OK, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. I was part of the avalanche of anger 8 years ago when they decided to change the Triple Crown of Running. Remember what they did? They removed the miniMarathon, added a 5K on the front end, pushed the 10K back to the second leg, and made the Papa Johns 10 miler the final leg. Suddenly, the 29 mile long Triple Crown of Running was reduced to 19 miles, and not nearly as nice of an achievement.
The theory behind it was simple: 6.2 miles (10K) looks too daunting on the front end. But 3.1 miles (5K) looks a whole lot more possible to someone sitting on the couch and considering this fitness thing. And once someone attempts and conquers even a race as short as the 5K, they theorized, the game is on. Beginners will be motivated to keep stepping up in distance and eventually tackle the 13.1 mile long miniMarathon.
A lot of people grumbled. So much so that as I'm detailing in my special report, the Mini and the other races took a big hit in the following years. But the 5K took off. Couch potatoes got into this running thing and the Triple Crown soon swelled. So did the Mini. They capped it at 15,000 last year and they have to cap it at 18,000 this year. It's a race that struggled to get to 8,000 just a few years ago. The 5K had almost 9,000 finishers last year. The 10K and 10 miler are right behind. I've even met people who tried the 5K, tackled the Triple Crown the following year, finished the Mini soon after, and eventually finished the 140-mile long Ironman Louisville down the road.
They were right. I was wrong. Sometimes, lowering the bar yields positive results.