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Hammer
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Joined: 17 Jan 2002
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 12:51 pm    Post subject: Crazy Experiences Reply with quote

I was just talking to a coach who stated that he was going to have to change his XC course because "several kids go bit by dogs during districts" I was wondering what was the craziest thing any of you have seen at an XC race or a Track Meet?
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first track meet I ever competed in as a 7th grader, during warmups a kid got hit in the head with a shot put. It wasn't pretty.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2002 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard of courses with rabid dogs... We also had some runners at Willamette who went to HS in Alaska and told stories of Moose(s?) on the XC course and forced detours.

Craziest thing I can think of that I've been a part of pales in comparison. Either our home course against the cross town rival HS, first year on the new course (we had built ourselves), before steps had been put in a particularly steep hill -- so muddy and slippery that people from opposing teams were literally on hands and knees pushing each other up the hill; that or another HS race out at Sandy where we got there to late to warm up on the course and at most half a mile into the race got directed onto the longer course (much to everyone's protest; although everyone was thoroughly confused and questioning what they thought they knew), only to be sternly reprimanded by our coach after the race for not going the route we knew to be correct... I remember not being too keen of what the extra 1/3 distance did to pacing...

Dan
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen my share of XC races where the field took a wrong turn. I even ran in a College race where the field took the wrong turn. That day 1 of my teamates stuck to the course and picked up a cheap victory. Our 8th, 9th and 10th runners also stuck to the course and recorded top 10 finishes when they usually ran in the low 29min range for 8k.

I think its pretty sad when stuff like that happens. This year we had a race where the field took a wrong turn and it was the last race of the day. So every racer had seen the race run about 4 times.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have seen my share of XC races where the field took a wrong turn.

This wasn't just a wrong turn, though. A race official actually directed the field onto the wrong course! It was flagged off and everything; we had to hop over ropes in several places just to continue on... Furthermore, about 95% of that course is on trails in the woods, so it wasn't like 100 people could easily change directions or get back on course when the mistake was confirmed a mile or two later...

Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only thing that makes coaches more upset than when athletes take a wrong turn is when the race officials do something that stupid. It reflects very poorly on the coach in charge of the meet. And if half the field goes one way and half the field goes the other there's always the question of how the finish order should go and if any athletes should be disquailified.
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Micah Ward
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In college I ran a road race in Savannah. While we were waiting on the race to start we were standing on River Street looking at the Savannah River and a dead body floated by. We got to watch the Coast Guard retrieve the body...then we ran the race.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2002 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that would certainly count as an unusual experience. Good thing it was before the race, not during, otherwise you might have had quite a pile-up.

Dan
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Hammer
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I don't believe anyone will be able to top Micah's story.

I do remember hearing about a small road race, here in NM, where the finishing stretch goes over some train tracks (about 400m from the finish). One year the Train blocked the leaders making them wait. By the time the Train passed there were about 10 people in the lead group. They sprinted to the finish in a mad charge for the win.

I ran in that race the next year and they kept the finish line in the same place.
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coachd
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 10:04 am    Post subject: nationals '93 Reply with quote

At the DII nationals in '93 (I think) at Cal-Riverside...

The course was at one of the most picturesque golf courses you could imagine...the golf course management did not want any markings on the grass, so flags were placed all along the course...One spot was a little confusing and I brought this up at the technical meeting the night before the race. The race director was very adamant--"we've run here before and never had a problem." They did say they would have course monitors out the next day...

The men's race goes off (I had only an individual woman running) and I am cheering for the Western State team (putting aside conference rivalry and hoping they would crush Adams State)...As they approached the confusing area, sure enough, nobody is there to direct them and the leaders go the wrong way... I see this happening and the first 5, 10, 15 go the wrong way.

Sprinting down the hill, I yell to Joe Winegartner (WSC assistant), "They all went the wrong way, send your guys the right way!" [NOTE: Adams was much stronger than WSC that year--at least the top three or maybe four Adams guys had already gone the wrong way, WSC's number two guy still hadn't passed]...he looks at me, hesitating, I'm yelling, "you'll win the meet, send them the right way!!!"...he is confused and more runners are going the wrong way...20, 25, 30. The race directors are scrambling trying to reroute the course...35, 40---nobody goes the right way and now it is just best to shut up and watch. Finally the guy in like 60th, says, "hell with it, I know the right way"...and follows the correct course.

The meet directors are going nuts, trying to reroute and get the wrong way and right way runners back together in some semblance of the right order--to no avail. Finally, they just try to get the race the approx. right distance for the wrong way leaders...ASC wins, WSC is second and decides not to protest the results (because it was Joe Vigil's last year...respect and all that)...Results took about two hours to figure out and the NCAA Championships "director" was banished from cross-country forever.

The 20 or so who went the "right way" ended up DQed(including a couple guys from WSC)...Shane Healy makes up like 300 meters in the last mile to beat Phil Castillo (both from ASC)...the race distance was somewhere between 9k-10k.

The thing is who ever heard of a NATIONAL meet being so poorly marked or directed that this was even possible?
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Distance_Guru
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeez, that's unbelievable... at nationals, wow Surprised . Although after sitting in both conference and regional meetings with you for the last two years I have know doubt that you'd speak up about that sort of thing. Of coarse I probably would also. Coachd and I tend to be rather vocal that those sort of meetings. It probably steems from the fact that neither of us can stand to see our sport done wrong in the slightest way.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, what a fiasco! Thumbs Down Unfortunately, having seen more than my share of meet directing incompetency (and knowing from personal experience how relatively easy it is to do it right), I'm not at all surprised... The interesting thing is that the people who are worst at putting on meets seem to be the least willing to accept advice.

Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I've learned one thing about cross country meets it's that the difference between running a meet the right way and running it poorly is often a fine line. At a meet this year the timing system malfunctioned and they didn't have a back up that they could easily switch too. So the results we're completely messed up. Everyone was upset and it was over a glich in the timing system. Otherwise the meet was run very well. So when it comes to putting on meets my moto is do it right then have two back ups.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wisest motto I've ever heard! Thumbs Up

Dan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2002 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that is appearently all to common in indoor track is the distance races having the laps miscounted. I guess the year before I got here the counters at the conference championships got the laps wrong on the 5000 and completly messed up the race. We had an innersquad meet yesterday and even with just 4 kids in the 2mile (a distance I picked because it's something they dont get to run very often) I was reminded how much fun it is to try to keep laps strait when half the field is on different laps.
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