Or How I Learned to Not Organize a Race…
Marking the beginning of an institution, activity, or period of office: “his inaugural concert as music director”.
This is the definition of inaugural. It’s a fancy word for new. Untested. Run to Exile 2013 was an inaugural race. Untested.
It was my first afternoon race. So getting the right nutrition became a game in itself. A couple bowls of cereal and a Clif Bar. How much water do I need to drink? The stories surrounding port-a-potty escapades left me hesitant to drink too much water.
We arrived a the brewery to a decent crowd of race goers and an even larger crowd of last minute packet pickers.
I left the wife at a bar side table and boarded the bus to the drop-off point for the 10k. Roughly 10 kilometers away from the brewery (foreshadowing).
Start with the Basics
We were dropped at an area park and it then became some sort of weird social experiment. Volunteers were trying to call back to home base to determine where the starting line was. The group of 50-100 racers began making the trek down the road under the assumption the starting line was awaiting us there. After a while the caravan stopped, realizing we weren’t following any volunteer or race official.
People starting to come out of their houses to watch the Asics parade now taking place. We past the 3:00 “gun time” and were told officials were coming to start us. Eventually enough of a groundswell took place that a trickle of runners caused the whole waiting group to start heading towards downtown.
You should have a starting line and a finish line before anything else.
The race was a decent scenic route which hugged the mighty Des Moines River. Despite the issues with the start – the police traffic and volunteer support was pretty strong on the course.
My pacing was slower than I wanted – with a goal of (again) running a negative split. Somewhere in the 10:30 range for first half and bringing it down to 10:00 min/mile pace for the second half.
Around mile 4 – the sky began to spit. Park of my “taper” during the week was to run in the rain in anticipation of someday doing it. Thoughts of Forrest Gump came to mind and the importance of keeping your socks dry. It also became a question of how waterproof my Garmin Forerunner 610 claimed to be.
Go the Distance
As I rounded the last turn and cruised into the finish line – I briefly glanced at the clock as it read 59. My wife and a friend were also there, in the rain, cheering me on as I came across. There was a rumbling of “That time isn’t going to be accurate as they have no idea when we took off and it wasn’t chipped.” I wasn’t getting any medals or planning on putting the results on my resume, so it wasn’t grossly important to me. As a I grabbed some carb recovery, thoughts of the using the slip’n’slide setup nearby popped up. But I wanted some chocolate milk and a water. Glancing at the Garmin – I noted the distance. 5.56. So my first “official” 10k was not even that. Do I cross it off the goal list? So our original caravan at the starting line must have stopped a full half mile short of the intended starting line, if it was in fact measured.
Oh well. I hugged my our goal (despite being short on the distance). Had a good beer and some delicious fries afterward. And also got my first medal.
Do you have any unorganized race day stories?