Team Challenge 2010 Napa Group Run #12

Team Challenge
Today the weather cooled down quite a bit compared to last week. In fact, the high for the day wasn’t even predicted to get out of the 70’s… very odd for this time of year here in Vegas. So while the cooler temps made for a nicer run this morning, if the weather keeps fluctuating like this we’ll never adapt to hot weather running!

Today the runners were supposed to do 10 and the walkers were doing 8. Have I mentioned that I am really conflicted on the two groups covering different distance? Well, even if I have… I’m really conflicted on that. Eventually they’ll all have to cover the same 13.1 miles. But the walkers are slow (and they’re actually not keeping up a pace that they need to for the race) and if we had to wait around for them to cover the same distance as everyone else, that would take a lot more time. If I was coaching someone to walk a race as an individual I would have them covering more distance, but it’s different in a group situation.

The plan was to do an out-and-back for a total of 8 miles, then have the runners do a loop around the soccer complex where we met to round them up to 10 miles. Well, the loop is 1.7 miles, so they would have been at 9.7 miles. The problem was that we discovered that the out-and-back segment was only 7 miles total. That left everybody short. Many of the runners decided that was fine with them and called it a day. But I had a few people on the team that were bound and determined to complete the full distance. So I obliged that need and ran extra with a few different people, ending with a grand total of 12 miles for myself today.

One of the runners that NEEDED to have the full 10 miles got the biggest smile on her face as she hit the 10 miles… her first time in double-digits. She laughed out loud and said, “I am a stinkin’ runner!” She repeated it a couple times and experiencing that joy with her felt so good. I think every runner has those moments the first time they hit certain distances in training. For some reason the mile markers that felt especially significant for me were 7, 12, 15 and 20 miles.

Our walkers actually got a little lost and missed our turnaround spot, thus venturing further on the trail than what we were initially going to do. So they may have got in about 7.5 miles. 3 of my runners covered the full 10 and the rest of them got about 9 miles. We’ll have to be a little more organized in the future!

I am coaching a group of runners for the organization Team Challenge. They are fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America while training to run the Napa to Sonoma half marathon in July.


  1. Heya — there are a couple ways to handle this!
    1) Have walkers start 30 minutes ahead. Runners all start together. Fastest runners still finish first, walkers and slower runners come in around the same time.
    2) What we did today (our run was 12 miles total — we have walkers try to cover the same distance): Walkers started at 8 AM. Runners arrived at 8:30. “Slower runners” self selected to start at 8:30. Faster runners self selected to start 15 or so minutes afterward. We all finished around the same time! 🙂

    I like ENDING at the same time as opposed to STARTING at the same time, because then the team wants to stick around and hang out afterward. This might be easier for us because we have about 9 mentors total and 4 coaches.

    • Thank you for the recommendation! We have 2 coaches now, but for the Vegas RnR season we’ll probably have 3. I may have to implement a “wave start” then. I’d feel a lot better about the mileage that way!

  2. I read this post over the weekend but didn’t have a computer to comment on it! Ilove that girl’s reaction to having run10 miles for the first tme- I was the same way! And I was the same way as some of your runners – wanting to be sure to get in the long miles every Saturday, I even would make myself do an extra mile over everyone else, because I thought I had to.
    I like the other person’s suggestion, too, of having the walkers start earlier. I think we used to do that when he had walkers with TNT a few years ago.

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