I have a sugg for anyone thinking of including a marathon in their host-city’s racing:
Offer a marathon open to expert riders only. The thing takes long enough as it is, so no one should be expected to wait around while some 9-year-old on a 24" takes 8 hours to finish.
Instead, keep people moving (or: out of the running) by mandating certain split times. If you run a 43km ride, then a good idea would be a 10 km split time of, say, 30 minutes. Any slower than that and the competitor would have to bow out of the ride (or simply not have the ride be official) as DQ. This would make the ride a much more interesting sport for spectators, too.
I’d bet we could see some awesome times, and maybe even a broken record, in the marathon if we played by stricter rules and if we ran this race more often.
As for riding 16 mph for over an hour: I’ve done it, but I’ve never tried it for a full 26 miles. I maintained that speed for about an hour on a Coker with 125s. I think I could do even better on my 29" guni, but I know there are a few people who could do better still (Ken, Smiley, Roger, Christian, …). I’d just like to see someone snag that record!
Any convention host that endeavors to set up their own marathon course would, in my humble opinion, own the choice to do this or not. Certainly you wouldn’t want it open to riders of any speed! Less-fit riders are much less inclined to take on a ride of such a distance, based on the attendance at Unicon. The 10k gets a lot more “try it and see” riders.
Today I rode 37.2 miles, including the first 18.1 nonstop! Now I’m either as ready as I’ll ever be for the Tahoe ride day after tomorrow, or I’m overtrained and I’m going to be sore Sunday morning…
Yeah, that’s the thing about a marathon. No one, and I mean not even your mom, wants to watch someone take nearly three hours to finish a ‘race.’ That’s why an organizer would have to impose a minimum time for certain mile- (or km-) markers. The race would have to end before the excitement did. I think a rider would have to maintain at least 13-14 mph (breaks included) for this to seem interesting. The premier riders would definitely make it fun to watch, especially at the end. And thanks to our on-back water-packs, spectators wouldn’t have to hand out water in little paper cups!
Similar to Sailboat racing, IMHO all races should be “one-design” races to pit human against human and factor out any mechanical advantage. 36ers only race against 36ers…24s against 24s…etc. Set up distances accordingly.
But I wouldn’t exclude the just-for-fun racers. That’s why most of us participate.
I rode the unicon marathon this year, having never ridden that distance before, on a last minute whim. It was the highlight of my week and a very happy memorey. It since has inspired me to by an N36 of my own and get in to distance riding. Please don’t take this opportunity away from people like me, it really was one of the most fantastic days of my life.
And since when has this been about the spectators? It’s not like they have to stay to see the backmarkers trundle through. I agree reorganising it so that all the fast riders took off together, instead of the stagered small groups at unicon 13, would make the finish more spectacular, as they would be closer packed and it would be obvious who was winning, no need to remember who went off in which group and what the relative start times were.
Maybe instead of offering a race especially for the elite few who want to exclude the fray from competition, two vans could be arranged to pick up the people at different intervals, or there could be separate start times. As someone who would be in the fray with the bulk of the riders, I guess I am biased to keep it all in good fun.
Also… give the 9yo on a 24 due credit, he’s had a harder race than an adult on a coker! That’d be the sporting thing to do.
All in all. I suppose it largely depends on the nature of the competition. If folks want to be all serious about it, fine, have a separate race at the exclusion of most. The Memphis NAUCC had such a warm open spirit, however, I think such exclusions wouldn’t have been consistent with the rest of the conference.
at last UNICON I rode the 10k race in just over one hour !
I would have been able to run it in 45 minutes but I was washed out (as usual when temperature is over 20° C ) and decided to wait for a pal who had his own problems.
What I liked about that is that nobody objected and so I enjoyed it! for sure I did not want to run the marathon but would you have objected if I had decided to spend 4 hours on the saddle with long pauses for drinks and pee ?
what I really like about unicycling event is that you get your own choice of competitiveness.
so is your argument only about the problem of immobilizing the organizers for such a long time? I can understand that but may be we can imagine some compromise for security reasons … I can read my watch if I want to know how long the ride was …
Exactly. I don’t want to immobilize the organizers. And it would also be cool if, somehow, we could get the marathon to end (if not run in its entirety) where spectators could possibly witness history or at least an exciting finish.
I have nothing against a bunch of ppl deciding it would be fun to go off and ride 26 miles on their own, stopwatches in hand. I just don’t want to saddle the organizers with the task of monitoring them for upwards of 4 hours. That wouldn’t be fair to them, and it would also reduce the chances of the event being run at the following NAUCCs (precedent being what it is).
Anyway, I’m mainly speaking hypothetically bc I don’t see that anyone is planning to run a marathon at an NAUCC in the near future. If it’s done as a race, I’m just suggesting that it be relegated to the people who would make it practical. And I’m only making this point about the marathon – and not the shorter races – because it’s so damn long. I don’t mind watching someone ride around the track at a snail’s pace for a shorter race like the 1600m, but if it’s the 43000m, that’s another matter entirely!