Monday, January 12, 2009

Shave Your 5K Results!

When I first announced this challenge back on January 14th last year I wanted it to be a competition that anyone could win, from the beginning runner to the seasoned veteran. In that vein I stated that prizes would be awarded for most seconds shaved and highest percentage of time shaved, thinking that this would respectively benefit slower runners and speedier runners. Unfortunately this did not work out as I had planned because the top 3 shavers by actual time were also the top 3 percentage shavers. So, in order to stick to the original intent of the contest every runner was placed into 2 divisions based on their Stubble Time; The Over 30 Minute Division, and The Sub 30 Minute Division.

The winner of the Over 30 Minute Division (and overall winner) improved so much over the course of the year that when he first e-mailed me his Smooth Time I called him a liar, a cheater, a sandbagger and a toe-jam-licking-snot-guzzler. I had no idea about the last one but it seemed likely and I needed something that stung a little bit worse than ‘cheater’. After a few e-mails back and forth and after checking his other race results on Athlinks I decided that he was in fact telling the truth. Give it up for the overall SY5K winner: Shaun.

Name StubbleSmoothDifference

Congrats Shaun, sorry I insulted you and keyed your car... a little turtle wax will get that right out, the insults I mean, those scratches are there to stay.

The Sub 30 Minute Division winner was none other than: Sherry.

Name StubbleSmoothDifference

Sherry entered the SY5K contest with an initial time of 32:03 in February of ’08 and then in a raging bout of honesty asked me to reduce her Stubble time after she ran another 5K in March in 28:19. Sherry then went on to shave an additional 4:21 off her new stubble time when she posted a time of 23:58 in a November 5K, making her the best shaver in the sub 30 minute starting corral. Ironically, had Sherry not told me about her improved Stubble Time she would have remained in the over 30 minute starting corral and would not have won anything. Honesty, you guys should try it sometime.

Both winners will receive a Performance Microfiber T-Shirt complete with the SY5K logo emblazoned above the word “Winner” and a mildly humorous slogan. The rest of you can purchase one of said shirts right here, but without the “Winner” inscription, sorry, you’ll have to get the affirmation you so desperately crave elsewhere. I’ve contacted the winners by e-mail and asked them for their shipping address, which probably creates quite a conundrum for them. On the one hand, you want the free shirt, but on the other you don’t want me to have your home address because I’ll likely sign you up for all kinds of junk mail and maybe even send you a dead cat, or worse, a live one.

Please join me in congratulating Shaun and Sherry on Shaving their 5Ks this year.

Full Results

Over 30 Minute Division
Name StubbleSmoothDifference
})i({ Runnergirl38:4030:148:26
Mrs. Half-Fast31:5429:402:14
lil 1/2 pint34:4135:12+0:31
Non-Runner Nancy31:4032:45+1:05

Sub 30 Minute Division
Name StubbleSmoothDifference
Chad Stevens24:1221:252:47
Reluctant Runner28:0026:121:48
Glaven Q. Heisenberg27:3426:251:09
running private17:0516:320:33
Eric Gervase23:0822:530:15


  1. While you all are undoubtedly going to stay fit this year and probably get in better shape, I will not. I have bigger plans - I will be too busy preparing for another 1st Place win for 2010.

    2009 will have me sitting on the couch non-stop and gaining all the weight back, while losing all of my fitness.

    Then in January of 2010 I will post a spectacularly slow stubble time, and can then get back in shape, hopefully winning the SY5K challenge again.

    You're all suckers. My idea's going to net me a free shirt every other year.

  2. First?

    Normally I'd say:


    But this is half-fast, so ... is being first something to celebrate?

    Congrats to the winners, especially Sherry, whom I taught everything she knows.

  3. Whew! I was actually only second. And third.

  4. I think you should also give out an award to those who managed to increase their time!

  5. i felt badly about my slower time until i remembered that i only ran 125 miles all of last year. this year should be faster.

  6. Congrats to the winners! And again thanks for hosting!

  7. Worse than missing my 5K PR by 3 seconds per mile this year?

    Missing first place in the Shave Your 5K Challenge by the same amount!

    Next year!

  8. *struts in, does the Cabbage Patch, struts out*


    Rock on 2009! Although I don't think I have a snowball's chance in heck (I'm a good girl, I don't curse) of dropping another 4 mins. off of my 5K time. Then again, if I follow Shaun's lead...

    Thanks for holding the contest, Ian (and thanks to GQ for teaching me all that I know)!

  9. Great job, everyone. You almost make me want to take part next time, even if it actually involves running multiple 5ks.

  10. Congrats on all those great times! It's amazing and inspiring to see your progress!

  11. Great challenge, Vanilla ... thanks for organizing it!

  12. Thanks for the challenge. There are some fast peeps who read your blog. Hopefully some of their speed will rub off on the rest of us...

  13. Congrats to the winners and all the improvements. Nanc & Marcy still love ya girls!

    Vanilla thanks for hosting such a great challenge!!

  14. I'm OK not winning, 'cause I beat all the cool kids. My strategy was the same as Shaun's (start out fat, get less so), and I like his plan for 2009. In fact, I think I'll go have a brownie right about now.

    Thanks, Van - this was surprisingly motivational! Can we look forward to a 2009 version?

  15. I felt great about being at the bottom of the list! I wasn't sure I'd be back to running at all (after inury), which means it can only get better from here, right?

    Congratulations to everyone who participated! I'm looking forward to THIS year's shave!

  16. YAY Congrats to the winners! Thanks for doing this Vanilla. Even if I sucked ass LMAO!

  17. So when does 2009 challenge start? :)

  18. Who the hell are these people?

    What does 10th place get me?

  19. wow way to go to the winners, those are some impressive numbers!

  20. Congrats to the winners and everyone who took on this challenge. I can't believe I'm 2nd, though I am so proud that I improved that much after only starting to run in April. I thought my 10+ shaved minutes would be good enough, but I salute your 13+ Shaun! Wow! I guess I better not get too fast before the 2009 stubble time so I can really smoke you all at the end next year ;)

  21. Sorry it's been a while since I have gotten the chance to sit down and read some posts... congrats to the winners and thanks for putting this together! It was fun!

  22. These rankings are meaningless because they don't take the difference with respect to the start. In otherwords, you should have been computing percentage change, rather than minutes because they didn't all start at the same time. Someone like speedygeoff stood no chance of matching Shaun's difference considering speedygeoff started with less than half Shaun's original time.

    Basically, Jon in the sub-30 was robbed of first place. Sherry's difference is only 0.1536198 of her original time where as Jon's difference is 0.1579937. Jon's percentage change should have given him the win.

    For the record, you can compute these as follows:

    1 - ((smooth_minutes * 60 + smooth_seconds) / (stubble_minutes * 60 + stubble_seconds))

    That's basically the change in seconds wrt the stubble time.

    Viper, if it makes you feel any better, your percentage difference is way lower (0.0500976).

  23. s1n - Thanks for the math lesson assbag! Perhaps next year you can host the competition, buy the prizes and do it the right way. I didn't pour hours of my time into this to have you come in here and tell me what I should've done.

    Both the original rules and this very post stated that the intent was to reward runners of all abilities and that the winners would be declared by total time shaved and by percentage shaved, however Shaun won both of those. Since I wanted to reward someone that wasn't a beginning runner I broke the field roughly in half (at the 30 minute mark) and decided to use total time instead of percentage because the difference in the way the results broke down was negligible. In regards to Jon being robbed, Sherry actually started with an even higher time than what she ended up using as her Stubble time so she would have beaten Jon in total time and percentage regardless.

    Of course if you'd read the post, or the original rules then you'd already know all this and I don't have the inclination to justify myself any further to you, you pompous a-hole. It is my sincere hope that you contract a painful flesh eating disease only to miraculously overcome it before being killed in a fiery automobile accident.

  24. Thanks for the awesome challenge!!! Congrats to the winners.

  25. What I'd have done....

    heheh! I think I have a formula that sees me win:
    ((π*blogposts)+stubble)/(origninal time + halffast comments)*2
    That should do it.

    I'll be back to claim my t-shirt next year... 2009 stubble time is already in the bag. Cheers for the challenge. Keep running people.

  26. Vanilla
    Thanks for doing this.. It was fun to see the results...

  27. here's my formula: I hate everyone!

    SHAUN, damn him. He so nailed this thing.

    I shall return!

  28. Vanilla, I think I came across wrong. I think what you did was a great thing. I didn't mean to discount this as anything less than a nice thing you did for your readers.

    My initial reaction was to observe that the people with the largest change in terms of their start time also had some of the larger start times. I was merely proposing an alternative solution to computing the ranks.

    I'm a software engineer, so I immediately thought of this problem differently than you likely did (I would have written a program to compute the ranks).

  29. s1n, well then I feel bad about wishing death upon you and rescind that comment. When I read it, it was late and I was tired and there's a chance that I maybe over-reacted to what you said (all of which were valid points).

    I don't know, maybe I'm getting my period or something.


Please note: If this post is more than a week old then Comment Moderation has been turned on and your comment may not show up immediately.