Monday, September 26, 2011

3 things a runner needs

I have been in a lot of races this year, 16 to be exact. They have ranged from a 1 miler to a half marathon. Almost all of those races were put on by track clubs, some for profit, but most for some local charity. The race I participated in on Saturday was not put on by a running club or even a runner because they did not give the participants those 3 things that are essential to any good race: bathrooms, good course layout, and plenty of water at the finish.

Granted, most of the participants in this event were walkers, but even slowpokes need to go potty before setting off for 40 minutes through unfamiliar neighborhoods. Luckily I shyly asked at the nail salon up the road if I could use their facilities and the nice lady working there acquiesced. The course went around a park's gravel paths 1.5 times and then up onto the road. With few markings, several runners got off course and on the return trip we had to go around the last walkers on a steep hill, avoiding dogs on leashes and strollers. At the end of the race there was confusion as well as to where the finish line was, leading me to almost be decapitated by a utility guide wire.

At the finish line there was only enough bottled water for a dozen or so people, not nearly enough for the 200 people participating and with no bathroom or gas station nearby, no way to obtain more easily. Despite all these issues, I finished 3rd overall, only being beat by a 13 year old state track star and a high school football player who was determined that he wasn't going to be by any girl, especially by one as old as his mom. Time: 22:13, new adult PR.

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