The ability to download results almost immediately after a race these days is a remarkable feature of modern competitions. You can walk from the finish line of a triathlon over to a guy sitting under a canopy and get a printout of your time splits, transitions and your credit report if you ask nicely enough.
That last part might be a stretch, but it is entirely likely that races these days can access your credit report if they would like. With entry fees topping $100 for most triathlons and Ironman basically seeking to take over the world along with Google and Facebook, your private information surely isn’t as private as you might think. We’re all just data turkeys waiting to be cooked in the Thanksgiving of life. And remember, the day after Thanksgiving is always Black Friday for the turkey, even if it does have nice legs.
So it’s a little creepy in some respects to check your times the day of a race such as yesterday’s Fox and the Turkey Four Mile and find out you’re a cog in a great big data wheel.
There were 2251 runners in the race, of which only 991 were male. “Four miles and counting,”you might say.
There were 1260 female runners. That’s 269 more women than men. And that says a lot about the distance, the timing and the state of modern running. Women are taking over.
As it stands, I would not have finished in the top five among women with my 7:06-mile pace yesterday. The women’s winner was Nicole Lopez-Villegas in 24:07. That’s a good time of course. I was a four minutes behind.
The men’s winner was Ryan Giuliano in 20:58. I met Ryan at last winter’s Sno-Fun Run in Lake Geneva where he won the five-mile race over snow-covered roads. He’s the real deal as a runner, competing also at a top flight level in triathlons.
My own best at four miles was 19:49, run in a four-mile Turkey Trot many years ago. Ryan is capable of running that fast, and probably faster, on the right course.
However, the Fox and the Turkey Four-Mile ascends a steep hill at the start that in my case added 20 seconds to the opening mile time at 7:00 flat. There was also a noticeable wind in the third mile, where I ran a 7:20 mile. The second and fourth miles were both below 7:00 pace. I closed in a 6:52. Yay! So I was pleased with the effort. It was a fun and positive experience. That’s all I ask from my running these days.
But I wonder, if in some digital universe divided by two I’s and O’s for the number of legs in the race, some data mining companies are not already finished downloading the names and times of everyone in the race. That’s how it all works in the Data Era. Absolutely verything you do is a measure of your value as information through which companies can assess your worth as a target in the marketing puzzle.
As a result, I’m fairly certain some new and running or age-related products will pop up in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds in the next two weeks. It happens with uncanny predictability.
The ads will most likely it will feature winter training shoes or fur-lined Equipo bikini underwear. When that happens, I’ll spare you the photos of me modeling such gear. My girlfriend thinks I’ve shared more than enough photos of myself in underwear for one year. And for a lifetime, for that matter.
So I’ll just shared this photo of two guys who were pretty darn proud of their crotch turkeys at the race. Perhaps it was their way of telling the data mining companies to “Eat Me.” We can only hope.