Have you ever been last in an event?

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  • At 16 years old and having never run before, I went to support my school at the Glamorgan schools regional athletics championship at Morfa Stadium in Swansea in the late 1980's (mainly cos it got us out of lessons for the afternoon).

    We were from the crap side of Swansea and our school didn't really engage in sports. Turns out we had nobody in the 1500m race so I volunteered/got persuaded, I borrowed some old sprint spikes from another school that were two sizes too small (genuine schoolboy error!). All the other kids were either recognised fast runners or bonafide Swansea Harriers.

    Result...I lead the race for the first 200 meters, and came last by about a lap! 

    I remember getting an enormous cheer from the stand when i eventually crossed the line which took me by surprise, but my feet hurt so much and I was so knackered I didn't really think about it that much...other than to realise I wasn't a naturally talented 1500m runner!

  • Your testing what it's like to come last in an event?

  • I can tell you, it's awesome, and really embarrassing, and wonderful, and really embarrassing all at the same time. Did i mention the embarrassing bit?

    All those volunteers, and organisers who have been hanging around and wanting to pack up and go home, all waiting for you to cross this silly little imaginary line.

    But, it's also a great feeling of hell yes, I'm not great at this but I can just about do this within the pre defined limits, whopeeeeeeeee.

     

  • Joakin so how do you have an event with more than one person if none of them are over 60?

  • So your answer is you have to have someone over 60?

  • Someone over 60 and female apparently.

  • Yes.  Well done.

  • Well I'm over 60 and female - will I do?

     

  • No, because you would probably still beat me image and your dog would thrash me! 

     

  • It is harder than you might thing to come last in an event!

    However marginal your finish is, there always seems to be somebody who cuts it tighter!

  • When I was 13 I amazed myself by coming 3rd in my year in the school cross country (3 and a half miles) which qualified me for the district race. I had never considered myself a runner, just a kid who loved running about playing football.

    I didn't bother to train for the district race, trusting my fitness, even though at 6 miles it was further than I'd ever run before.

    The race was in April, but the weather was unbelievably hot (at least it seemed that way). I was breathless and aching after just 2 miles. I recall that horrible sinking feeling whilst my pace slowed and everyone streamed past. But I kept plodding along until 5 miles at which point I was wheezing like an asthmatic and my legs were screaming.

    I walked the last mile with tears welling in my eyes. I stumbled around the final corner and could see no-one ahead of me before the tape, so it was clear I was last by some distance. All the spectators and runners seemed to be drifting away (even the woman at the results desk was gathering her papers) but my Mum was standing alone, gazing at me with pained sympathy and unconditional love written all over her face. We embraced and the tears emerged in a torrent.

    It was all very humiliating, especially as everyone at school found out and took the piss, but it was also character building. I've never excelled at anything in my life, but I've always given it everything I have in order to avoid that horrible feeling and attain some level of achievement and personal satisfaction.

  • Last year I finished 2nd from last in a local half marathon with 350 people with a time of 2h 47. The other person finished over an hour after. It was sort of embarrassing, but everyone was really supportive.

    I'm a large runner (nearly 15stone female) and my half marathon pb is 2h 45 so I'm probably going to get alot more near lasts this year.

    A few people have suggested to me that I shouldn't enter a half marathon if I don't think I can run under 2h 30 - which is what they deem someone with no training to be able to do. But I've worked hard and trained hard for my races and I'll run them however long it takes me.

  • This year I was the penultimate finisher in UTMB, and it is the race result that I am most proud of, and I am sure it would still be if I had finished last. 

    Context is everything. 

  • I have just come 142 out of 342 runners. What i noticed the most though, was there were fitter runners than me, coming in behind me, and older people ahead of me (i'm 41). It was my third marathon and i struggled with a bug that was still inside me, plus it was a really humid day. I wasnt too happy about my position, but its like someone said, 'there is only one winner, so ultimately it is only yourself your trying to beat'.

    I noticed being in this pack of runners as well raw courage, that others like me were finding it really tough, and where as my place has been higher in the past, i think i needed to be knocked down a peg to see how everyone who does a race puts their heart and body into it. It was raw determination that kept us going, and we all helped each other. It was true spirit.

  • Nick your post made me tear up a bit image

  • I just came last in my first Duathlon but I say whoopee I'm 43 and I've just completed a Duathlon imageimageimage

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    NorthamptonNick wrote (see)

    When I was 13 I amazed myself by coming 3rd in my year in the school cross country (3 and a half miles) which qualified me for the district race. I had never considered myself a runner, just a kid who loved running about playing football.

    I didn't bother to train for the district race, trusting my fitness, even though at 6 miles it was further than I'd ever run before.

    The race was in April, but the weather was unbelievably hot (at least it seemed that way). I was breathless and aching after just 2 miles. I recall that horrible sinking feeling whilst my pace slowed and everyone streamed past. But I kept plodding along until 5 miles at which point I was wheezing like an asthmatic and my legs were screaming.

    I walked the last mile with tears welling in my eyes. I stumbled around the final corner and could see no-one ahead of me before the tape, so it was clear I was last by some distance. All the spectators and runners seemed to be drifting away (even the woman at the results desk was gathering her papers) but my Mum was standing alone, gazing at me with pained sympathy and unconditional love written all over her face. We embraced and the tears emerged in a torrent.

    It was all very humiliating, especially as everyone at school found out and took the piss, but it was also character building. I've never excelled at anything in my life, but I've always given it everything I have in order to avoid that horrible feeling and attain some level of achievement and personal satisfaction.

    Someone has to be last. Without an 'anchor man' there would be no race. 

     

  • I decided to do a fell race on the spur of the moment on probably not enough running.  I called it a training run... image 

    I came last and whilst I wouldn't say it was totally humiliating it has proved to be a kick starter for the winter.

    (And the race it was training for - the run section I enjoyed every moment of it!)

    I did run a half marathon and got over taken by a banana at mile 9, that was worse.

    Runner, swimmer, cyclist and triathlete

    Devoid of a competitive streak :)

    Who cares, I'm in it for the medal!

  • My brother got overtaken by a crisp packet in the London Marathon. As my niece reminded him as they met him after..... in the hot sun...after he had just missed out on sub 4..

    Families eh image

  • BikoBiko ✭✭✭

    I couldn't hack Big Bird's pace at mile 6 of a half marathon yesterday, and when I got to the finish I saw a fella dressed as Wolverine who'd already collected his t-shirt, goody bag and medal before I'd even crossed the line. As long as I defeat the guys dressed as plywood robots/houses, or carrying fridges I feel I've upheld my honour. You can't do much about the cartoon characters in my experience.

    Last year I finished 79th out of 80 in my category (male senior). I overtook the guy who finished last in the category in the final mile. He was limping badly at this point. It was an off-road/trail race around Christmas where there was a 10k the same day so there were very few "fun" (slow!) runners like me there. Saying that, it was probably my favourite race of the year.

    I'm not very good at running, but I think what's attracted me to these events is that it doesn't really seem to matter.

  • I entered a 10K recently - first organised event I enter in several years due to a chronic injury that kept me off regular running for a few years. I didn't come last, but my time was very slow. I was aiming for a time of 60 and ended up only narrowly beating 70 - along the way several ladies in their 60s passed me by (I am in my mid 40s) image However, I was overall pleased with the result, given that it was my first 10K in over 5 years, I was suffering from mild hay fever and my ankle and heel didn't hurt at all. Now looking forward to the next 10K and maybe a half early next year, heel permitting image 

  • Well done on your race and don't worry about where you place, that's still way ahead of everyone that stayed at home on their couch.

    I once got overtaken by mickey mouse...
  • Have entered a 5 mile XC race this weekend. My first race since 2011. My race plan, when compared with last year's finish times, suggests I'll be tail end Charlie.  But someone has to be right?

  • I HAVE REGULARLY FINISHED LAST AT PARKRUN I DO IT SO NO-ONE HAS TO FINISH LAST AND GET DISPONSANT ABOUT IT.BETTER I FINSH LAST AND HELP OTHERS ROUND THAN THEY GIVE UP.. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LAST............................................................................

  • Hopes dashed. I finished 81st out of 112, and ran the whole thing about five minutes faster than I expected to.

  • I was briefly overtaken by the bloke with the fridge on one GNR and I regularly see the back of Sponge Bob Squarepants.  Don't care.  Finished before everyone who didn't do  it at all image

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