Author Topic: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?  (Read 7783 times)

Vomastic

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Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« on: August 15, 2015, 06:10:39 PM »
This is the ninth consecutive time I have run the PPA.  It appeared to me that this was the warmest one from a weather perspective with high temperatures and minimum cloud cover until later in the afternoon.  I am one of the last starters, so I get a good perspective of how the race progresses for the slower runners.  This time I saw a lot of runners standing or sitting beside the trail as I passed by.  It started in the Ws and got progressively worse as the race progressed. 

A Quick look at the preliminary results shows 121 runners were DQ'd or missed the cutoffs.  That seems higher than in previous years.  It would be interesting to compare the average finish time this year as compared with previous years.

jemahon

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2015, 08:40:26 AM »
I thought the heat was going to affect me during the first few miles ... especially when the were not any cups of Gatorade at the first aid station.  But I just kept plugging along and drinking Gatorade wherever it was available.  There were a few cool breezes that helped as I went up.  I did have a little calf cramping several times, but luckily I was able to stop it by backing off just a little for a short time.  I think one of the previous two years felt hotter to me than this year.  I ended up doing better than I had expected.

cmrun78738

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 04:15:44 PM »
Hello,

While the weather overall was warmer than I would normally like for a race, I live in Austin, Texas and have training in 95+, high humidity weather all summer to prepare for the PPA.  In addition, I would wear a 4lb Camelbak to add to my training effort.  So for me, the weather was actually pretty pleasant!  Extra special were those cool breezes that came up  every now and then.


tjl

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 10:04:29 AM »
This was my first (and maybe last) PPA.  I was fine until the A Frame, then it was hot and I ran out of gas big time! I couldn't eat because I was gagging on the chews.  I don't live in the area. Most of my training runs top out at 10,000 ft but I did one in Ouray a couple weeks ago up to 12,500 and didn't have any problems. So I think it was the heat. I did finish but am disappointed that it took me an hour longer than I expected.

Roger Henderson

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 10:57:56 AM »
It appears to me that the heat did take a toll. I was in better shape this year, paced myself better, and felt better the entire way. And I was two minutes slower this year than last. How I know the heat took its toll is that I finished in the top 55% this year vs. 61% in 2014. Unless I hear another explanation that makes sense, I'm going with the heat!

lee.owens

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2015, 12:13:49 PM »
This was my second "Double" so I knew what I was getting into...  I trained harder this summer then in the past.  However, I was 10 min. slower this year verse last in PPA and PPM. most of the people in our group were slower.
It was a struggle the last 2 miles.  I blame the heat and the impossible task of drinking cold water on the mountain.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 12:37:06 PM by lee.owens »

Steve Hokansson

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2015, 04:30:28 PM »
Took a quick look at last few PPA's. Mean times are too time consuming, but median times for last 6 races are: 2010 - 4:20:13; 2011 - 4:28:11; 2012 - 4:26:23; 2013 - 4:28:32; 2014 - 4:23:12; and 2015 - 4:42:01.

FlyGirl

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 01:37:17 PM »
Wow...Thanks for that, Steve!

I trained better this year than I ever have, was well prepared and felt very good going into Saturday.  I thought it was a little cooler than last year, but maybe I'm wrong.  My time in the Ascent was over a half hour longer than usual and I had serious issues (after never having issues previously) despite slowing down and taking it easy when I felt my body start to question what was happening.  As such, I decided not to run on Sunday.  It was a very sad moment, and I am still completely heartbroken.  I keep questioning myself and thinking I should have just gone to run, but I'll try again next year.

I do know quite a few of the other runners, volunteers and some of the SAR folks.  Two SAR personnel contacted me Sunday night after learning I did not run because they were worried after not seeing me.  They said there were more medical problems than they remember over the last 10 years, so something was definitely different this weekend.

Yoni Fridman

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 02:18:07 PM »
A lot of data and anecdotes saying something was different/harder this year.  It wasn't that much warmer than recent years, was it?

Any chance that due to the wave starts and decreased congestion, the average racer went up the W's faster than they should have, and that ended up causing problems?  It might be interesting to extend Steve's analysis to check how the various splits compare to previous years -- for example, were the No-Name splits faster this year than previous years, but the A-Frame-to-Summit splits much slower?

Given the decreased congestion early, I found myself having to intentionally slow down.  I ended up having a great race, but hard to make any conclusions just from my experience.

And I'm absolutely not suggestion to do away with the new wave starts, I'm a big fan.  Just trying to figure out what caused racers problems this year.

Vomastic

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 02:26:09 PM »
Colorado Springs had a record high temp for Aug 15, the day of the PPA.

John Garner

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 03:23:11 PM »
Took a quick look at last few PPA's. Mean times are too time consuming, but median times for last 6 races are: 2010 - 4:20:13; 2011 - 4:28:11; 2012 - 4:26:23; 2013 - 4:28:32; 2014 - 4:23:12; and 2015 - 4:42:01.

There are two factors to keep in mind when looking at the averages.

The first is that with the change in qualifying standards, we no longer artificially limited the ratio of "fast" or "slow" runners. In past years, wave 2 would fill in a day or two and wave 1 would be open for months.

The other is that 2014 had the opposite effect in that it was a WMRA year race which added a bunch of "pro" athletes to the field.

If I get a chance, I'll rerun the analysis to compare this year's qualifiers vs the finish times to see how the results differ.

--john

Steve Hokansson

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 07:08:06 PM »
That would be good info, John, as would temp data, if anyone has Manitou and/or summit temps over time. It was an odd feeling race. I had trained better than any previous year, and then had a bad race.(Just past NoName, bp dropped and then my heart raced, causing me to stop, and then proceed slowly for a while until all systems recovered, and then as I regained speed and could finally get past people beyond the A-Frame, rt calf cramped. Sometimes stuff just happens.) But I still only finished 5 minutes off my predict and in the highest overall position I've finished in. But there seemed to be a much slower pace for the pack beyond Barr and a LOT of ailing runners, more than one usually sees from the higher seeds. It was an odd race.

Tim Schumacher

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 08:04:57 PM »
Took a quick look at last few PPA's. Mean times are too time consuming, but median times for last 6 races are: 2010 - 4:20:13; 2011 - 4:28:11; 2012 - 4:26:23; 2013 - 4:28:32; 2014 - 4:23:12; and 2015 - 4:42:01.

There are two factors to keep in mind when looking at the averages.

The first is that with the change in qualifying standards, we no longer artificially limited the ratio of "fast" or "slow" runners. In past years, wave 2 would fill in a day or two and wave 1 would be open for months.

The other is that 2014 had the opposite effect in that it was a WMRA year race which added a bunch of "pro" athletes to the field.

If I get a chance, I'll rerun the analysis to compare this year's qualifiers vs the finish times to see how the results differ.

--john
You bring up a good point that the starting field population is different.  I would also propose that a big factor in the larger 2015 PPA time is that the finishing population is significantly different due to the relaxed mid-course cutoffs.  Remove those finishers who would have been turned around at Barr or A-Frame and I bet 2015 data falls right in line with the other years.

John Nelson

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2015, 08:16:45 PM »
There is no doubt the heat took a toll on me. I had run the double successfully the two prior years. This year in the Ascent I began cramping after A-Frame and had leg pains the following morning. I made a decision on Sunday morning to NOT start the PPM as I was concerned the cramps would return and leave me stranded on the mountain. In addition my PPA time was slower by 30 minutes, stopping to rest my cramping legs several times.

This race always teaches me lessons.

Mark

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Re: Did the Hot Weather Take a Toll on Many of the Runners?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2015, 09:39:59 PM »
Yes, I had a bad PPM race this year >:( I think it was partly due to higher temps at the start, pressure of keeping up with my wave thru the W's, and lack of training at the summit because of all the snow this year. I told another runner at No Name on the descent that I was 4 miles from retiring from the race forever! After I finished, that thought lasted about 5 minutes... when does registration open for 2016???

Also, just want to give a big thanks to Ron and his staff, all the volunteers, and EPCSAR. This race is a logistical nightmare and they put it all together and pull it off flawlessly every year! Love the Jacket too!

See everyone next year.