Ran the Shanghai marathon today.
Very well organized, from bib number collection to everything else really. Only area of improvement I could see was the limited number of starting areas. Many slower runners in front of me and this is a big marathon so it took considerable time to get into a crowd of similar ability. For the half marathoners who started behind the marathoners it must have been even worse.
Very Chinese quirks like many daily sms-messages during the week leading up to the event (exhortations to be well prepared, to behave well, to listen to volunteers and heed instructions, to not run when not feeling well, to have fun). The need to have a doctor’s declaration to be able to run, and the national anthem, before the start with especially the older generation joining in.
Great route, but not able to deal with more runners than they have now.
And, on a personal note, an expected but disappointing time, until my ego-driven search for salvation checked the age-grading tables. Turns out that my 3:37 was as good as my 3:24 seven years ago. If my understanding of how to work with the factors in the table is correct that is. Because that understanding (use the ratio of the factors of the two ages to convert the time run at one age to see what that results in for the other age) produced an ego-soothing result, and I left it at that, doesn’t mean it’s correct.
And ego-soothing though it may be, it’s also somewhat disconcerting because whatever those tables say….13 minutes slower?? On the other hand, it makes for a nice challenge: beating the table in future marathons – means training though, something I haven’t done for a long time.
But challenge or not, it still seems a very steep decline, a brutal confrontation with mortality. Weird how that is so tied to clock time. Experientially it all felt very familiar, an adrenaline fired-up race attitude, flying along easily, until it wasn’t easy anymore, and than hanging in there at what felt the max possible. Just the bloody clock time at the finish was a bit different.
On the positive side, this was my first marathon length race in five-fingers that was all about the time and, if the tables are correct, they didn’t slow me down a bit.
Listened to music for the whole distance. A real city thing to do, but who complains when the sounds are so joyful. Goes very well with Shanghai.