Sunday, June 7, 2009

Girls on the Run 5k!

Wow, what a crowd for the Girls on the Run 5k yesterday at Willamette Park in Corvallis. Nice to see people getting out to support this great cause. Too bad I ran a 7k!

So to support this wonderful program, Jen and I signed up for the 5k and Carson and Payton signed up for the 1k. Weather on race morning wasn't perfect, there was a little drizzle, but not too bad. The 5k course was completely on the paths, both paved and hard-packed dirt, of Willamette Park, which is always a good thing. The 5k started at 9:00am and the 1k started at 10:00am, so with the Grandparents watching the kids, Jen and I hit the start line at nine sharp.

The first mile was completely on the paved path heading toward the in-progress baseball games at the other end of the part, which was fun, then we hit the first turn-around at about the 1.2 mile mark and moved onto the parallel dirt trail for the run back. The course is flat and shaded, which wasn't needed because of the cloud cover, and is a very nice course for a fast 5k. I felt pretty good and had opened up a little gap between myself and the wife, although she's a notorious bait-and-switch runner and will sometimes nip at your heels for an entire race like a rabid poodle, then try to pass you near the finish. We came back onto the paved trail just after the two-mile marker and ran through the crowds at the finish and past them to head to the second turn-around farther down the trail.

And here's where the tear-jerking part of our story begins...

I've run this trail before with my Nike+ system and I knew roughly how far it was from one end of the park to the other, so I was a bit surprised as I came over the first slight rise and saw runners still stretching out all the way to the fence that marks the very end of the trail. "That's too far," my winded brain said, then I quickly dismissed it. "Stupid brain," I thought. They'd turn us around at the right point, and besides, everybody in front of me was still running, so I clearly hadn't missed the turnaround. When my Nike+ told me "Congratulations, you've finished your 5k run!" and I was still running away from the finish line, I realized we might have a small problem.

I hit the dead end fence at the end of the trail and said to the woman running beside me, "I guess this it it," even though there was no marker or volunteer of any kind and clearly there was a serious problem with the course. Heading back now toward the finish line, I realized there were only two runners behind me going toward the end of the trail and then nobody...

After another minute of running, I was able to see why. A runner who was involved with Girls on the Run and knew the course realized that the turnaround was unmanned and basically unmarked had stopped on the actual turnaround spot so the rest of the runners would know where to turn...all of this shortly after I went by, of course.

So did Jen get the correct turnaround and beat me to the finish line? Of course.

Did my first place 40-49 age group ribbon go to someone else that hit the correct turnaround? Sure, why not? Actually, I haven't seen the results...and it might be impossible to tell.

So about the first 50 or so runners all went 4.3 miles instead of 3.1, according to my Nike+. Only the 3rd time in about 150 races in my life that I've missed a turn on a course. It's never a good feeling when you realize what happened.

Ah well, it's a all for a good cause, right? Right?

Oh, Payton and Carson both did the 1k and did very well. Payton, of course, went out way too fast and paid for it, although he soldiered on to the finish. Carson, smartly, took lots of walk breaks and hit the finish line strong. Great job, kids!

1 comment:

  1. Rabid poodle??!!

    You can eat my dust in the next race buddy!