Saturday, April 19, 2014

OH ONE!!!!!! Equal Access 5k Race Report

In my quest to do a race every month, I found this race on RunningInTheUSA.com and registered three days ago. It’s an inaugural race, and not a lot of communication, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there.

The course was the same course as Fallen Heroes, but it started/finished at the Museum (instead of the Commuter Lot). This was going to be weird…

I got there pretty late, with only about 5-10 minutes to spare. I hate being ‘late’ to a race. I feel rushed and I can’t get my chill on before I get to the start line.

I was able to get my packet, which included my bib and a black tee (they were out of the XXL I requested, so I had to settle for an XL tee).

Black in Florida? Who thought that was a good idea?
I headed back to my car (which was parked in a GREAT spot) and got ready to go. I had inhalered in the car, so I just needed to stuff my pockets and pin on my number, before heading to the start line.

This is how close I was able to park by the finish line!
The entire Pre-Race area
Luckily, a lot of people were running behind, because they pushed back the start time to almost 8:40.  I was able to warm up a bit more before heading to the start line.

Yep, it's gonna rain....
The front of the line - before I make my way to the back
Finally, though, we started and headed off, following the same route as Fallen Heroes.

So lonely... and wet
I missed the Mile 1 sign, but my split time was 14:55, so I was doing well.

It was, of course, raining again. I’ve joked before that every time I do this route for a race, it rains. Today is no different.

The guy in the orange shirt (way up there) is the guy I walked with for a while
Once I got to about Mile 2 was when my damn self-consciousness kicked in.  Two girls (this race was dominated by people whose age still ended with ‘-teen’) came bounding past me, giggling and shouting ahead to a volunteer. They said that they were late to pick up their packet, so they RAN HOME to drop off their stuff and then got back in the race. Really? I’m over here busting my sparkle ass just trying to be able to run 60 seconds at a time and you went HOME to your dorm room and you are still in FRONT of me now?  Seriously, screw you.

Like, these girls can suck it!
They got in my head and I just didn’t want to do my intervals because I didn’t want to look like a fat cow, trudging by them, breathing like a bull, and then have them pass me again, when I took a walk break.  So I just stayed behind them for a while, hating them.

Spoiler alert - it did
Once they seemed to be ahead of me by a bit, I started up my intervals again, and ended up pacing one older guy who was there in jorts. We talked for a bit, and he told me that he was overcoming a heart issue, so we walked together for a while.  Eventually though, I took off again. I was ready to finish this stupid race. I was mad at myself for my self-consciousness, I was mad that it was raining again and I was mad that I was surrounded by kids I was old enough to be a mom to.

I came up on the finish – where you had to cross a busy street to get to – and man, I was even more pissed when I saw my time – when I crossed under it said 50:01 – OH ONE!!!!! – but my official time was 50:02 (Garmin confirms this).  Dammit! I can’t blame the weather, I can’t blame the heat, I can’t blame anyone but myself for being so slow this time.

No volunteers stopping traffic or anything at this point either
Yay, I finished. Can I go home now?
After crossing, I went to find some water and the Jimmy John’s food they promised when I signed up. Are we at ALL surprised that there was nothing left except for one sad little veggie sub?  Oh, there was a bunch of bananas, granola bars too, but the good food was gone or demolished. There had been multiple trays of chips and salsa too, judging by the mess, but all that was left was crumbs and drips. I honestly can’t even remember now if there was water for us!

I was able to get these before runners' family members started to scavenge
I hopped over to my car to drop off my iPod and clear my pockets, then came back and checked results, hoping against hope that maybe my chip time was sub-50 (it wasn’t).  It looked like I beat about 10 people or so (official results said I came in 128th out of 140). Not great, but not last!

Cool printout by Milestone Race Authority
Full results - I'm #128
However, I about lost my shit when I saw this (I got a screencap later):

I'm SECOND!!!!! And she only beat me by 4 minutes, too!
I came in SECOND in my age group!  Okay, so there were only two people IN my age group, but it counts dammit! I could actually get an age group medal!

Screw that "2nd place is the 1st loser" shit - I came in SECOND!!!!!
Oh, but as soon as they started awards, all hopes were dashed – they weren’t DOING age group awards, just overall male and female. Again, screw you, race. The ONE time I get top 3 in my age group, there is no age group award….

I stuck around for the raffle, but I didn’t win anything.  I never do. I grabbed a bit of swag from some of the booths, but feeling beaten and dejected, even with my top 2 finish, I headed back to my car and headed home.

I keep small bottles in my run bag for Porti-Pottie emergencies
My cat LOVED the ping pong balls and The Kiddo loved the Hipster Douche glasses
This race just sucked for me, and even though doing it again next year might score me another age group 'win', I most likely I won’t do it.