series, although this is a different part of a trail about which I’ve already posted.

Van Cortlandt 5K

A quick note on Thursday’s 5K at Van Cortlandt. Once again the time was unimpressive (2 minutes slower than a few years ago) but it was my first crack at XC in a while and I have the chance in under 2 weeks to give it another go. It was a tough but fun run. (Amy C has posted some photos.)

The New York Mini

Yesterday was the NY Mini. JT has a fine race report, and her first scoring race (helping Harriers take 7th). Plus she got to have the swagger of a blue-number-wearer. Good job. TK didn’t do such a good job; as a spectator she went to the wrong finish line. She made amends though. The race itself was broadcast live over the Internet; I didn’t go in. The winner, Linet Masai, looked great throughout, with a quick, forefoot stride. She took control coming up the hill just past 5K and cruised home.

I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t mention something else about the race, and it makes me wonder if I’m too serious. I’ve written before that I think it’s wrong to allow people to carry kids over the finish line with them in triathlons (although I further understand that some races may disallow the practice for liability reasons). I took some heat for that “elitist” view, but as a sport, I think it demeaning. I’ve also written about the concept of a women’s-only-race, and on that I think it’s gone from an afterthought for second-class citizens to a celebration of full citizenship.

What to make of the following photo (by Ed Haas, NYRR)?

I think it wrong. Apparently NYRR thought it was a good idea to have Kara Goucher (who had screwed up the finish-line tape for the winner) run onto the course in the final stretch with Paula Radcliffe’s daughter to have a run-with-mommy moment. Cil Shaw-Brewer is No. 630, a 50-year-old trying to, you know, “race” while a circus breaks out to her right. I would be extremely pissed were this to happen to me.

To NYRR’s credit, it’s not just women it disrespects with a stunt like this. The whole Lance-Armstrong-is-great Nike promotion of 2006 with its illegal pacers throughout the marathon was a further embarrassment (albeit not as grievous as Boston’s using a finishing tape for Armstrong).

I know, I know. I should get over it. But if you want to put on a fun run, put on a fun run. If you want to put on a race, don’t demean the athletes.

Update

I’m glad I’m not alone in my view, although it is not unanimous. Running Times had a fine run-down on the Mini by Roger Robinson. The antepenultimate (I looked that up) and penultimate paragraphs (Hadley is a 13-year old who ran the race):

But Hadley’s youth limelight was stolen by Radcliffe’s 3-year-old daughter Isla. As her mother (in company with NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg) jogged toward the finish, Isla ducked under the barriers, greeted her mother with open arms and an ecstatic smile, and skipped and ran to the finish with her, blond hair flying. It was one of the day’s best moments.

“She enjoyed it two weeks ago in England when she walked and ran with me and my mother in a charity race—three generations,” Radcliffe explained. Husband Gary Lough colluded by letting Isla go at the crucial moment.

Which, if true, is of course worse since you had a father simply letting a 3 year-old simply run onto a course. If true, though, I assume NYRR is not to blame. Although this doesn’t explain the presence of Kara Goucher in the photo. What was she doing jumping onto a race course?

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