Analysis of the Greensboro/North Carolina Marathon

They ran the 26.2 mile marathon in Greensboro on Saturday and the the turn out was really good with over 1,500 runners competing. I’m not totally sure we can call the people who showed up on Saturday runners after examining their finishing times.

Here’s a look at what appears to be a large group of joggers who ran through Greensboro on Saturday morning. We take a glance at the Top Ten finishers:

#1 Aaron Linz@2:52:37(Two hours, fifty-two minutes, thirty-seven seconds)
#2 Craig Longhurst@2:57:17
#3 Mike Selle@2:58:22
#4 Anthony Ivey@3:00:44
#5 Seth Banner@3:02:10
#6 Anne Kuiken-Popek@3:02:30(Ragsdale High School teacher/coach)
#7 Richard Sexton@3:07
#8 Tim Pierce@3:11:13
#9 Kevin Eagle@3:14:42
#10 John Mignosa@3:15:30

*****Anne Kuiken-Popek was the only Greensboro runner in the Top Ten.*****

The times are not very impressive overall. When I ran this race as the “Greensboro Marathon” back in 1990 my finishing time was 3:12:47 and that would put me in the top ten for this year’s race and I am not a world-class runner…There must have been at least 75-100 runners who finished ahead of me on that November Sunday just before Thanksgiving back in ’90 and we had a much smaller field than they had this year with the estimated 1,500 runners.

Great turn out for the event and I sure wish we would have had a slow field like this back in 1990 and I could have been standing on the medals platform ready to receive my prize but the way it went back then, it was just pick up your towel and head out to the basketball court for 10 games or so of three-on-three.

When I ran the race for a second time back around 1993 my time was relatively slower because I had to slow down and push local insurance agent Steve Loflin who had hit the wall and needed some encouragement. That year my time was 3:30:14 which would still been good enough for 17th in this year’s slow field.

The best race/races the city has ever hosted was the Rainbow Run which would go off every year in May right around Memorial Day weekend. I believe the race was run the Saturday before the big Memorial Day weekend. One year when I was feeling fresh, I ran the two-mile run/race and finished around second or third and then at the finish I kept going and jumped right into the 10K field and starting from the back of the pack, I was still able to crack the top 30 or so….

I enjoy breaking down the local sports landscape and I have a very good background to get me started. I’m sure most of the people that ran or jogged in the race this past Saturday are glad it’s all over and for some they can’t wait to get going again. I remember one year after the Marathon, I came back and ran a 10K the next day, and I don’t carry on that pattern any more.

The Marathon organizers need to do a better job of getting the word out to a more competitive pack of runners and their numbers will grow and the field of runners will become much more talented. When you see finishing times like we saw from Saturday’s field it makes you think you are reading times from a training run or from a controlled workout.

Let’s step out and let’s step up the pace…..