Sunday, November 14, 2010

Course comes up short, but not Guillen and Johnson

I just thought of a joke. A nutritionist, an exercise physiologist, and an engineer run a 5K. As it turns out all three are disappointed with the time they ran, and are determined to do something about it. Some time later they meet again and compare notes.

"I was successful, and it only took me two months," reports the nutritionist. "I changed to a strict diet, low in fats, high in complex carbohydrates, and rich in lean protein. This changed my body type so that I was able to run a minute faster."

"I also lowered my time, and it only took me a month," said the exercise physiologist. "I changed my training to include strenuous interval sessions on the track, and tapered carefully before my race. I ended up running two minutes faster."

"That's nothing," said the engineer. "I went back the very next day and ran three minutes faster."

"That's impossible!" declared the excercise physiologist.

"How did you do it?" asked the nutritionist.

"Oh, I made the course shorter," explained the engineer.

Okay, that one needs some work. But it's what popped into my head at the Engineers Without Borders 5K in Tallahassee on Sunday, 14 November 2010. That race uses almost the same USATF certified course through Innovation Park as the Bowlegs 5K and the Steven Gey 5K, but alters the start and finish so that the race falls nearly 100 meters short of 5K. It's the kind of thing that makes you think of jokes about "engineering solutions." How does an engineer guarantee runners a faster 5K time? He has them run only 4.9 kilometers.

So far as the competitive outcome, though, Tony Guillen could have run a hundred meters farther or a hundred meters longer and still come out on top. Guillen went almost immediately to the front of the pack and was in complete command of the race by the second kilometer, going on to win in 17:29. Guillen was also the top master runner in the race. Behind him, Lisa Johnson had a lock on second place by the second kilometer and finished as runner up and first woman in 18:12. Just over one hundred athletes completed the race.

Top 25 Finishers
  1. 17:28.93 Tony Guillen
  2. 18:11.27 Lisa Johnson
  3. 19:11.40 Jaurence Jarrett, 19
  4. 19:40.51 Jeff Armstrong, 35
  5. 20:01.49 Volodymyr Zharkov, 47
  6. 20:57.67 Aron Hotalen, 21
  7. 21:16.26 Robert Woodruff, 20
  8. 21:20.42 Kaitlin Wallace, 19
  9. 21:28.27 Aaron Massey, 22
  10. 21:34.91 Ricky Joneus
  11. 21:49.21 John Paul Jagusztyn, 21
  12. 21:52.50 Luis Prieta, 22
  13. 21:53.33 Sheldon Brown, 23
  14. 21:55.72 Yugi Lin, 26
  15. 21:56.29 Alex Widdowson, 21
  16. 21:58.17 Patrick Mahoney, 58
  17. 22:08.41 David Nechuatal, 21
  18. 22:32.69 Richard Aarons, 18
  19. 22:33.27 Brett Kroska, 26
  20. 22:38.08 Chaney L. Coggins, 28
  21. 22:53.33 Philip Witherspoon, 20
  22. 22:59.96 Michael Ohlsen, 43
  23. 23:05.68 Christian Ruark, 22
  24. 23:11.07 Zach Meredith, 19
  25. 23:16.57 W. Garrett Sullivan, 23


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