We get asked all kinds of questions and every so often even have a random thought that is meaningful, so if you have a few minutes of time to waste, read on. Have a random thought, question, comment or concern? Lets us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to save money on registration fees.Are you that guy? Top five things to ensure you get an accurate time at a race?Can I run with my dog? Where did you get the name DoLittle Marathon?What to do the night before a tri or race?What does that dude in the trailer do and why does he always looked freaked out?Ever run a race and not show up in the results?The great chip vs gun timing debate.Get your geek on.What is the deal with no refund policies in races?Got Bloody Nipples?So you want to be a runner but not sure how to start?What’s the deal with the proposed Milwaukee Marathon getting shot down?Need a training break? Try a naked run.How does timing work?What's the deal with medals?What is the difference between cross country and trail runs?Ten Things I Wish I Knew as a RunnerWhy is running so expensive?FAQ
Ya you know who we are talking about. Here is a funny & quick read about that guy or maybe you?
At the end of the day, no worries mon. We run backup systems and video to ensure we get everyone. If you are not on the list, just let us know. We will find you. Nice emails get answered first, crabby emails get time added.
Happy nanosecond chasing.
What to do the night before a tri?
One of the things I most frequently get asked is what to do the night before a race. Ok, no one ever asks that but they should.
For me, I panic if I am not 100% ready days before an event. I’ve been to too many events where someone is asking runners if they have an extra pair of shoes or a bike helmet or extra goggles. I don’t ever want to be that guy.
Laugh now but it will happen. I ran the LA Marathon one time and was staying with my sister in San Diego. We got to the hotel and as I was unpacking my stuff, I noticed I left my shoes in San Diego. We drove all the way back to San Diego and then to LA. No so funny.
I always pick up my packet the day before. I drive the bike course or run course. I swim the first 400 meters of the course. No you don’t need to but it you are like me, you just might have control issues.
The second most important thing I do is put everything I need for the race on my bed including my bike. Ok my bike doesn’t go on the bed but it is in my hotel room. Yes people look at you weird bringing your bike into the hotel but you’re a triathlete which by default makes you weird.
I then go through my entire check list. Don’t have one? We have posted one on our website under the Lake Country Tri race. Actually I go through it a few times to double check. Yes I have control issues.
If it is a long race, I tape my nutrition to my bike. I cool my drinks in the refrigerator or get a bucket ice.
Then I pack everything. The truth is, I have no idea why I pack everything because I will check it all again that night and again in the morning.
Finally, the most important thing for me is to do nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing except sit on the bed and watch TV or read. I rarely even travel with my family because they want to have fun and I want to do nothing. Ya I know it is weird but I was once at a hotel the night before the Chicago Marathon and as I was brushing my teeth the door of the cabinet fell off and cut my foot.
Hope that helps. Then again I could be totally wrong.
While we will tell you timing is an exact science, it is not. There are all kinds of things that affect your chip read. Here are a few…
No worries. If you ran across the finish line we will have your time. It might be in a backup laptop database, on a GoPro, or in photos but we will have it. However, we won't know you didn't get a time unless you tell us. See we (the timer not the race director) don’t know if you started, dropped out or decided to chase a leprechaun through the woods. Just let us know.
At all of our races all you have to do is tell the race director or the timing contact and they will fix it for you. It is that simple. See one can't know what they don't know.
Here is a suggestion on what not to do. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Sunday evening news and say how much the race director and timer suck and that you will never do their race again. If it is a quality RD and timer, they will likely have a video or photo of your crossing the finish line. Some RD’s might just post that video or photo on Facebook along with your registration where you signed up as an elite women.
Well folks, it really is not a debate since it is crystal clear. If you are running a race - note the term race - then the only offical time recognized by the USATF is the gun start time. Sorry age groupers but that chip time does not count. Here is an article from www.oklahoma.usatf.org that explains why the gun start is the only offical time used.
New registration, results and pictures!
Silver Circle Sports Events, LLC & Your PR Timing has switched technology platforms for 2015 races. I know, so what. Well here is the super-duper cool thing. It is faster, cheaper and easier. Our timing company uses the best technology in the industry – Innovative Timing Systems.
That technology now ties in with our registration, instant results when you finish and photos tied to your bib. When you finish, scan a QR code, enter your bib number and shazam your results are there!
What you’re not one of those runners who has a smart phone with them? No worries. We will have laptops at the finish line so you can enter your bib number and presto your results will pop up. We can even email you the results as soon as you cross the finish line.
If you were at the Last Call race you may have seen the basics, but starting with the Great Milwaukee Pi Run, we will begin to roll out all the bells and whistles. Check out the results page from Last Call.
Ok we know we are closet computer geeks but this stuff rocks. Not only is it super-duper cool but it is free for you to use. Heck, the registration cost is actually cheaper than others so I guess you actually make money on it.
Wow it has been some time since I rambled on about something. Here is one thing I get asked all the time. What is the deal with no refund policies at races?
Good question. The vast majority of races have no refund policies. I can’t speak for the industry but I can for Silver Circle Sports Events. It is difficult to describe the amount of effort that goes into promoting a safe, memorable and quality event before race day. As you bore yourself reading this, think of all those great events you attended and the not so good events.
The amount of work and cost that is incurred behind the scenes is extraordinary. We frequently get asked “how hard can it be. It’s a couple of shirts and some water.” Well that is true but there are a thousand other things to consider if you want to participate in a safe, memorable and quality event. Remember that race a few years ago where they ran out of water? Oops. Here few things to consider……
Those are just a couple examples. Running the event is actually the easiest part. As a race director, my goal is to first ensure you have a save experience and second exceed your expectations. If we completed all of those items and a thousand more on the list, we will. Your job should be show up (on time), run a PR, have a great experience and never notice any of those things on the list.
The reason why we have a no refund policy is because all of those items / costs are front loaded and based on your attendance. When you cancel, we have already incurred those costs to ensure we exceed your expectations. That’s it in a nutshell but now you know why.
Still not a good enough answer? You can always buy insurance from active.com when registering.
I will let you in on a secret. If you are really nice to the RD and staff they might move your registration to another event. Want to ensure they do, consider volunteering for the event. If you volunteer at a Silver Circle Sports Events race, you will get your registration moved to another event.
That’s it. Got questions or want to volunteer? Fire off one of those newfangled email thingy’s to email@example.com
If you are an experienced runner you just quivered with painful memories. If you are new to running I’m sure you are thinking ya as a matter of fact… What the heck?
Look we have all been there. It is one of the most painful things to work through on a distance run. However, it is one of the easier “problems” to fix.
Runner's World has a good article about it but there is a very simple answer. Band-Aids. Yep grab a couple of your kids Sponge Bob Square Pants Band-Aids and slap those over your nipples. Just make sure you peal them off before you go strutting around the finish line with your shirt off.
The hardest part is starting. What cloths do I need? How far should I run? Should I run in $200 shoes or those funny shoes that look like water shoes? What should I eat and drink? Do I really need to do fartleks and what are they?
It’s actually very simple. Get off your rear and start with a walk. That is the single most difficult thing to do. Really! Really? Yes really.
The second hardest is to do it the next day and the next and the next. Until shazam! The next thing you know you are a runner. But be careful because soon you will be that slim dude or dudette who is planning vacations around marathons. Ah the runner high….
Ok so seriously, here is a great article from Runners World that answers all those questions you want to ask your skinny runner friend but don’t want to ask your skinny runner friend.
Finally, consider going to the park and walking / running on a trail. It is much easier on your body and mind.
Next we will tell you how to be an Ironman. Got an extra 600 hours in your year?
Well that is certainly a great question for which there is likely straight answer. Our good friend and fellow race director Chris Ponteri has been working for a long time to permit his Milwaukee Marathon. Chris is a first class guy and we hope that all parties come to an agreement soon.
What most people do not realize is the amount of time it takes to permit an event. It’s crazy long.
For example, we will announce a major event in the near future which will take place in September 2015. Ya, we know that is 15 months away but that is nothing. We actually started working on the event 2 years. Say what?
Chris theoretically had it easy. He only had one municipality to obtain permits from. Our event covers 6 municipalities, 1 county office, 6 police departments, the sheriff’s department, 6 different planning departments and three different Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau offices. Fortunately, all those folks understand the value endurance athletes bring to their communities and have been more than helpful in permitting. Don’t tell anyone, but they are all in Waukesha County……
So the next time you attend an endurance event, keep in mind the amount of time the race organizer spent just to get it permitted.
Dreading your next run? Can’t seem to find the motivation to lace up your shoes and get out there? You may just be in a training rut.
Try this – forget your regular route where you know every mile, every yappy little dog to watch out for, every house that you wonder why don’t they just mow the lawn, every intersection, stop light, stop sign, crack in the road to jump over, water stop……….
Go to a park and try a new course or a trail run. Most parks have great trails that meander through forests and around lakes. If you are lucky enough to live is southeastern WI, try a Waukesha County or Wisconsin State park. They all have trails of varying distances and difficulties.
Most importantly, leave your GPS, GU belt, heart rate monitor and iPod at home. Just run. We call it running naked.
What did you think running naked meant?
Happy “naked” running
As athletes, we frequently take timing for granted. After all, how hard can it be? There is a chip on the bib and when you finish it magically records your time. You never even think about the timer hiding behind the finish line. That is until they get it wrong…
Well, timing is actually a very sophisticated and complicated process.
Here is how it works. That chip on your bib is actually a tiny computer that stores data on it. When you get near the finish line, an antenna (four in our case) sends a signal out to your bib. When the bib sees that signal, it responds with the data on the bib. Simple enough. What could possible go wrong?
Do you remember at your last race when the race director was giving instructions about your bib placement? Barking over the PA system to make sure you place your bib on the front of your shirt. That’s because the antenna can’t see through your body and thus can’t communicate with your chip.
Ever notice those random people standing around a finish line with a pen and paper or a laptop? Those random people are typically the timing crew with backup systems and if they can’t see your bib, they can’t record it.
Do the timing crew a favor and place the bib where they recommend. You will get a much more accurate timing result.
What else can go wrong?
You signed up for the 10K but only ran the 5K. The computer still thinks you ran a 10K but you are super quick. Just let the timer know when you finish and they will take care of it. Otherwise, when they call your name as the winner of the 10K you can do it then. Really your friends won’t call you out on it.
When you signed up for the family friendly 5K, you used your name for all 4 members but put the right ages and sex in. The computer doesn’t know this and when the results are printed, Mrs. Johnson won the 10 and under boys division. Your son will be so proud of you.
What can you do to make sure you get the most accurate result for your race?
1. Place the bib where the RD or timer asks.2. Ensure all the data is correct when you register.3. If there is an issue with your results, do not approach the timers. Most timers will have one person who is the point of contact. That person will handle all the discrepancies. Just let them know ASAP and shazam it will get taken care of.4. Run super duper fast and see if you can beat the antenna signals.
Couple fun facts
1. Our antenna starts to read your chip about 30 feet before you finish and tracks you all the way in.2. The results are accurate to 0.001 second.3. The chip on your bib actually has to be programmed by the timer before a race. Imagine how long it takes to program 1000 chips.4. Typically, there is a main timing computer, 1-2 back up computers, 1 computer used just for results & race clock TV’s and someone hand writing results.5. The antennas can read speed 200+ miles per hour. Just in case you can ride your bike that fast.
So that’s it in laymen terms. If you have an interest in more details, we would be happy to geek out with you and go through the system. Just don’t ask the timer to do it during a race.
Like t-shirts, it’s a love / hate relationship with race directors. As a fellow endurance athlete, I love getting a medal as the overall winner. I also love it when I just win my age group. Only problem....I am a middle of the pack age grouper. However I have been fortunate enough to place three times in my racing career. Only problem, the race director at each of those events did not have medals. Ug talk about a letdown.
So like shirts, we take medals serious. We try to provide a quality finisher’s medal for all our half marathons and when our events are timed, we again try to provide a quality age group medal.
If you're not lucky enough to have a wall full of winner or age group medals, then we hope you take solace in getting a quality finisher's medal from Silver Circle Sports Events.
Couple facts about medals
Now you know. Happy Running.
It's hard to believe that the first race in the Wisconsin Trail Assail series is only three weeks away - the Cinco de Mayo Run! Since we have amped up our finish line food (sorry no bagels and warm water at Silver Circle Sports Events) we are thinking about what Cinco de Mayo themed food runners might like. While watching half marathoners chow down extra spicy salsa and chips might be "interesting", our medical staff has advised us against it. Have something you would like to see at the finish line food table? Let us know.
Happy running - RD
Great to see so many people at the Trail Breaker Marathon today. We are offering a $15.00 discount on the Wisconsin Trail Assail Series today only. That's seven races plus a free entry into the Last Call 5k, 1/2 marathon for only $160 but it's only good for today.
Great question! Cross country runs are typically held at a high school, collage, golf course or some other area that has a large area of open space that is mowed. Generally speaking, cross country runners wear spikes.
Trail running involves a much large terrain format. It can include everything from cross country type space, rocky areas, open fields, dirt paths, hills or even groomed areas. Much of it is up to the race director. Occasionally, cross country involves trails but not frequently in southeastern Wisconsin.
All of the Wisconsin Trail Assail courses include an open field start where runners toe the line for a mass start - just like cross country. After a sprint across an open field, runners enter the trail system. For the Wisconsin Trail Assail, most are groomed trails and covered in compacted wood chips. Most people do not wear spikes but you certainly can if you wish.
This is a great article from Active.com. For experienced runners you will say "yep" and for newbeis, it is great advice.
"It took me years to break my mental barrier with running. It was always used as a form of punishment in the sports I played in my youth, so I always associated running with pain. That, and every time I tried to run, I ran way too fast and too far; this approach always ended in failure. The following are 10 things that helped me go from a hate to love relationship with running." Read more
We are submitting a proposal tomorrow to run a major event in Wisconsin. Ya who cares right? Well ponder this. The idea was first discussed in May 2012 to hold the event. Fast forward 2 years and we are submitting a 20 page proposal (20 copies mind you) to one municipality. First step of a dozen or so to get it approved.
Ya who cares right? Well there are 6 more municipalities that will need to approve it. Now you know why it takes so long to permit an event and the cost - see below.
Why are half marathons so expensive? I don't know. Here is an article in Esquire about the sky rocketing prices of half marathons.
"The average entry fee for the top 25 U.S. marathons has gone up 35 percent since 2007, to $112—three and a half times faster than inflation—according to the industry association RunningUSA. For the top 25 half marathons, which have become hugely popular, the average price has more than doubled, to $94. And while (today’s) Boston Marathon cost a comparatively cheap $150, the New York Marathon rose from $80 in 2004 to $255 last year, a 219 percent increase."
As a side note, you can run four 1/2 marathon and 4 10k's at Silver Circle Sports Events, LLC for the cost of running one marathon.
At SCSE we understand racing is expensive. Heck that 140.6 distance triathlon is almost $800. We get it. There are a couple ways to race cheaply. The cheapest is free. Volunteer at any event and you can run one of our events for free. That's good for 2 calendar years. We have a couple that volunteer at every event and race all our events for free - thanks Zimms
The other way is to register early. Generally the entry fee is about 1/2 the cost of race day. Either way, racing can be much cheaper with just a little planning.
Lets start with some frequently asked questions..
How long does it take to cone a course?That depends on a number of factors but in general it takes about 3 hours to cone a 1/2 marathon.
How many cones does it take to cone a 1/2 marathon.Again, it depends on a number of facts but its around 500.
Where do you store all that stuff?In a warehouse.
How long does it take to set up a mud run course?We start preparing a course about a week out. Generally we have the excavators dig the pits 5-6 days in advance and then test them. Sometimes we have to line the pits to keep water in but it all depends on weather conditions.
How much does it cost to promote a run? It's just a tshirt, some water and a few medals right?Sometimes but for us its always more than that. Here are a couple examples of some of the costs that your entry fee covers
Want to start an event or need some help? Click on contact us and send us a jingle. We would be happy to answer a few questions.
That's it for now. RD
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