Friday, July 16, 2010

Death by Race


There are two reasons I will not be participating in this year's Mt. Tabor Doggie Challenge, one real and one fake. The fake one is more interesting so I'll cover it in depth.

The chart above shows a typical arc of the daily temperature here in sunny Puddletown in July -- the salient point being that the day reaches its maximum temperature at around 5pm, and the other salient point being that this year's Doggie Challenge has been unaccountably scheduled to begin at 6:30pm, rather than the more conventional morning start time for running events.

This puts the event quite close to the zenith of the day's heat, and incidentally it would be more than fair to assume that its date, July 28, will get hotter than the temperatures shown here, although the day's temperatures can be expected to follow the same arc as tomorrow's (shown here).

Having run it a couple of times before (I, II), I know the Mt. Tabor Doggie Challenge to merit the "challenge" in its name. It is no Fueled by Wine half marathon, mind you, but then again, nothing in my experience matches that beautiful beast for degree of difficulty. The point is, five miles over the steep inclines and declines of Mt. Tabor will make a body tired, and running up and down hills during the heat of the day is a fantastic way to kill yourself. No, really -- if you're going to kill yourself, pushing your body way past its limits on Mt. Tabor sounds like a pretty good way to do so. I'm just saying.

Bad doggie.

If you do run the MTDC -- and for all my caterwauling, you should because it is low-pressure, well-organized, located in one of the best little places in the universe, for the benefit of a good cause, and a lot of fun --  be careful .Take it reasonably slowly. Don't use this as a means of killing yourself, if only because that would ruin it for everyone else. They'd probably cancel it for next year in that case, and I just want them to move it back to the morning.

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