too right!

Thankyou RW
i have been last in SO many races-these days its ultras but you are right
you get a great welcome


  • Great article!! I am always amongst the last few across the line (never been last yet...)
  • Very useful article for beginners

    I remember when i was trying to decide if it was worth entering a small local 10k when my practice time for the distance was 2hrs

    eventually it become obvious that 1.5 hrs was about the limit in a small 10k but no one here really wanted to tell me that because they didn't want to put me off

    it's nice to see that confirmed in print

    But, i would also say, that on race day - i spectated having decided to pull out due to injury and slowness and there was a lady who was badly injured but ran because she had alot of local sponsorship riding on her
    and she made it round in about 1h 45 i think

    and she got a HUGE cheer coming over the line

  • Great article!

    I came last in a race earlier this year, didn't care though as I ran exactly to plan and it was PB! The support from marshalls around the course and when I came in at the end was fab!

    One suggestion - if you think you are going to be really really far behind the rest of the field, its always worth chatting to the race organiser in advance - they can advise you about whether it is ok to enter the race.

    Oh and remember to say thanks to as many marshalls as possible!
  • Thank you. In two weeks I am particiapating in my first marathon,the NT Snowdonia.

    My aim is to get round and finish healthy and happy . This article has given me a great psychological boost. I feel proud to be a plodder!
  • People you wouldn't think can come last (almost) do.

    I had a dreadful marathon in Rotterdam, well up the field halfway, then had to walk more or less the remainder ... made the cut-off by 8 minutes. There really weren't very many behind me at all, and the organisers were getting ready to wind it all up.

    Similarly I beat someone in a 5K who should have been miles ahead of me, he came second I think at the Roding Valley Half in 2004, but got an almighty stitch. Although he was nowhere near last, sometimes unexpected things happen!
  • Lovely article. I remember in my first race over 2 years ago, an 8 miler, coming in as one of the last few runners. But the cheers of everyone (marshals, spectators, other runners) was fantastic as I put on a mad sprint at the end.

    My view on coming last in races is that you're never last, there's always the countless other people behind you who don't enter!
  • I just thought I'd tell you....about the time I ran a not funrun fivemiles and got overtaken by one of the speed walkers. How slowly was I going? And did I come last? yes,but I had the same experience, everyone was really friendly, no siggering,only me being irritated for doing so badly!

    Finns det nagra fler svenskar har forresten?just out of interest!!
  • Pah...

    What about mid-packers?
  • up the plodders !! great article, i always worry about coming last,and i make a point of cheering on those behind me when i finish.. baz
  • I was so worried about being last in the first 10k I did this month, but I figured someone has to be last - might as well be me ;-)

    As it was I wasn't last but I was near the back of a field of 4000 last 200 maybe - but I did it so I wouldn't have cared if I did come last. After all its the taking part that counts.
  • Great article!

    Very well done to the author and the "model" on page 1....
  • Brilliant Article, and a good subject to raise to help encourage people to try a race.

    I remember my first race, a 10K in which I was worried about being last - I didn't really know how far 10K was as I had only been timing my runs and not measuring distance. As it was I was about two thirds of the way back through the pack, but have a lasting memory of Marshalls cheering me on and clapping etc that made it a brilliant expeience and it wouldn't of mattered where I finished with regard to anyone else - it was a victory for me regardless.

    This year I entered my first triathlon and came 3rd from last. It was an absolutely fantastic day though and it's hard for me to judge which race 'made my year' the tri or the FLM which I did for the first time this year too. Being very nearly last just made me more determined to do better next year.

    I enjoy running, but it is entering races that keeps me going - It stops me inventing excuses to 'not run today' which can easily turn into weeks of not running.
    So I know it doesn't matter where I finish in a race it's much more important that I'm there. And as Byronic pointed out 'You've beaten everyone who was didn't enter.'
  • I've started right at the back to avoid going off too fast whilst recovering from injury - that way I never get passed by people and as I get into my stride I get to pass a few!.

    To be fair about the 1 hour plus for the 5K "LungRun " in the list - I was at that run and many in the 5k were walking many with small children and pushchairs.
  • What a great article.

    When I first started running about 14 years ago and before I smashed up my knee by skiing I had the honour of finishing last in a 6 mile race which took me 60 min to complete with a unstructured run/walk method.

    The reception was fantastic and it was only a small race (mainly populated by a martial arts club and I wasn't even a member of it)!
  • Yep, thanks RW from another slow plodder
  • At our club 10k race earlier this year the woman who came in last got a bigger cheer and reception from the crowd than the race winner.

    Unless your a competitive front runner I think that you can have a better time at the back of the pack, theres more friendship and fun when you are plodding along with other 'slower' runners

    I'm a back of the pack person and I dont worry about times or being at the back as long as I've enjoyed the run.
  • I am nearly always last i my local races
    off road they are for clubby types
    but i always have a lovley welcome at the end and a nice sweep peep with me
    feel like 7 sacks of sh!te for being so rap
    well Stourbridge-you treat me right
  • I've been second to last in a small race in Chester on Boxing Day - can't even say alcohol was an excuse - I'm just slow. I only beat a lady about 30 years older than me!!
  • If no-one was prepared to come last every race would only have one runner and wouldn't that be boring. Its the runners at the back that make the whole sport possible.

  • ulp
    event THAT far at the back?
  • i've stumbled on this by chance and it is SO encouraging - both the article and all the posts

    cheers all plodders
  • Michael Watson came once last in FLM, but his own run had more meaning for himself and others than time or position.
  • oh yes
    I remember that
    havent got that ecuse though
  • I came almost last in this year's Plymouth Half and it was bloody awful-the marshalls had packed up-there was noone to steer us in the right direction as we went up the final bit of the Hoe and in the last bit we went wrong several times and had to retrace our steps. The photographer had gone home-I felt stupid and really really let down. As a slow runner I appreciated that the roads would reopen but to not have anyone to direct people in the final bit was ..rap.That having said once I had crossed the line there were smiles from the goodie bag people, nice food in the tent and the experience has made me more determined to train harder so it doesn't happen again next year.
  • I have to agree its not necessarily a nice feeling being at the back of the pack. I competeted in my first ever half marathon, my local one with just about 600 runners - again mostly club runners.

    I was 4th from last with a time of 2:37. The marshalls who were supposed to help us across a busy road had left and there was no one there to show us where to go down the finishers tunnel. There were actually picking up the cones!!

    I was glad to have finished but I do understand why people go for big halfs like GNR becasue there are most definitely going to be lots of people behind you.
  • This article gave me a real feel good feeling! I completed my first 10k at Althorpe park the Sunday just gone, I couldn't have cared a less whether I was the very last person, all that mattered to me was that I ran all the way. People were stopping and walking and then running really fast past me but I kept running all the way which I felt was more important.
    Everyone should feel proud to have taken part and successfully completed it. I feel absolutely fantastic!!
    At the end of the day, you've got off your bum and trained, raised money for charity and most probably felt great about yourself....whose the looser? We're winners all round!
  • Mrs DB says I should try to come last, can't do it, I'm so competitive.
  • in my early running days the only bad thing I found about being one of the last was the sweeper van driving along behind. I know they have to be there but irrationally it always made me absolutely furious to have them chugging along a few yards behind. Come to think of it, that helped me actually, because I would find a bit extra to catch and pass some people just to get rid of the sweeper! Probably did me a favour really, because it got me to shift myself.

  • I start off every race thinking, RIGHT this time I will NOT be last or second to last or third last but as we set off and I think 'oh sh*t here we go again' its not long before I am plodding along all on my own. Once I accept that Im going to be last or nearly last I settle down and just do my best and once I get that medal....well everything is forgotten. The marshalls, supporters and paramedics are fantastic. At the 7k mark at Reading 10k I had the sweeper, 3 marshalls and the paramedic with me :o Afterwards I went to find all the ppl that had helped me along the way, one of the marshalls gave me a huge hug and told me that she was really proud of me for not giving up, awwww I could have cried. Anyway Im off to do the Denmead 10k this Sunday and I reckon I will be last again, I'll let you know :o)
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