HT 3.9 (26:12) miler Race Recap

Where to begin with this race recap?

This race was doomed from the beginning.  I still had an enjoyable time, but there were so many snafus that it’s hard to even be mad.  Due to some personal afternoon obligations, I had a rare Saturday off.  I was able to do most any race in the local area, and it didn’t have to rely on an early start time.

Unfortunately race wise, this actually did me no favors, and it was both hot and humid at the start.  By 10 am, it was already in the high 80s with the humidity at 99%.

But a race is a race, and my only goal is to keep trucking along.  Any race I finish injury free is good in my books. My husband and I warmed up, and before the race, I had already sweat through my entire outfit.  As someone who doesn’t sweat a whole heck of a lot, I knew it was going to be hot.

We lined up at the race start, and the race organizers told us to make sure the chip was on our left shoe.  As we were waiting, they announced everyone was facing the wrong way, and we needed to turn around and move the chip to our right shoe.  By this time, it was 15 minutes after the scheduled race start, and I was dehydrated.

Finally; they announced the race, and we were off.  There were dozens of people in front of me, which made it easy to follow at the start.  During the first half mile, we did a giant circle which actually caused us to cross paths and potentially collide with other racers going the opposite direction.  I crossed the first mile in 6:20 and was pleasantly surprised.  The course was relatively hilly, so I was excited to potentially break 20 minutes again on a difficult course.  Little did I know what the next 2.9 miles would hold.

During the second mile, we began running a loop.  By this point, a small pack had formed including my personal friend, Brittany and several men.  As we passed one volunteer, he told us to keep going.  We followed, and by the time I knew it, we had done a full loop and were starting the second loop.

I was now running by myself with several people following me.  I directly asked the volunteer again which way to go, and he said to continue this way.  I had a sinking feeling it was not accurate. I said: “I’ve already run one loop” and he said I still went that way.  I hit the second mile in 6:27.

Several people followed me.  Another volunteer then directed me into a parking lot and all of a sudden I found myself in someone’s back yard.  I stopped for a second and just turned around and went back to the same loop I had already run twice.  By that point, I had lost several people, and it was just myself and another guy running together.  I saw the pack of women I had run with further ahead, so I was able to somewhat follow them.

As I approached the third mile, the volunteer directing told us to turn there.  I knew I didn’t need the extra mileage because I was already longer.  I asked him: “what about the other people running straight to the finish?”  He laughed at said: they are going the wrong way.

I turned and headed around the lake. My watch beeped 3 miles, and I knew it was probably going to be another mile to go.

As I finally saw the finish line, we did a giant loop around a parking lot.  My friend, Brittany, came back and directed me to the finish line.  She had still run longer but had been directly to about 3.4.  I crossed the finish in 26:12 and with stops had an overall pace of 6:42.

The race director was friendly and apologized for all of the issues.  To be honest, I wasn’t looking for “the best race ever” but a good workout.  Of course, it’s frustrating to have so many issues with a single race but if that is the worst thing to happen that day, I’m okay with it.  I still had an enjoyable time hanging out with friends and supporting a local community.

It does give me confidence, I’m in sub 20-minute fitness when I have a good race.

Questions for you:

Have you ever run and get lost?

What is your ideal race start time?

I like 5ks that start between 7:30-8:30 am.  I prefer half marathons to start at 7:00 am.

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  1. I did a 5K once that morphed in to a 10K. The volunteers apparently weren’t told that there was a 5K going on with the half marathon so they didn’t tell anyone to turn around. The only saving grace was that it was a beautiful area, relatively flat, and about 70 degrees.

  2. Oh dear, that all sounds like a bit of a fiasco! At least you carried on and got a decent time at the end though 😀
    I like races that start around 8-9am, gives me time to wake up properly but still early enough in the day 🙂

    Coffee & Avocados

  3. Man, that would be tough, especially when you are racing and thinking “only half a mile left to go” and then there is another 1.5 miles! Kudos to you for having a good attitude about it!

    1. Definitely true Danielle. It was more of “when the heck will this race actually end” and my fitness does not indicate I need bonus miles.

  4. Congratulations on the… 6.5K? Anyway- it may not have been the best circumstances but you got a good workout in and are definitely regaining some fitness. Even with the confusion and the long distance you were still at sub-20 pace, and the misdirection, etc are things you can’t really control. I’m glad the race director was apologetic and hopefully will improve things for next year. Things can happen regardless, even with the best race directors, but it sounds like there were multiple 5Ks and you and so many others chose this one. That should be motivating enough for them to improve future races with better course marshalling, signs, etc.

    Honestly, I’m skeptical of any 5K that starts at 10 AM, but especially in the summer months. That’s a big red flag, because I don’t know a single runner who wants to race at 10 AM in June. I guess you got to sleep in and still race on your Saturday, at least, or maybe it works out for someone who works night shift and can’t make it to a race at 8 AM?

    1. You’re right. Regardless of working or not, I prefer racing early. Even in NJ, It’s humid. It would be a hard no if I lived in Charleston.

      1. I like to race early too, even when it’s not hot. Most people have a LOT going on on weekends and want to race, leave, and carry on with their lives. 10 AM makes that really hard- even with a 5K.

  5. I”m the same with race times! I like as-early-as-possible races.

  6. OMG!!! That is truly awful and I know that sinking feeling when you ask a volunteer and you know they don’t know the right answer. Grrrrrrr. I’m so sorry but you have the right attitude and really, what else can you do but chalk it up to a good workout? You killed the almost 4 mile race BTW and the heat is no joke. I haven’t been able to get out to run until about 9am and it’s brutal!!

  7. Wow, that’s worse than my last race. I’ve never done a 5k yet in my three years of running so I was looking forward to finally getting a 5k time. Items this races first time, so I drive the course the web before, and it’s hilly. I was thinking that the point of a road five k is to go fast, but hey, anytime will be a pr.

    Turns out that it was only about 4.5k. So yay, I was under twenty. With the 18:06 finish time, I maybe could have broke twenty on a real course which was five actual k, and maybe not 68m of elevation gain.

    But at least I actually knew where I was going at all times! A twenty six minute “5k” for you is kinda ridiculous 🙂

  8. Wow that course sounds like a disaster! This morning I went on what I thought was a straight trail, but after about a mile I couldn’t figure out which way to go. I was running alone, so I just decided to turn around before I got too lost! Still haven’t gotten lost on a run yet, but with my sense of direction it is sure to happen eventually.

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