Today I was scheduled to run a 10k race from the Canaries stadium. I was a little worried the day before because it was an 11am start and the temperature was supposed to reach 90 degrees today. When I got up this morning we had a light rain and it was cloudy and cool, perfect running weather!
Upon arriving at the stadium the person signing up runners did not seem very well informed. We were handed a google map of the course with no mileage marked on it and there were no bib numbers, instead they wrote the number on our hand with a Sharpie. I thought it was all a little hokie, but I went along with it. It was a pretty small turnout, I would guess there were 30 people.
The course was a 5K loop through the neighborhood running into the stadium and finishing at home plate, while the 10K runners made the loop a second time.
Finally, it is race time! I start out pretty strong, almost too strong I am afraid. There are no mile splits or signs along the route, so I have to try and guess where I am. The course is fairly flat at first, but there are a couple long gently sloping hills that are somewhat challenging. All is going well when we finally run back into the parking lot of the stadium. As we approach the front of the stadium there is one person asking everyone if they are running the 5K or 10K. When he asks me I flash him both hands, as in "10" for 10K,keep in mind I am in no shape for any type of conversation, it is a little confusing but he points the way for me. I see a couple of runners ahead of me, one of which told me pre-race that he was running the 10K too, so it seems that all is well and I am headed in the right direction. We continue through the parking lot and head south around the back of the ball field. When I reach end of the the field, thinking we are getting ready to start the second half of the 10K, the two runners ahead of me have disappeard! I cannot see another runner anywhere in front of me or behind me! I stop and look all around me to see some sort of person, course marker, anything...I see nothing. Finally someone else comes from behind and goes into a small door leading to the ball field, so I follow him. It's too late, this is the finish for the 5K, I was directed the WRONG WAY! I went ahead, finished as a 5K runner and left. I was mad and frustrated. It really stinks because I was really geared up for this 10K and due to poor organization I didn't get to complete my race as planned. Even after running the wrong way, stopping and circling back I managed to finish my 5K in 22:40 / 7:18 pace.
My thanks to Jeff (@1968jpickett) to stopping out with the kids to watch!