December 15, 2010

I know they meant well, but...

the organization of my last race was ridiculous. It's a rare occurrence that I completely "dog out" a race, but I'm pretty sure it is going to happen here and now. With all that being said, I am still a nice girl at heart and will not disclose the name or location of this race. I will now use what teachers call the Oreo Technique. If you have something bad to say to a parent, you first say something good. Then you drop the bomb, but end with something else positive. So here goes.

The race was for a good cause and lots of people from here were doing it. (See? That's good.)

We had set up a "team" of people to raise funds for this charity. Training Partner and I rode together that morning and were the first from the team there. So, I waited in line for 20 ??!!!??? minutes to get our bags, which didn't contain the correct number of shirts, and had 2 sizes wrong. Because of this, I had to limit my warm up (which seems to be a going trend for me). We had all decided on various Christmas accessories, and I had worn candy cane leg warmers and reindeer antlers. During the warm up, my antlers wouldn't stay on, so those got left in the car until after the race.

We line up and I see the media interviewing this very fast young lady. She has on some sort of team jersey. I'm thinking that that's the female winner. There are also some very fast-looking high school boys up front, so I mosey a few rows of people back. So, we are off!

I tuck in behind Fast Girl and one other guy.
Mile 1) 5:56 Okay, I was pacing FINE here, this was downhill. No worries.

Right after Mile 1, I pass TP, then pass Fast Girl. She seems to already be struggling and I decide to play it risky. I mean, it's just a 5K, who cares?
Mile 2) 6:03

The next mile had one bazillion potholes and about 7 turns, which I think is a lot for a 5K. Then we start going uphill and a policeman is making us get on the SIDEWALK!!!!! Okay, now this is just ridiculous. I didn't pay $28 to run on a botched sidewalk. It wasn't even WIDE. Not to mention it was uphill! Yeah, and side note- I almost tripped over a baby doll. Yeah, like a toy doll was in the middle of the sidewalk. I think I blurted out, "Watch it!" as a warning to runners behind me. I don't even look at my watch, I just can't get over what a disaster this race course is. A guy passes me and I try to step off the sidewalk, but I'm not quick enough and he stumbles on a tree root. (See what I mean????)

Mile 3) 6:11

Okay, so only 0.1 left and we turn into an alleyway between buildings, then onto a parking lot w/ the finish line. They have it all marked w/ tape (like police tape). People are standing on the course to the finish line. Yeah, like I had to weave around a lady w/ a carriage. At this point, I'm thinking that this is actually pretty funny.

0.13) 0:44, about 6:49 pace. Haha, told you those people were in my way!

Final time by Garmin: 18:53, a 10 second PR, first breaking of 19 minutes.

At first I was SHOCKED. I hadn't even thought about my time the whole race. With all the ridiculousness going on, I had forgotten to even look at it past Mile 1.

So, then the media talked to me for a few minutes. I went over to congratulate the 2nd place finisher (Fast Girl) and she immediately walked off. It kind of hurt my feelings at first. I really enjoy meeting new people at races, and it's always interesting to talk to other female runners. I guess someone was witnessing the Big Brush Off b/c a lady I know from races came up to me and told me not to worry about it. Apparently, that girl had won this race 3 years in a row and was just feeling mad that she didn't win.

I understand feeling disappointed, but that is not an excuse for poor manners. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten 2nd or 3rd in a race. BE GRATEFUL! That is still remarkable. She was quite young (early 20s), so that might be a lesson she learns as she matures and races more.

So, I went and did my cooldown, then came back to cheer on our team. (By the way, I did go back and pick up the doll. Someone had kicked it off to the side, though. Haha) When I got back, TP had a bottle of water for me and told me he had grabbed one "before they ran out". Apparently, they ran out of water, and food, and.... EVERYTHING. So, we waited for the awards. And waited, and waited, and waited...

FINALLY, they began calling them out. I won... a trophy...that was badly that you can't read some of the letters of the race name. More importantly, they called out my time as 19:07. Huh. So... there are some possibilities:

A) I was that many seconds back at the start. (I don't think that's it, but it's possible.)

B) My bib got mixed with someone else's.

C) Some sort of human error by the person/people at the finish line. (Ding, ding, ding, I think we have a winner.)

So... I guess my PR will stay unofficial. Furthermore, I will not be running that race again. That also concluded my 2010 racing year! School is out Friday, so I'm hoping to have a more reflective post about my training and goals for 2011.

Sorry I've been so neglectful with everyone's blogs. I've been swamped!


  1. Way to go on your time and for WINNING!! That's a big deal! Congratulations. What a disater of a course. I've run some pretty weird courses myself but nothing that could even compare. Merry Christmas to you!!

  2. Congrats on the race! First place... how fun is that!

  3. Congrats on winning and I think it needs repeating: GET YE TO THE FRONT LINE!!!!
    Wish we were getting together over xmas :(

  4. Anonymous12/15/2010

    You're very classy to not use the race's name, but I think you might want to. You never know who might be google searching the race - it might be a well-meaning race organizer who truly wasn't aware of how bad things were on the course and with the prizes. I mentioned a race that was poorly run on the administrative side in my blog, and one of the organizers contacted me to help make it right.
    Either way, congrats on the unofficial PR and the win. It's funny how much faster we go when we're "just running" instead of focused on a particular split....

  5. Congrats on the PR even if it is unofficial. I agree with JV runs that a tactful note to the race director might be helpful. Since you are a master of the Oreo technique and all :). If it has been going on for a few years and still has so many problems, it sounds like someone could use some help.

  6. Love your oreo approach to this! Wow, that really stinks to have a rockin' PR like that and not have it official. And I agree with you about fast girl--come on, show some grace! Nice running.

  7. Anonymous12/15/2010

    congrats on the win. annoying about the mysterious did-you or didn't you pr! and after reading this i am even MORE happy to be your mini-me because you are a class act girl!

  8. Anonymous12/15/2010

    Being in your early 20's is no excuse for acting rude! Sorry to hear she brushed you off. I bet that, in hindsight and after the post-race rush of chemicals wore off, she's probably regretful that she didn't handle the situation with a little more class.

    Congratulations on a great race and keeping your wits about you through a frustrating course. I bet the tricky conditions took quite a few heads out of the game. I agree that the race director might really appreciate a nice, courteous, oreo-style "constructive" letter from you...

  9. First place is still nice. I would suggest an e-mail to the race director to help them fix things. Since it's their fourth year, they should have had things working by then? I could see in the first year but not the fourth.

  10. I feel ya on the unofficial thing. Smokin race nonetheless!

    Can't wait to hear about your 2011!!

  11. There is a lot to comment on here! First of all, CONGRATS! That is a huge milestone to get in the 18's. You continue to inspire me!!! And that really does sound like horrible organization, geeze.

    As for that second place girl.... wow. I was second place female at a race once and the first place girl came and chatted with me and we instantly struck a bond! We started talking about our running and everything.

    Nice job out there, but now you'll have to PR again so that you can actually state the name of the PR course you ran!

  12. Hi! I have peeked in on your blog from time to time- I am a friend of Jan's, and she always said I would "get" you. Anyways- congrats on all of the PRs this year- you are really inching closer to that marathon goal too. I enjoy reading your dedication and love the way you put it out there- good and bad races- for everyone to see. Best of luck for 2011!