I am not referring to the fashion styles of the hippies and grunge-inspired. Cut-off times are strict deadlines to be adhered to. Miss them by a second, and you face dire consequences. In Ironman, there are specific times to return by or one ‘earns’ a DQ that is devastating if it is the world championships in Kona. In the corporate world, lack of punctuality or failure to submit a tender application on time may spell lost business opportunities.
When traveling overseas on the railway, I am mindful to be especially earlier to board. Once the gates are opened, I make a mad dash (with dozens others) to an open carriage. If you experience debilitating, post-race, muscle soreness, then be vigilant to these openings. Or else, it may be a 30-60-minute (or longer) wait for the next train.
I am tempted to attempt the lottery drawing for the NYC Marathon. Last year, I did not succeed. If I had a better marathon (currently 3:29) or 21K timing (currently, 1:33), I would be ensured such a confirmed spot. I am off by 3 minutes on my 21K and 19 minutes off the 42.195K. I will have one shot each for a PB come August and September, or else I am into the random electronic drawings (with a not-so-random USD11 entry fee).
I hope to earn another sub-3:25:00 for a Boston Qualifier in Berlin on 30 September. Two years ago, I missed my BQ by 7 minutes. The revised timing of 3:24:59 or faster will make it a real challenge to qualify, yet I am optimistic that this time round I will earn it. It is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the marathon circuit with attractive entertainment and strategic historical monuments lining the route.
Cutoff times are designed to encourage the best out of us. By meeting these datelines/deadlines, we can commit to our goals of being suitably prepared. Anything less, would be compromising performance and expectations.