Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finish Line Etiquette

Well before I even got to the start line at Surf City, I thought about the finish line. My Loper pace leader had mentioned it once, almost casually, to not look down at your watch as you crossed the finish line of a marathon. She said that you don't want to have a picture of yourself looking at your watch as the finish-line pose of your first (or any) marathon.

Then, the week before the marathon, she stressed it to us.

"Don't stop your watch until a few seconds after you cross the finish line because you don't want to be looking at your watch on your finish line picture," she'd said.

So when I approached the finish line at Surf City, hitting stop on The Garmin was the furthest thing from my mind.

Maybe some people don't care about their finish-line picture. Or maybe they really do care about what their watch says. Regardless, there were some finish-line shots that, had they been mine, would have destroyed my great moment.

checking the time

more checking

Now, I don't mean to pick on those guys or anyone. They probably smoked my time, so I'm sure they know what they're doing. And maybe when you get to the point where you are running marathons to try and beat a certain time, you don't care about the finish line photo because you're there to compete. Who knows?

To offer a contrast, here are some pictures of people who had great finish-line shots:

First-time marathoner coming in all smiles

That's my uncle Jorge, who was also a member of our Ragnar Relay team. Check him out. He definitely looks happy, relieved and excited to be done with his first marathon.

another shot of Jorge

Of course, if I could finish my first marathon in 3:46:34, I'd be super happy too. Jorge, by the way, already signed up for LA and might run San Diego and/or Long Beach this year too. Dang overachievers...

Anyway, here's another marathoner, though not a first-timer (and I hope she doesn't mind me posting these pics here):

third time's a charm

Blog buddy Lisa kicked major behind on this marathon, her third overall. She finished in 3:57:17, nearly one full hour faster from her first marathon time.

job well done

Look at her? Doesn't she just look super-excited and overjoyed? That's a great shot.

This next one is of my fellow Loper Marilu. It's another great picture.

point to the skies

This one is awesome. I really love that shot of her. I haven't gotten the chance to ask about her reasons for celebrating this way, but it looks great no matter what. That's a picture worth framing... all of the ones I posted are, really. Well, the last batch anyway.

I'm not sure how many marathons I will run, but I'll make sure that after every one I'm happy or proud or displaying some other emotion because I like those kinds of finish line photos.


Here's my finish line photo :)

crossing the line

Incidentally I ordered the pictures from the race site so I'll have a better picture of myself, without the watermark, once I get those shots.


5thsister said...

You are right! Those are terrific finish line photos!

Morgan said...

Yeah I always laugh at the people who are looking at their Garmin. My first half, Gasparilla Half, last year my finish line pic is HORRIBLE! I had the worst time during the race, it was raining and crazy winds so when I finished rather than being happy I have the worst mean face ever! But my Chicago pic is AWESOME! I have the BIGGEST smile on my face EVER! :)

Anne said...

Did I miss something...where's your finish line photo?

I had never thought of that, so I sure hope I manage a great finish line photo when I complete my first race :)

Angie Eats Peace said...

Marilu's picture is awesome!

Willoughby said...

I would never have thought about the camera catching me looking at my watch. It's a good think your pace leader mentioned it.

Love the finish line shots!

Kerrie T. said...

Great post, LB!

Although, after the Seattle Half there were no good pics of me finishing (still sad about this), I was partially blocked by tons of people in all of them. Should I purposely slow down and try to cross the line by myself? I had no idea where the photog was.

thrasherswife said...

Love the shots - so much better then checking the watch. I'll have to remember that if ever....... :)