Time: 44 minutes. Distance:…unknown. Really. The race was a real life “choose your own adventure”
This may have been the most poorly organized race in the history of running. Which is too bad because last year it was awesome. The volunteers had no idea what the course was and ended up leading the 10k and 5 k runners onto the half marathon course (awesome).
0km – 1km: At this point I had no idea of the ultimate fail that lay ahead of me. But by the time I hit the 1km mark I was getting worried. It was a LONG 1km. It took 7.22 minutes. That is weird. So I was like “ok speed up”. So I’m running fairly fast now…and I run….and I run….and I run…and run….and run…and run….
..and I think WTH man? This is the longest km of my life! I see some volunteers and ask them if this is the 10k route and they assure me that it is. I am running with a bunch of 5k’ers now and am convinced that I have somehow made it onto the 5k route and missed a turn off (or turned too soon). The route isnt marked with the distances and there were some volunteers a while back that were chatting and not paying attention…what if I missed a turn? So I resign myself to running a 5k and sped up a bit. I’m not running no slow 5k.
At this point I have no idea how far I have run. Then I spot a marker. Thank dog! oh no!!! It says 2.5km. I look at my watch. I’ve been running half an hour. the longest 1.5 km of my life. Dude. I’m in bad shape. The 5k’ers turn back here and I keep going. Phew I was on the 10k route after all. I hear some grumblings now about some mix up in the course and how all the 5k’er are actually running 7.5k and the 10k’ers will be running 15 km. Ok then. Now I’m running 15 km. I ease up my pace a bit.
So now I come to a fork in the road. The sign says for the 10k runners to keep going (this would lead to the rumored 15km 1ok race route) but the volunteers are now telling the 10k runners to take the other route, which would shorten the distance. sheesh. So I go the other way hoping this means I’m running an actual 10k and that everything will be alright. Again, I have no idea how far I am running I know its less than 15km. So I speed up a bit now because I’m slower than 10k pace and keep going.
I finally get to the finish line at 44 minutes (approximately). At this point I don’t care about an accurate time as I don’t have any idea of a distance. I am hearing various numbers from people with GPS (keep in mind everyone ran something different) anywhere from 8km to 9.o to 9.5 km. The consensus is that it ended up being shorter than 10km though. Some people took a different route all together and ended up coming into the finish line from the opposite direction (huh?). Others just ran the 5 k route twice. And some people just ran around randomly until their GPS reached 10km.
I would estimate that there were at least 5 different routes taken during the 10k race and that most of the 5k racers ran 7.5k (bonus). I saw a total of three distance markers. 1km, 2.5km and 3 km. ALL WRONG.
On a positive note: the snacks were awesome. I made sure I took one of everything. Best race snacks yet. They successfully distracted me from being annoyed by having Mars bars there.
If this wasn’t for charity I would want my $40 back.
I need a GPS watch.