Cut off times

Have you stressed about cut off times?  I certainly have.

Point to Pinnacle was the first event that I did with a defined cut off time that I thought maybe I wouldn’t make.  I’d read a blog about a lady who ran P2P with the police car right behind her ready to sweep her off the course – I’m pleased to say that she made it with lots of encouragement from the officers.  I was under no illusion that that might happen to me.  The cut off time for P2P runners is 3:40:00.  It’s known as the world’s toughest half marathon with a distance of 21.4kms.  It starts at sea level and rises up Mt Wellington, Kunanyi as the Indigenous People call the mountain, to 1270m.  It’s all uphill and there is a noticeable increase in gradient at 7kms and then at 14kms.  The steepest section is right at the end.


The cut off time was treated with a great deal of respect by this Unsporty Woman.  To me running this event would be the ultimate in running challenges, my Holy Grail.  I asked myself in training was I prepared to start and maybe not finish.  The answer to this was yes.  The minimum average pace to get to the finish in time was 10:16 minutes per km.

I ran Point to Pinnacle in 2013 for the first in 2:52:19 and then in 2014 in 2:51:38.  I hope the fact that I did this race and finished is encouraging to others who are considering this wonderful challenge.  With the right training and the right attitude it is entirely doable and it is so much fun!

The next event that made me think seriously about the cut off time was Melbourne Marathon last year.  This was my second marathon.  There was a set time to get to the 22km mark.  Anyone running at a sub 5:00:00 pace would be redirected to the slow course which involved running loops to make up the distance.  While there is nothing wrong with this, I had set my heart on running the full course.  My first marathon was 5:12:00 so there was a distinct possibility that I wouldn’t make that 22km mark in time.  Pauly paced me and I made in with time to spare.  I ran that marathon in 4:50:26 and out of the five marathons it is my PB.  However if I hadn’t made it to 22kms in time I was prepared to run that slow course.  My big girl panty elastic was primed and ready to be pulled up.



Bruny Island Ultra has a cut off.  It’s 10 hours for those 64kms.  The average pace that runners have to maintain is 9:22 minutes per km.  As I looked at this I made the decision that I was prepared to train my heart out, line up at the start line and give it my best shot, but perhaps not make it in time.  Hopefully 2017 will give me the opportunity to be at the start line and to see if I can run 64kms in 10 hours (or maybe less).


Here are Team Quackers in 2015.  This year Team Louie and Huey will run the whole distance with the rest of the Quackers as support.

Cut off times.  They suck, but they are there for good reasons

  • Roads might be closed and need to be reopened
  • It might be that there won’t be sufficient day light if the event goes past a certain time
  • Volunteers are out on the course and need to know what their commitment is
  • Police and ambulance need to know what’s going on in defined time frames
  • Some events have buses to get runners back to the start line, they also need to work within a defined time frame
  • And there are insurance considerations too

I say, Love the cut off.  It’s there for a reason.  It keeps us safe.  For those of us who are back of packers it helps us to be realistic about entering the event.  It maybe that an event has to be put on hold so that more training can be done in readiness.

The trouble with the Rehab Race is that there is no cut off…

…There is the option to quit of course.  I could say That’s enough!  I’ve run two P2Ps, 18 half marathons and five marathons, time to hang up my running shoes.  But no, that isn’t an option for me.

After an appointment with the Osteo on Friday I’m pleased to say Right Knee is doing well.  There was more needling and I had cupping for the first time.  That’s rather ouchy but my goodness the results were almost instant.  I felt like everything had been pulled and plucked and returned to where it should be.

Oh for a cut off time for this Rehab Race.  There isn’t one.  Twelve weeks and counting.  There is, however, commitment, persistence, resilience, dedication and getting the job done and I excel at these.  At least this is what I tell myself by way of positive self-talk.  And according to the Osteo I am dedicated, dedicated and dorky!  Why dorky?  Because I’m the only person who she has treated who has taken rehab so seriously.  She asked me if I have a resistance band.  Of course I do!  I have one in my office at work.  I have one at home.  AND I have one in my handbag in case I need to do some rehab while I’m out.


That’s me, dedicated and dorky.  I will finish and I will win this Rehab Race, cut off times do not apply to this event, the only option is to finish.

Happy running 🙂

14 thoughts on “Cut off times

  1. Cut off times just makes pressure that we can do without. I think it gives you a preconceived goal that might be unrealistic for some, I had in my mind during the Melb marathon that damned cut off the whole first 22k, when I passed it I could then settle into my race plan.
    Same for qualifying times, if I am right on the cut off I don’t like to push it, I want to enjoy my runs.
    Maybe if I used the cut off as a motivator then I might achieve more. More power to you!

  2. Annie I love that your positive energy has transferred to your Rehab Race training. My guess is your health care team doesn’t often see such dedication. You go girl cut off time or not!

  3. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being dedicated and dorky 🙂
    Glad to hear your knee has been responding to the treatment and getting better. Hope you come back stronger than ever!

  4. Totally understand the reason for cutoffs but I hate them, I hate the pressure!
    So glad you on the med, cupping, get you with your Olympic athlete treatment, they were all doing that this year in Rio!

  5. I definitely stress over cutoffs. I scour previous years’ times before I enter anything to make sure that I can finish within the boundaries of what is acceptable. I don’t mind being in the last lot of people but don’t want to be pushing myself beyond what I normally do to stay within the time. What I really stress over is events that have no official cutoff listed – just be honest and tell me how fast you’re expecting me to be!!

    Well done on your positive attitude and dedication to your rehab – I’ve every confidence that you’ll make the start (and finish) line with a smile!

    • Thanks Gill, I appreciate your lovely positive comment very much! And I hear you re the cutoffs. I don’t mind being last but I don’t want to be so last that everyone has packed up and gone home and just a few volunteers are hanging around just for me. I’ve had that happen once! And yes, no cutoff time is worse…totally agree with you x

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