Thursday, August 18, 2005

ORC and Prediction Run

The Orlando Running Club held a prediction run followed be a general meeting. The East Side Runners held prediction runs, but I never attended any. I thought I'd try this one out since it also coincided with a general meeting. The format of a prediction run is to estimate your time for the specified distance, then run the course WITHOUT a watch. Whoever is closest to their predicted time would win. In this case, we had a men's competition and a women's competition.

I arrived and found out the distance was estimated to be 3 miles, plus or minus 1/10th of a mile, which I assume was a way to add some uncertainty into the competition. The course also crossed a major street where we would have to wait for a light, so we had to factor that in as well. I guessed I would run a 9 minute mile, so I entered 27 minutes exactly. I wasn't sure how to account for the light or the 1/10th of a mile, so I just didn't consider it!

Another woman wrote down 27:30, and since we were predicting about the same pace we wound up running together. Her name was Amy and we chatted, paced each other, and helped remind each other what streets to turn on.

We came to one traffic circle and ran the wrong way, but corrected after a quarter of a block. At the next light, she zipped out into a break in traffic and I kept up, but would have preferred waiting for the cross signal. We made the final turn into the parking lot and I slowed for a car at a stop sign, while she rolled right on through. I think maybe she grew up in Manhattan to be so fearless of traffic!

I turned out perfect for me - she finished at 26:55 and I finished at 26:59... missing my target time, by one second! I'm not sure I could have planned that with a watch (well, other than getting there early and walking to the finish). That was the closest time among men, so I won a free drink.

The meeting convened at a restaurant and the president spoke non-stop, covering membership and event ideas and plans. Only about a dozen of us were there, but the people were very friendly and talkative.

ORC plans all sorts of friendly competitions among members, the core of which is a 12 run series, involving runs (existing events runs by others) from 5K's to a marathon. You don't have to attend every one, and the general idea is the lowest cumulative time across the events is the winner. There is also talk of group travel to various Florida events, cross membership events with other local running clubs (Space Coast Runners and Boca Raton Runners were mentioned), and the exchange program we have with a sister club in Japan (!).

I left contact info for a few committees. Like most clubs, about 10% of the membership is active and helps run things behind the scenes. I enjoyed doing that with the East Side Runners, so I want to do that here too.

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