Saturday, September 9, 2006
I had a good run, but a lousy race.
It's a hilly course at close to a mile in altitude, and it was raining the whole race, but none of that spoiled it for me.
There just were not enough volunteers out on the course. There was water every couple of miles. The first water stop had only two people working there, handing out cups of water and Gatorade as fast as they could, but not fast enough. Many runners had no chance to get anything unless they stopped and waited. The second water stop had only one girl working there, even more overwhelmed. The third one had no one there, just a bag of cups and a couple of big orange jugs.
I ran pretty well up until about seven and a half miles into the race, then the group ahead of me missed a turn and I followed them. A lot of other people behind me followed along too. I don't know how many people stayed on course and how many got lost. I heard some others got a shortcut.
I ran over 14 miles. I heard from other people who ran 15 plus. It was totally random at the end. Your place in finishing had more to do with how far you ran and how long you were lost than how fast you ran. I lost more time asking for directions than going a mile off course.
I know that if you run enough races then sooner or later you get lost. It's happened to me before. I'm just disappointed because this race was part of the Grand Prix Series, so it affects my results for the year.
I can't complain too much. It was probably difficult to get volunteers out there in the rain.
Like I said, it was a good run. I actually like the course and the race, and I'll probably do it again. I like a course with challenge and variation more than something flat and boring.
The rain just kept it cool. When I did this race two years ago, it was hot. There were only a couple of times the wind kicked up enough to be a problem, so the storm wasn't a big deal.
I got an age group third, but out of only 5. The two ahead of me in my age group are faster than I am, so I can't claim I would have finished farther up without all the confusion.
1:54:05 for 14.1 miles, including time spent wondering which way to go and asking for directions.
Because no other runners in my age group in the Grand Prix ran this race, I moved into age group first place in the Grand Prix. I need to run at least three more of the five remaining Grand Prix races this year. I have a pretty good shot at it.