I’ve had a few nicknames throughout my life. I remember Pie and Spazz, but nothing that really stuck. I came across a guy who’s been dubbed the ‘Bullet with a Mullet‘. Now, I am hard-pressed to think that a mullet could be cool but I guess if you’ve got it rock it.
I’ve also kind of been of the school of thought that people who wear or do odd things fall into one of two categories. 1) The guy running around in Harry Potter gear as a cry for attention and is getting lapped by the field. 2) The dude donning a mullet but wins the race. If you’re case 1 you’re just trying too hard to be different just for the sake of being different and begging for attention. If you’re in case 2 and you’re winning and setting the track on fire then I guess you could do whatever you want. I once watched the winner of the Western States 100 Miler log-roll across the finish line. Though, maybe he just passed out at that point and happened to make it over the line.
Back to nicknames, I’m not sure if the Irish born Ciarán O’Lionaird does indeed still let his mulleted locks fly back into the face of his competitors (maybe it’s a tactical thing, he’s trying to blind them as he makes a move) or if he’s cut it now, but I’m sure it gets him some cheers. He just recently broke 4 minutes for the mile and while he might have had a 1500 meter time that converted to that time, he makes a very good point: converted just doesn’t feel the same.
Ah, us Americans and being the only country to buck the metric system. We have our miles, our two miles, the rest of the world can deal with the 1500 meters and the kilometer business. But then we complicate things further when we then throw in the 1600 and 3200 meter races…wait, those aren’t the same as a mile or two mile? Nope, there’s those pesky 9 and 18 meters respectively to account for between the two…wait or is it yards…or something like that. Can’t we all just agree on the same race distances?
Converting from this to that sure makes keeping those lists tricky too, with an asterisk marking the times that were actually 3k’s on the 3200 list, or was that the two mile record sheet? The 1500’s from the miles and the 1600’s…can’t we all just get along and get on the same page…err, track?
My wild little tangent aside, I like the quote from our Mulleted Bullet, “When you have run 3:40, you are just waiting for the magical one to come along because that’s the only one people really care about; nobody really understands that conversion. When you know you are in that kind of shape you just want to go out and get under the 4 minutes.”
I think no matter where you’re from or your system of measurements, even the non-runners are generally able to appreciate that breaking 4 minutes for a mile is a big deal for the guys. Which then brings me to another big question (one to delve into further on another post), men chase breaking 4 minutes for the mile, cracking 13 minutes for a 5k (I’d rank this a level above the mile marker), or dipping under 27 minutes for the 10k…what are similar benchmarks for the women? Would one equivalent be breaking 4 minutes in the 1500 meters for a woman parallel the sub-4 men’s mile? Wait…should we double check that conversion???
1) What do you think about the converting of times? Do you think we should all conform to one agreed race distance across the board?
2) In talking about PR’s, do you accept converted times or do you think it only ‘counts’ if it’s the EXACT distance?
For me I’d probably just count the actual distance sans asterisk, but I’d say that if someone ran a 1600 and wanted to convert to a mile go for it. Same for the 3200 converted to a 2-mile I think…let’s just go crazy and assume they could keep the same pace for that extra 18 meters. Haha.
3) What are your own personal benchmarks…what are some specific times or barriers you’d like to bust in a race?