Author Topic: Two minutes between wave starts?  (Read 812 times)

Billy Byler

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Two minutes between wave starts?
« on: August 22, 2018, 06:24:08 pm »
Obviously the Ascent was disappointing this year. BUT...

I really loved the two-minute spacing between waves (as opposed to one-minute wave starts). It was done out of necessity this year. I wonder if the race organizers would consider starting the race earlier (say, 6:30) and start the waves every two minutes from now on. In previous years it's been a slow, single-file march through the Ws by the time my wave (16, 18) gets there. This year I was in wave 16 and by the two-mile mark I didn't have anyone within 10 yards of me on either side! Anyone else experience something similar?

KSFlatlander

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2018, 03:28:51 pm »
I had a different experience but I started in wave seven.  I'm not sure if it was the shortened race or the two minute intervals, but it was a conga line from the trail head all the way to No Name Creek. (It wasn't a backup at the first aid station like it was in years past, but it was packed hitting the trail head.)   During the Marathon I started in Wave four and everything was thinned out by the time we hit the trail head. I exerted way more energy on Saturday than I did on Sunday during the Marathon and obtained the same time to Barr Camp. I like the earlier start time, but maybe less people in each wave and one minute apart would work for me. Wave 7 for the Ascent only had four unused numbers from 700 to 799 (according the confirmation list) ...I don't know how may of those were no shows to the race. 

Glad it worked out for you starting further back!!  :)

Jayme Diekmann Buzard

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 01:58:28 pm »
Agreed!  I was in wave 18 and thought the 2 minute starts were much better.  I would fully support starting at 6:30 or 6:45 to and change to a 2 minute release. 

Mark

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 09:30:48 pm »
Ha! about 7 years ago the Ascent only had 2 waves and the Marathon was a single wave. What a cluster at the spur onto Barr at the end of Ruxton... 1 minute waves helped a lot but I'd be all in for 2 minute waves.

John Garner

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 12:01:31 pm »
I agree, a 2 minute start time is much nicer and before this year was not really possible.

Here are some of the things that we have to take into consideration that I never knew until I started volunteering for the PPA/PPM.


Why not make it start earlier, say 6:30? That is due to the sunrise. A lot of the volunteers start their day at the summit and hike down. The sun rises at 6:15am on the 3rd weekend of August. It is light up there by 5:50 or so. We don't want volunteers hiking down the peak from the top in the dark. You also have issues with staging volunteers early in the morning at the NoName and Bob's road aid stations. Thus the original 7:00 start time was kept to preserve the original timelines from an operational perspective. 

As for the number and spacing of the waves, there was a cap on the time of the last wave too. There are two things at play here: Thunderstorms and the Cog's first trip of the day. 

This year was an oddball for weather, but in a normal year we can expect to see a storm arriving a bit after 2pm. With a 7:30 start and the 6:30 cutoff, folks are arriving at the summit as late as 2. Just in time to get out of there before the regularly scheduled afternoon storm.

The other concern was that the Cog railroad had an 8am train, and if we kept ruxton closed for too long, then we would have a huge impact on their operations. Given how much they have supported the race for the past few years (how do you think all of the equipment and volunteers get to Barr Camp each year? ), we wanted to be as nice as possible to a company that has supported us so well.

This year, the Cog is closed for repairs, so the timing of their first train of the day was no longer an issue.

The final thing was that the math worked out nicely with the 20 or so waves. We have about 2100 registered runners (about 1800 who show up on race day). By simply using the first numbers of the bib as the wave number and staging them at 1 minute intervals, everything lines up nicely. Wave 3 has bib 300 -> 399 and leaves at 7:03. Easy to remember, and on race day I like easy. :-)


--john

Yoni Fridman

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2018, 02:43:26 pm »
John, thank you for those fascinating insights! So much that goes into it that most (myself included) don't realize.

Another related question for you: Given that there wasn't a full Ascent this year, have you considered any changes to wave placement calculations (and even race qualifications) for the next year or two or three? Thanks in advance!

John Garner

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Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2018, 09:21:29 am »
I'll post something official on the qualifications page after the PPM Board meeting next week, but my current thought is to just take the 2018 Ascent time and multiply by 2 for wave placement purposes. Otherwise the 2018 Ascent would be treated just like any other year.

So far nobody has complained about that bit of math. :-)

--john