Sunday, October 21, 2007

It’s Official, I am a Maniac!

I am Maniac #671 and I am the lowest level of Maniac, yes, the lowest level. What am I talking about you ask? Well, I had a pretty cool experience today at the Duke City Marathon, more on that later. While at the marathon I was introduced to someone who was doing her second marathon in two weeks. She was trying to qualify for the Marathon Maniacs club. It’s a national club something along the lines of the 50 States Club but it is just based on number of marathons or ultramarathons run in certain periods of time rather than marathons run in different states.

I looked it up as soon as I got home and I already qualified for entry at the lowest level, Bronze, because I have done 3 marathons in consecutive months, the Tucson Marathon in December 05, the Ghost Town 38.5 ultra in January 06 and the Lost Dutchman Marathon in February 06.

So here is the beginning of my welcome message:

Brian, at last you have found refuge, a place you can call home, where the Insane can feel Sane again, and once again be treated like a normal human being.

Welcome To The Marathon Maniacs InSane AsyLum!!!!


Ok, the cool thing. Me and some fellow Outlaws were doing our pre-Soma brick and Mighty Mike asked if I wanted to help out at the marathon as a cyclist leading out runners. I jumped all over it. Today I was the lead cyclist on the marathon riding just in front of the first place marathon relay team. They finished in 2:09 and it was windy as hell! I had a great time. It was weird having someone “chasing” me down on foot while I was on a bike. We averaged between 11 and 12 mph, occasionally dipping into the high 10’s when the wind was particularly fierce.

Oh, oh. I have apparently just made the GEEKGRL insanely jealous with my admittance into the insane asylum and now she is on the outside looking in and green with envy and so I am now committed to doing the Grasslands 50 mile because she has just said she will toe the line at the Grasslands trail marathon, which will give her three marathons in three months. I so love having a wife who is just as loopy as I am!

Ok, ok, so I have recently been pushed for some rules so even though I did not ref this weekend I will none-the-less include a brief discussion in response to two requests.

“What if I go to pass someone on the bike and I get up beside them and then can’t complete the pass because there is a hill or I run out of gas or the person speeds up can I just drop back 4 bike lengths” – NO, you must pass or you will be hit with a drafting penalty.

Another request had to do with the conduct of the swim. Here are some general issues. Swimmers may use ANY stroke to propel themselves through the water and may tread water, float, hold a kayak, buoy, lane line anything as long a NO FORWARD PROGRESS is made so you can not use a lane line to pull yourself through the water.

However, you can indeed run the entire swim if your feet can touch the bottom. Here is a quote from the Great Tome of USAT. Article IV rule 4.2 Bottom Contact and Resting. The first sentence says that you can rest using an inanimate object to keep afloat if needed. Now, the second sentence says “Excluding the bottom, a participant shall not use any inanimate object to gain forward progress.” EXCLUDING THE BOTTOM.

I know of at least one race in my area where the RD tells participants that they will be DQ’d if they are caught running along during the swim, the swim is in a pool. I know of another race where the RD says you can not dive into the pool at the start of the swim. I know of another race where you are not allowed to pass in the swim because the lanes are kind of narrow and you swim up and back in the same lane.

All of these ARE NOT USAT rules and no USAT race official should ever enforce them. Here’s the deal. RD’s are prone to inventing rules and threatening athletes with disqualification…actually, they are also prone to threatening disqualification for just about anything. USAT officials enforce USAT rules…PERIOD. It is indeed the RD’s prerogative to kick out of their race whomever they want for whatever reason they want but if the USAT official sees this happen it will go into their race evaluation report to USAT, which could in turn threaten the races USAT sanctioning.

Ok, here is the thing to consider. The RD’s who run our races…they put a ton of hard work into them and they bear the liability costs. If they want to make some threat because they think it is important to make their race safe, fine, just follow their rule and enjoy yourself.

One last thing…A RD can confer with USAT before the race and raise the bar on a specific penalty. For example, you will get a time penalty for wearing headphones during the race. A RD can tell USAT, “My bike course is open to traffic and it can get heavy plus there are a couple points where there is road construction. I believe that my course is so dangerous to someone wearing headphones that they should be DQ’d immediately if they are caught.” USAT is perfectly fine with something like that and it will be announced in the race literature and/or during the pre-race meeting and it will be enforced…DQ first time you are caught.

Keep those requests coming it gives me good practice.

Oh, remember, I AM MANIAC #671


  1. Congrats on the status of your sanity... I guess. I've often been tempted to run the Kingwood Marathon on New Year's Day and follow up with the Houston Marathon two weeks later. I've hesitated due to my tendency toward injury and the desire for a PR. But now that I know I could actually qualify for something by behaving in such crazy fashion...

    Looking forward to your Duke City report! I've got lots of family in ABQ and the surrounding areas, so it's on my list of non-Texas marathons to do one day.

  2. Glad you had a great experience biking the marathon course, and that you have a home with fellow maniacs.

  3. Let me ask you this - how many races, and what races, have actually had USAT sanction withdrawn because of technical violations? It's my understanding that there have to be some pretty horrific problems for that to happen, and it happens quite rarely, but perhaps you can clear this up for us....

  4. Love GG's spirit!

  5. Congratulations you maniac :)

  6. I just picture you on a chair in the middle of a stage, pulling on a long cord....

  7. Just validates what we already knew.... congrats!
    Love the rules BTW, keep em coming!

  8. You are definitely a maniac. I'm loving the rules section of your posts.