if a tree falls in a forest and no one’s there to hear it…

You may recall that in my race report about the Runner’s World 10k, I mentioned that I would have driven a certain running buddy of mine crazy had she been there to witness my anxiety over the results snafu. Without going into details about it again, here is a summary of the current situation:

  • I ran the 10k in 41:46 on Saturday; that is the time on my watch and the approximate time I saw on the clock as I approached and crossed the line. Chip time and gun time were probably a second or less different (I was really close to the front).
  • I did not get any AG awards because my time did not show up at all until after the awards were given out
  • When the time did show, it said 42:16 chip time, 42:17 gun time, a full 30 seconds slower than what I did indeed actually run
  • I emailed someone Saturday from my phone when I was worried I paid for a race that did not actually think I finished, and got a reply back today with a screenshot of the incorrect results
  • The results show that a guy ran a clock time of 42:16, and his name sounds familiar (okay, also because he’s a New Girl character); I’m pretty sure he was the guy I was announced as crossing the finish line with (they said both our names)
  • The results show that I did not pass the woman who I passed in the last mile, but rather that I finished behind her, and just one female ahead of Susan

    Scene of the crime...

    Scene of the crime…

So, what essentially happened is I was given a random time that I might have ran had I not made the moves I made and stayed strong over the last couple miles. Good one, Runner’s World. Very funny.

This got me thinking. The race timers did not physically pick me up and not let me cross the line until the people I had worked hard to pass in the last few miles went by. They didn’t make me run farther or shorter than anyone else, or give me some other kind of penalty. I ran 41:46 for 10k, a PR, with a ~19:59 last 5k. Those are facts, and thanks to Garmin and a map and a stopwatch and my own vision of the clock (and hopefully finish photos…come on Brightroom, hurry), I have proof.

The point of this post is not to show proof (I already wrote all about the race, after all), but rather to call myself out for really caring about this. Why do I care so much? We all want credit for our accomplishments, I suppose. Especially in such a case as this, where I was given a time that doesn’t reflect the work I did at the end that caused this to be the breakthrough race for me that it was. If I ran a race every weekend, it might be different. But at the rate at which I am racing, I try to make each race count for everything. When I’m done, of course I like to see my official time, how I ranked against others, and where I would have placed had I not negative-splitted like I did, etc. I don’t really have any opinions on this, or any more interpretations of why I’m so  bothered by this saga. I’m just recognizing the fact that published, searchable, official results matter more to me than I realized.

Tell me: would this situation bother you too, or am I way too competitive with myself and others (do I really need to be slapped)? Does the [current] result listed as my time take away from the fact that I ran faster, and actually beat that woman listed ahead of me on paper? How do you learn to just be content knowing your actual results when errors were made in the online results?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? If you set a PR and throw down against your competitors and it is published as if you did not, did you really do it?

By the way: check out my Run.com RW Festival recap here. It’s pretty similar to my race recap on here, but give blog.run.com a follow if you like what you see.

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5 thoughts on “if a tree falls in a forest and no one’s there to hear it…

  1. I completely understand! Putting in that extra effort you really want to see the actual results. I don’t think you are being rude about it, most of us would want to see our hard work showing in the data and results. Hopefully those photos sort it out!

  2. Lady, I am sooo pissed for you specially since you placed. Ok I am totally Type A personality and totally rushed home with my straight As in hand from high school (haha). But absolutely i get this. I could see how some people, probably less competitive or non runners would not but you are totally in line. Even my very chilled out husband, since he has gotten into running loves seeing his results just as much as the next runner. If you need me to track this down oh we will hahaha. Either way I read the other report too, congrats you are crazy amazing. I am totally hiring you as my pacer. sorry in advance

  3. Well, they seem to have gotten it corrected on the web site results now – finally! In fact they gave you a 41:45 (one second under your Garmin), 6th female, 2nd in your division.

    Good for you and your persistence in getting the record straight. Mental toughness is critical both during the race and after. It just should not be made difficult for the participant to insist on an accurate timing record. Glad they had a camera running but sad that you missed the award at the event itself.

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