Study race lingo to keep up with the Joneses during this year's Boilermaker race

UTICA, NY – Want to sound like a seasoned pro this year at the Boilermaker Road Race? Study the lingo to keep up with the fast-paced Joneses.   Boilermaker/race jargon:   Achilles

Posted: Jul. 7, 2015 5:07 PM
Updated: Oct. 24, 2017 4:01 PM

UTICA, NY – Want to sound like a seasoned pro this year at the Boilermaker Road Race? Study the lingo to keep up with the fast-paced Joneses.


Boilermaker/race jargon:


Achilles tendonitis – heel pain caused by inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

Age-graded results – A system of equalizing times for age gender – older participants’ times are adjusted downward and open division participants’ times remain the same. This has the effect of putting all participants within each gender on a level playing field, regardless of age.

Altitude training – Living and training at an altitude of 5,000 feet or higher. With altitude training, the body produces more of the hormone erythropoietin, which boosts the oxygen – carrying capacity of the blood so that more oxygen reaches the muscles with each heartbeat.

Athlete With Disability (AWD) – The term describes entrants with physical or other impairments that affect their ability to ambulate. Many AWDs need to use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, handcycles, prosthetics, leg braces, or crutches, and/ or have guides accompany them on the course.

B-chip – the next generation in UHF RFID single use tag timing: the B-tag that attached to the race bib. This system was introduced in 2009.

ChampionChip – A small, lightweight device that attaches to the runner’s shoe and contains a transponder that is activated when it passes over an antenna within mats placed on the road at the start line. The transponder that transmits its unique identification number to antennae in mats is placed along the course and at the finish. The chip provides participants with an accurate record of their net time and splits.

CR – Course record.

CronoTrak – is a transponder timing company that has developed a cost-effective timing system for athletic events including road races. ChronoTrack has developed the single–use D-Tag, an all-weather design that attaches to the shoe. In the fall of 2009, ChronoTrack announced the next generation in UHF RFID tag timing: the B-tag that attached to the race bib.

D-Chip- a UHF RFID single use timing tag. The tag is an all-weather design that attaches to the shoe.

Dehydration and Hyponatremia – Dehydration occurs when fluid levels in the body get too low. Both heat and high level physical activity can accelerate dehydration, leading to fatigue and heat illness. Hyponatremia, or low blood sodium, is an adequate concentration of sodium in the body and can occur when a person takes in too much fluid. Hyponatremia can lead to nausea, fatigue, vomiting, weakness, sleepiness, disorientation, and in severe cases, coma or death.

DNF – Did not finish; dropped out of the race.

DNS – Did not start.

Electrolytes – Essential to the normal functioning of cells, electrolytes are chemical substances that contain ions such as sodium and potassium. They are lost through sweat. Fluids, such as many sports drinks, can replace electrolytes lost during activity.

Flats/ racing flats – Lightweight, non-spiked shoes worn by runners in competition. Boilermaker Road Race 50

Glycogen – The carbohydrates we eat are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Performing an endurance activity for more than two hours will greatly deplete the glycogen stores, resulting in “hitting the wall” (see the wall).

Gun time/ net time – Gun time is measured from the official start of a race until participant crosses the finish line. Net time is the time between when a participant crosses the start line and the finish line, recorded by the ChampionChip. Finishing place is recorded by gun time; net time has no bearing on place.

Injuries – Common running injuries include:

ITB syndrome – pain and inflammation of the iliotibial band, a ligament that runs from under the outer thigh behind the knee.

Kick – A dramatic surge or increase in pace employed at the end of a race.

Kilometer – Approximately 0.62 mile.

Marathon – Named after the Greek town that launched the race at the first modern Olympic Games, in 1896. The event arrived at its current distance, 26.2 miles, in England at the 1908 Olympics.

Masters division – In most running events, the masters division is for participants ages 40 and over.

Pace – In road racing, pace is usually expressed in terms per mile. For example, 5:30 pace means the mile is run in five minutes, 30 seconds.

Pacemaker/pacesetter – A race entrant whose job is to lead the professional athletes at a specific pace.

Professional athlete – A term used to describe those entrants at the front of the field who are paid professionals and are invited to races through their agents and managers.

PR (personal record)/ PB (personal best) – An athlete’s career best finishing time in a given event.

Planter fasciitis – a tear or inflammation of the tough band connective tissue along the bottom of the foot that causes pain in the arch and heel.

Rabbit – A runner enlisted by race officials to run with the professional field at a requested pace; the rabbit usually drops out before the final stages.

Repetitive stress injury – an injury brought on by training too hard, too fast, or too long.

Runner’s knee – a.k.a chondramalacia, a painful wearing away of the cartilage under the kneecap.

Shin splints – an ache along the inside of the shin bone caused by a stress fracture, tibia tendonitis, muscle tear, or an inflammation of the bone sheath in the shin area or of the tendons on the inside of the front of the lower leg.

Split/negative split – A split is the time it takes to complete a portion of a race. A negative split refers to completing the second half of a race faster than the first half.

Stress fracture – a hairline bone break, usually brought on by repetitive stress.

Surge – To speed up and pull away from a competitor or group of competitors.

Taper – To reduce the volume of training during the weeks leading up to an endurance event such as a marathon. Most marathoners taper for at least two weeks prior to their goal race.

The wall – Physiologically, the point at which an athlete’s glycogen stores run dry.

WR – World record.

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