A Look At Thompsen’s Record Time

Montgomery’s Hanne Thomsen blazed her two mile race in 10:07.06 at the New Balance Nationals Indoor.
But that is just one of the times in that race that we are going to look at.
Going into this meet, Hanne held the Redwood Empire record from her state meet win last year in 10:06.89.
But as we all know the standard distance run for 8 laps outdoors these days in California is 3200 meters.
It is rare to see a race in yards with the exception being some meets that run the mile or 2 mile.
Except for the US and Great Britain, the more common distance used internationally for secondary school runners is 3000 meters.
In big meets like Arcadia they will often have a second timing device at the 3000 meter mark of their 3200 meter races.
They call the time registered at that 3000m mark the enroute time.
It is not uncommon for the winner of a 3200m race to be in second or 3rd place as the runners cross the 3000m mark.

To calculate what a runner’s time is for 3200m when they actually ran a 2 mile race, what is done is to multiple the 2 mile time times the ratio of the distance of 3200m.
A calculator will tell that number is 0.9941963786396908 but since track times are only measured to hundreds of seconds you only need to use 0.9942.

This has been done with many of the past great runs as seen in these examples.
The first number is the converted 3200 time with the second being the actual 2 mile time marked with a y for yards.
9:04.66*i Luis Luna, Piner, 9:07.83y 2/25/12 Seattle
9:11.03* Armand Moreno, Piner, 9:14.0y 5/27/78 MOC
9:11.82* Jon Sisler, Petaluma, 9:14.8y 6/2/74 State
9:12.12* Bob Waldon, Montgomery, 9:15.1y 5/28/66 MOC
9:12.42* Dave Royal, Petaluma 4/14/79 Modesto Inv

When applying this to Thompsen’s time her 2 mile time converts to 10:03.54.
Which is what I originally reported as the new Redwood Empire 3200 record.
I had also reported her 3000 enroute time of 9:28.85.
That time is second All-Time to an actual 3000m race by Julia Stamps, Santa Rosa 1996 in 9:19.63.

The TRACK at New Balance includes a 200m hydraulically banked indoor track.
Often tracks may incorporate banked curves in an attempt to compensate for body lean presumably to enhance running performance and / or reduce lower limb injuries.
This I’m sure was Thomsen’s first time on a banked track which takes some getting use to.
Inside The TRACK at the New Balance
Photos are screen grabs from the video. Click on any photo to enlarge.

Hanne at the start in the second row with the bright yellow shoes.

Here is where things get tricky and change.
Patrick Donohue directed me to a web site I had not seen before that shows all the girls’ splits EVERY 100 meters.
This means there is a timing device at the staring line, another on the opposite side of the track 100 meters from the start allowing splits every 100 meters.
Besides those they also had seven other cameras spaced near the starting line to get 1/4 mile splits.

Here are the top girls splits for the first 1600m. Not sure why the girls in 7-9 place have messed up splits

Here are the splits for the final 1600m with Hanne’s splits listed second

I believe the small black boxes on the inside of the track are the timers for each 1/4 mile of the race. Hanne is in the back with just the top of her head showing.

Here you see the 1/2 mile split times. Notice the lights just behind the pack showing that they were that much ahead of a 10:00 pace at that point in the race.

Another thing this meet had was pacing lights.
They have lights set up all along the inside of the track that the runners can see.
They set the lights to flash as the runners went along at a 10:00.00 pace.
The girls stayed ahead of that pace thru about 3/4 of a mile before not being able to keep up with the lights.

Now back to the odd timing situation, since they were timing every 100m they actually timed Hanne at the 3200m mark of the race.
She crossed that at 10:04.12 for an enroute time with a 2.95 second sprint to the finish line, fastest of all the runners.
The reason the 10:04.12 time is slower than the 10:03.54 average pace she ran is that her final 18.68 meters of the race are not counted and if you took a middle 18.68 meters of her race where she was running slower, the time would come out more like her 10:03.54 estimate.
But since we have an accurate 3200 enroute time it seems right to count that as her official 3200 time.
Now this would be a real bummer, not getting credit for 10:03.54, if this was her last race as a senior but I have little doubt that this year or some time in her prep career we are going to see her dip under the 10 flat mark anyway.

You can watch the race here but you will only see the field through about 3 minutes and 40 seconds into the race before the cameras only show the winner.
Watch here

If you made it to the end of this post and half way understood most of what I am saying you can be classified as a track nut.