I don’t normally run races in my town. Not because I don’t want to, but because they’re rarely available. Every year the color run comes here, and there’s a pretty good turn out, but the last two races I registered for here were, shall we say, less than stellar. So I should have known better.
Well, every year my local Y does a race. I’m a member there so I figured I’d support them and register. I’ve done their Luck of the Irish race before – about three years ago – and it was a pretty good turn out. They added a 10K this year, and I considered doing it, except that my husband wanted to do the 5K.
I had a 5K run on my workout schedule for Saturday so I thought I’d kill a couple birds with one stone – support my local Y, get a T-shirt, do my workout. Win/win/win. So I registered me and my husband.
This was WEEKS ago.
Then comes Friday night. We were going over our schedules for the weekend and the things that we needed to get done off the grid. We had planned on heading out after the race, but life, as always steps in. My husband has been looking for a trailer to house our ATVs and as he always does, he waits until the PERFECT deal comes along. And it did. Last weekend he found the perfect trailer for the perfect price and one of our buddies hauled it to our lot and parked it in the road since we didn’t know where we were going to put it. Last weekend we found the spot, but two trees needed to be removed in order for it to fit. So as we were going over the logistics of getting two trees taken down and organized so that we could place the trailer, we knew it was going to be a full day process.
So Friday night we were going over what needed to happen, and how soon we could make it out there after the race was finished. I could tell he was struggling with what to do and gave him the out. “Why don’t you just skip the race and head up tonight so you can get an early start tomorrow?” His group of guys were already out there and I knew he was missing them after a LONG winter of not getting out, so he jumped at the offer to skip the race and head north.
Packet pickup for the race was at 7:30 on race morning. The 10K started at 8:30, with the 5K following directly afterwards – estimated at about 9am. I wasn’t in a big hurry to get to the venue because I didn’t want to stand around doing nothing for an hour and a half before the race even started, so I dawdled around the house on Saturday morning before heading downtown. I parked a block away from the starting line thinking that there wouldn’t be any closer parking. As I walked up the hill and noticed so many empty parking spots I pulled out my phone to double check my calendar. I mean, I KNEW that the race wasn’t going to be called Luck of the Irish if it wasn’t the closest Saturday to St. Patty’s day possible, but I checked anyway. I even went so far as to open up the calendar event where I had copy/pasted from the Y’s website all the details.
I was at the right place, at the right time, on the right day. But there were empty parking spots. It was just before 8, so about an hour before the race was scheduled to start. And…
I double checked my calendar event again.
Corner of Jefferson and High.
Check and check.
So I headed upstairs to pick up my packet. Probably ten volunteers there to get people registered and hand out goodie bags (a t-shirt and a bib). Maybe one other runner in the building besides me picking up the packet. I headed back downstairs to wait for the race to start.
No commotion on the street. Timing strips on the bibs, but no discernible timing strips on the road. Nobody gathering at the intersection. Staring at my watch. Thinking of all the things I still needed to do once my race was done. After about 15 minutes of not seeing more than a handful of people congregating I went FUCK IT. I can run my 5K anywhere. So I left.
I went home, dropped off my crap, and headed out the door for a run. It was actually a good run. Everything felt good for the most part (IT band still not quite 100%, but felt pretty good). I didn’t even beat myself up for not staying for the race. It just seemed so pointless to do so. I finished my 5K and was back home pouring coffee right within moments of when the 5K downtown was supposed to have STARTED.
43:39 5K – not my best (37:46), not my worst (53:14).
So now I have a new t-shirt that I WILL wear, even though I didn’t technically participate in the race! I ran my 5K and that’s good enough for me.
But…most importantly…it will be a long, cold day in hell before I sign up for a race in my town again. St. Louis races have spoiled me. Nothing else is going to be good enough for me I’m afraid.