Friday, April 8, 2011

Third wave and cobblestones

Following the Women's Movement and Holy Spirit innovators, the Boston Marathon is now also adding its own Third Wave. The Third Wave or Wave 3 as it is know over there in New England, will leave the town of Hopkinton at 10:40 AM and wear blue bib numbers that read 18,000 or higher.

All of this is part of the rather sudden explosive growth in popularity of America's Oldest Marathon. The Boston marathon now sells out almost as quickly as an Ironman.

Gratuitous bragging
The 2012 registration procedures have changed to reflect that reality, giving registration time bonuses to runners who best the required entry times by 5, 10 or 20 minutes, in what is known as a "rolling admission." For 2013, organizers just decided to cut 5 minutes of the qualifying times that were standard up until now. That should convince naysayers who believe that "Americans are out of shape and the situation is getting worse every year."

I for one will not attend this year's event, although I am happy to boast that in previous editions (forgetting the 2010 Boston disaster) I was able to best my qualifying time by more than 20 minutes and would thus have qualified for the bonus. The reason I am not attending is that I feel quite good having run three-in-a-row and I will save myself the airfare and the environment the CO2 of going there.

More bragging...

In Europe meanwhile everyone is getting ready for the infamous cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. World champion Tor Husovd, who would like to win the event wearing a rainbow jersey, said doing so would be as simple as following Alberto Contador up Alpe d'Huez.

Peter van Petegem, the veteran winner of the event and a special adviser to Garmin thinks "it is all in the head." Echoing a line we have heard many times from Ironman swimmers, Van Petegem thinks that to win Paris-Roubaix, you have to fall in love with the cobbles (Ed. ironman swimmers of course need to fall in love with the water).

So far though, Peter's efforts and Garmin's results have not impressed anyone. Far from it, the Belgian press has been raking Garmin and its well-known adviser over the coals for their non-presence in the Ronde and other early season races. The dream team has so far disappointed everyone who follows these matters.

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