Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Hills of Tallahassee, a closer look

After writing yesterday's post about my WWHM in Tallahassee, I thought twice about the hills I was running. I looked at the elevation maps from and was a little suprised to see that the steepest grade was only about 2-3%. I shrugged it off, but it was nagging me today when I ran 6 over some similar terrain.

I came back home to check it out and realized I was overlooking some artifacts of the website's calculations. It takes the whole distance of your run and divides it into several segments regardless of the length of the run. IE: a thirteen mile run with 13 segments only has a resolution of 1 mile per segment, versus selecting just the hill itself, which then gets divided into 10 sections and your resolution is more like 0.01-0.02 miles per segment.

Sure enough, there is a good sized hill in the Goodwood neighborhood that I frequently run up. It is only 0.36 miles long, but the max grade is 17%!!

Likewise, this hill on Miccosukee Road is 1/4 mile, with max grade of 8%.

This last hill goes South on Blairstone past the Governor's Square Mall and rises 135 feet in 0.62 miles. That calculates to an average grade of 4.1%, which looks close to what calls it, on average.

I was trying to find more precise stats yesterday on the hills of Newton on the Boston course and while has a lot of info about the course, elevations, etc.; it does not specifically mention the elevations or grades/distance of each hill. The other sources I found suggest that Heartbreak and the others are on par with this one on Blairstone, except of course that there are four of them, and they come 20-ish miles into the marathon course. Can't wait!

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