SpecTRACKular Offers Twist on Training, Racing

| September 2, 2014 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz

Employees of The Running Store time racers.

The Running Store in Gainesville held their annual SpecTRACKular one-mile race and Moe’s Mile at Patriot High School Wednesday evening.

The locally owned and operated running store offers free adult running/workout sessions every Wednesday evening at Gainesville Middle School from April through October at 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. when the days get shorter. Near the end of August, they also hold an annual mile race where participants can try to achieve their best one-mile times. .

According to the owner of The Running Store, Ian Connor, the idea is that many of these runners run various distance races, but most of them have not run a mile since high school. This race gives them the opportunity to compete and see what their mile time is and also to have fun through a lighthearted competition.

The way it works is that everyone submits their estimated times. Then members of the staff at The Running

One heat is on the move around the track.

Store organize the runners into heats. And, while everyone wants his or her best time, that is not how one wins the race.

“Unlike most races, the faster runner is not who wins the race,” Connor said. “The person who wins is the one closest to his predicted time.”

Because of this, no one is allowed to wear a watch or carry a smart phone or tracker. Connor said that the results always vary. Some years the winner will guess his time within a 10th of a second, whereas, in other years, the closest time has been several seconds off.

Ultimately, there are three winners who receive gold, silver and bronze metals for coming the closest to matching their times.

This year, Connor decided to add another event to the end of the SpecTRACKular. He planned something that would be fun to participate in, but mostly fun to watch. He called up Moe’s, which had just opened in Gainesville near Wegman’s, and they hatched a plan. The result was Moe’s Mile.

Moe’s Mile was a race in which each runner ate one Moe’s Junior Burrito before running each of the four laps around the track that would constitute a mile. Anyone who could not keep their food down was required to run a fifth lap as a penalty.

Runner sprints the straight-away.

Connor said it made for a “super good time” for the spectator although it was a little harsh on the runners’ stomachs. And for that reason, he limited the race to just 12 runners.

“I don’t know if anybody wanted to be part of Moe’s Mile,” said Connor, who convinced people to sign up nonetheless, saying “it was for laughs and a good time.”

Connor also noted that for many runners having the ability to take in some extra calories is one reason that keeps them running on a regular basis.

“Runners like to eat, so why not run and eat at the same time?” he asked.

Connor believes the SpecTRACKular made significant strides this year. The new location at Patriot made for a better running surface; they registered 40 runners; and Moe’s Mile helped make it extremely memorable for many people.

“I really appreciate Moe’s coming out,” said Connor. “They donated 48 burritos for that race. We will probably do it again next year.”

 

Photos courtesy of The Running Store management. 

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