I haven’t gotten around to editing Friday night’s pictures so for now you will just get the race recap and report (beware it's long!). Really and truly though, Friday night deserves a post of its own.
The race was held at River Legacy Park in Arlington, TX. It’s a really nice park and the trails are great. There are plenty of areas of shade and lots and lots of trails. Parking was a little bit chaotic and finding the race sight was also a little hard. There is one entrance to the park area (at least that we were aware of) and it could easily be missed. People were parking on the grass and pretty much anywhere they could find a spot, and one city worker was so desperately trying to stop people from parking on the grass in certain areas but to no avail. It was slightly amusing to me. Race fail number 1.
I decided last minute to not use my fuel belt. I had drunk a lot of water the day before and had already had a bottle of water that morning. But I did wear my spibelt, not sure why, I guess to carry my GU chomps… I also debated long and hard about wearing a hat, which I opted out of. I don’t particularly like running in hats, but it helps a lot with the sweat.
Once we parked we immediately got in the porta-potty line. I didn’t have to go but felt the moral support was needed. The line was moving VERY slowly. It was now 7:20 and the race was supposed to start at 7:30, supposed to being the key word here. At 7:23 they made the announcement, as we are racing out of the porta-potties mind you, that the start of the race will be delayed until 8am. WHAAAAAATTTTT???? My irritation spiked! They said they were delaying the start because water stops weren’t in place, people were still registering and the porta-potty lines were long (well yeah, you only had 4!) In my opinion this was a HUGE fail on the part of the race director. Here in Texas, a half an hour makes a big difference when it comes to heat and weather conditions. Not having the water stops ready (and there were only 2 of those!) is inexcusable, you planned the race and should be prepared. And as for the issue of long registration line and porta-potty lines, isn’t this why you have chip timing??? Even if there was a need to a delayed start, it did not need to be that drastic in my opinion. Race fail number 2, big time!
So we now had 30 minutes to kill, which allowed for picture time and wardrobe changes (Lisa’s short were reversible and she decided to change…. Notice before and after pictures). It also allowed for Lisa and Michelle and their pea-sized bladders to be able to use the bathroom again, seriously? I on the other hand sat and fumed about how totally inconvenient this was for me and the fact that I had already eaten my GU thinking the race would start in 10 min, not 40.
This was a fairly small race (about 600 people) which can be nice sometimes and in this case I’m glad it was because the starting line was really small and the path we took ended up in a bottle neck about 50 steps in. The course started off kind of weird and it took us in a weird turn and down the road through the parking lot and finally back onto the path, whatever. Lisa, Michelle and I had started in the back and kept a good start pace from the get go, maybe a little fast at 12:20 because we ended up by mile 1 slowing it down to around 12:40.
Once we made it onto the paved trail the course was really quite nice. There was a water stop at mile 1 and they were giving out bottles of water. In theory this was a nice thing, however, slightly inconvenient because if I had wanted to carry a whole water bottle I would have done so. But choosing to be smart I carried it for a whole mile (until the next stop) and would take a few sips and spit it out (mainly just to keep my mouth from getting dry) and used some to pour on my head. Lisa and I stayed together until mile 3 and then she got a little bit ahead of me. She was doing great and I felt really good myself. No knee pain and only slight shin pain. My endurance felt a little bit off (remember I hadn’t worked out for a week) but I was glad I was able to keep Lisa in my sights.
Right before we hit 3 miles we saw the FAST people coming back (apparently this was an out and back course, but I had no idea). Then at 3.4 miles the people that were going back on the trail started yelling at us that if we were doing the 10K we needed to turn around because we had gone too far….Uh, what? I guess I should mention that we had seen mile markers along the way, but they were the trail mile markers and NOT race course markers. According to my Garmin they were off by exactly .25 miles (not sure if this was where confusion in the course length happened or really where everything went wrong). So listening to others around us we turned around (there were no official race personnel anywhere) which really ticked Lisa off. I was upset, but since I wasn’t racing it didn’t matter that much to me. But it really got under Lisa’s skin. That being said, it totally deflated any and all cares about running and racing, which actually really sucked. We were both having pretty good days. It was hot and we were definitely going at a much slower pace than we are capable of, but we were doing much better than last month’s 10K. Race fail number 3.
We passed Michelle coming back and told her to just turn around with us, all the while people who are actually running to race are passing us and flinging sweat on us as they go thinking we are some kind of cheaters out for a stroll, I can totally understand where their frustration was coming from. Yet at this time we are still thinking we will be long on the course so we walk for a while and gripe and complain about how awful this race is and how good we were doing and etc. We run some more, we walk some more. Basically I don’t care anymore. I try to run, yet have no desire anymore. But Lisa pushed me and said we were going to run, and I can’t stand the thought of her being that much better than me so I have to try and keep up.
Before long we are approaching the finish line and I’m amazed out how good I still feel, thinking wow this wasn’t that big of a deal…until I look at my Garmin….
5.55 miles and I’m about to cross the finish line. BIG, HUGE, OOPS!! Race fail number 4. We crossed the finish line at 5.6 miles with a time of 1:15:27 (and I’m totally claiming it!).
I honestly do feel badly about shorting the course, however, I know it wasn’t my fault. But I heard some people saying that they went to the end of the course (whatever that means) and then turned around and ended up doing 8 miles!!!!! Yikes! I’m relieved I was on the other end of that mistake! But I still feel badly.
I need to note here that earlier in the week there was a message on the race website saying that they had more people register than expected and that they were going to run out of medals and if you would be willing to have yours mailed to you then you can get a discount on next year’s race. I didn’t necessarily care if I had my medal mailed or not, nor did I care about a discount but decided to be nice and emailed the race director that I would have mine mailed. Yet I never heard anything back…. However, on the bibs were stickers if you were supposed to receive a medal or not. I didn’t have a sticker (but now I’m worried I won’t get my medal mailed to me….). So for pictures I borrowed someone’s medal and got a post-race photo. But this was a huge let down after all the other incidents. Meanwhile we were actually waiting on Lucy to finish; Lucy is a lot faster than us and has run a whole lot more than we have so we knew she would finish before us. But when we crossed the finish line and saw we were short and had not seen her pass us along the course we knew she must have ended up doing the 8 miles as well.
They kept making an announcement that the race director would make an announcement about how they were going to make things right for the runners, but we were just so over the whole thing that we didn’t wait around. I have checked the event website several times to see if any announcements or apologies have been posted, but nothing! Race fail number I don’t know how many we are on….
So overall I would say the race ORGANIZATION was a disaster, but the day and experience itself was not a waste. It was great to spend time with my friends and be able to run with them. The course was actually a great course with shade and there was a nice breeze that day. The park was nice and clean. But I will not be doing this race again next year.
After the race we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.
We proceeded to hydrate ourselves and enjoy the best breakfast ever!
Sorry I don’t have any pictures but I was just too hungry to wait! The rest of the day was spent at my Aunt and Uncle’s pool and then at a Ranger’s game that night. It was a long and full day!