Apparently Finish Lines Aren’t Bullshit.

I was thinking today while I was out grocery shopping that finish lines are kind of bullshit (well sometimes) because if you’re in a race like this:

Or even worse, this:

…then being in the back must put you at a terrible disadvantage and being in the front must give you a huge advantage.  So I thought if you start a race five car/bike lengths behind someone else but they get to the finish line one car/bike length ahead of you, haven’t you, the “loser”, still outperformed them? 

So I googled this apparent injustice and found out that fortunately people apparently have thought of this, and they get around it by having everyone race against a clock in a time trial before the race (qualifying run) which determines their position at the starting line.  This, while it gives the fastest riders an advantage, also probably helps to unclog the whole mess and give people the room to actually pass people sooner.

So apparently finish lines aren’t bullshit.  And I thought you should know : P

About agnophilo

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8 Responses to Apparently Finish Lines Aren’t Bullshit.

  1. vexations says:

    So now we know that finish lines are not bullshit.  Cool, tomorrow will you tell us more about bullshit?  

  2. TheSutraDude says:

    That’s true. They place racers according to how they do in time trials. Still, if you start 2 minutes back and finish 1 minute back you didn’t do a bad job. Funny how golf is the opposite. If you suck you get spotted a handicap. I guess that doesn’t happen in major tournaments but elsewhere it does. Not that I play golf but that’s what I’ve heard. 

  3. Nostra_Damus says:

    So if a finish line is not bullshit, what then is the starting line all about  ?

  4. In horse racing, they call this speed and handicappers consider it a huge advantage. Horses with Speed have an advantage because they can run out fast to the front, get to the rail (where they save ground) and then don’t have to worry about traffic problems…running around other horses and dirt flying in their face. All the favorites in tomorrows race have decent speed.My favorite horse of all time however lacked any speed whatsoever…she would loaf outta the gate, fall 20 + lengths behind the feild and then pick up momentum and blow everyones doors off in the strech.Zenyatta was awesome.

  5. Ikwa says:

    I always wondered about that, thanks, good to know

  6. PPhilip says:

    @tendollar4ways – I think some of the jockeys make a difference in some horses because they can urge the horse to go around or wait out for a break. Definitely having the inside track is good for a lot of fast horses. Some betters get better odds on horses that are on the outside though.

  7. That makes sense. Thanks for the insight!

  8. Tallman says:

    Thanks for enlightening me on the topic…lol…

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