Wednesday, June 19, 2013

St. Louis weekend races attract different breeds




Did a little quick math: a dangerous practice most often. But crunching the numbers from Saturday's Race for the Cure and Sunday's All-American 5K shows an interesting dichotomy.

Of the 40,000-plus participants in the Komen race, 1,460 competed in the timed 5K. The GO! St. Louis event on Father's Day attracted more, surprisingly: 1,548 finishers. The advantage might have been bigger if not for a downpour Sunday morning.

The quality of the GO! field also appears to have been higher. The winning time of Matthew Chesang: 14:51. Neville Miller's winning time Saturday was 16:09. Congrats to both. In addition, 85 runners finished in less than 20 minutes at GO!. That's 5.4 percent of the field. At Komen, 23 of 1,460 finished in less than 20 minutes, or 1.5 percent.

The Race for the Cure might not be much of a competitive race, but it is so much more. It is a happening. It is a celebration of survivorship. It is a day of recollection. It is transcendent for the participants.

The difference adds up to variety, which equates to a vibrant running scene for St. Louisans of all levels and abilities.