Monday, March 26, 2012

Equilibrium & Disequilibrium: An Ras Mor (3/25/12)

Daniel (12) starts to sprint away from Bradley (99) at the last turn

Race: An Ras Mor, 5K
Location: Central Square, Cambridge
Goal Time: 19:00
Actual Time: 19:15

For me 5Ks are often relay events. The first mile is run by Amped-Up Jesse who is ready to run through a wall (in a 5:30 mile). The second mile is run by Quitter Jesse. This Jesse (who is probably owes most of his quitter mentality to the rough shape he was forced into by Amped-Up Jesse running through walls at 5:30/miles) is ready to drop out of the race at a moment's notice largely because he hurts and is a little tired thanks to the mile his teammate ran (stupid Amped-Up Jesse). The third mile is run by less emotional, Rational Jesse. Rational Jesse responds quite well to the mess that both Amped-Up Jesse and Quitter Jesse have placed him in. Rational Jesse realizes the energy reserves he has and the course ahead and puts in a good mile. At some point I will run a great 5K when I can find an equilibrium for each of the three Jesses.

This search for equilibrium might be found in the work of former Central Square resident and Nobel Prize winner John Nash. Nash "discovered" that cartelizing a market or game is often better for the producers or players. Players or producers will be willing to sacrifice a chance at the most optimal outcome for a guarantee of the second or third most optimal. Obviously it's not that simple. People don't win the Nobel Prize for stating common sense. They win the Nobel Prize for taking common sense, rejecting it and then restating it in a long involved math equation (such as the Nash Equilibrium Equation):

\forall i,x_i\in S_i, x_i \neq x^*_{i} :  f_i(x^*_{i}, x^*_{-i}) \geq f_i(x_{i},x^*_{-i}).

One almost thought that as the An Ras Mor was in Central Square - once home of Nash and near MIT where he once taught, the power of Nash's equation would seep into the three Jesses and their relay.

If you thought that - you were wrong.

The first third to half mile, I was putting in around 5:15. Amped Up Jesse finished the first mile at 5:50. Quitter Jesse then spent the long not steep climb up to Harvard Square trading off reasons in his mind reasons not to quit with swears directed at Amped-Up Jesse and crossed the 2 mile line at 12:16. Rational Jesse got his shit together and brought in a last mile around 6:20 and a good sprint after the turn.

The battle for first was great according to those who saw it. First and second each had the lead at one point during the last one tenth of a mile. Lee Danforth pulled off the win with a 15:59.

Bradley Harris and Daniel O'Donoghue finished a duel with 12 year old Daniel nipping Bradley at the line.

- The O'Donoghue boys swept the three podium spots for the under 15 age group
- Jon May won the Masters
- Robert Cipriano took second in his age group
- Big PRs by Kimi and Kate Daniels
- Breakfast Chris who was Shanghaied into running the race put in a monstah 17:30

- Seth had a PR at the Eastern States 20 Miler
- Carl Wagoner finished his first Half Marathon (on the most confusing course map ever) with a 1:44 (after sleeping through a Half last weekend).

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