Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nike Human Race - Finding Results and Winners

The first-ever worldwide Nike Human Race is complete (or still in progress in some places), and Nike is beginning to post the results. You can find the Nike Human Race results by city on an interactive map. The site also offers a leaderboard showing the fastest times for all the Nike Human Race events... that's races in 26 cities around the world.

As of midnight eastern time, the map shows "awaiting results" for the race I ran in, the New York City event. The weather was beautiful, the post-race concert by the All-American Rejects was fun, and the final lap inside Icahn Stadium at Randall's Island was a great way to finish.

The race course itself, however, was abysmal... probably the worst course I've ever experienced in nearly 30 years of running races. Randall's Island is not a huge island, making it necessary for runners to complete two loops of the course. Not a problem with a decent course, but this one was awful. In many places the course was narrowed too much by fences, and it had the runners going over construction areas with potentially tricky footing.

The narrow course became even more narrow when the race staff asked (politely) runners to stay to the left so that front runners making their second loop could get by.

At one point the runners had to run over a short bridge over a stream that was only wide enough for four or five people running abreast. Imagine hundreds of people trying to cross that bridge at once, with thousands just behind them, and it's easy to understand why I and many other runners were literally standing in place for several minutes until I could cross the bridge.

If the Nike Human Race is to be run again in New York City, a major course (and/or location) redesign is absolutely necessary.


FREDTERP said...

Unreal. Was this a NYRR event. FREDTERP

Anonymous said...

The bridge...the bridge was the worst part. A dead stop.

Anonymous said...

Did you see how Nike described the course on their blog?

"The two-loop route around Randall’s Island made for a challenging, yet honest course that made sure that the runners did not go out too fast and forced them to sustain a steady pace."

Your description is more like it? I enjoyed the race but if Nike is to do this again, they should worry less about branding and more about the runner's experience and logistics!

Anonymous said...

This was my first 10k and I was completely floored by the bridge and the fact that the leaders basically had to stop running because so so so so many people were joyfully walking fixing their hair and chatting with friends. I also saw a guy untangling his shirt from barbed wire hanging off of a fence at one point. A true let down. Being my first race, though, I was fired up and still enjoyed it. But come on Nike, get with it.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to agree with you. The course was absolutely terrible. Way too narrow everywhere.

I got there too late and had to stay with the people running at a 11:00 mile pace, when I should be at about 7. I passed so many people and then I got to that bridge. Ugh... it was so bad. Kinda like a clogged artery. I think I lost at least 7 minutes.

Something funny was that some guy got really ticked off at one of those traffic cones, picked it up and threw it into the water.

Anonymous said...

was anyone else listening before the start of the race (already 30 minutes after the race was supposed to start...)when the announcer who was clearly trying to stall started talking about how he just had a baby 2 weeks ago?