I knew I wasn't going to PR this race given the stressful circumstances of the week. I lost my grandpa on Tuesday and just recently lost my grandma (his wife) less than a month before. Had some other things thrown in the mix that seemed to have slowed my pace down considerably. Given all of that I have been through, I still wanted to put my best foot forward and give 110 percent effort to this race.
When I picked up the bib and chip the day before, I thought the race was well organized. The volunteers and participants were all in high spirits providing a positive pre race vibe. Race day however proved to be a different story entirely. The starting line held all participants for the half marathon, the 10k and the 5k with a waiver of each starting a couple of minutes after the other. The 5k was the last to go and followed the same course as the 10k and half. As with every race, I had nerves, and felt I wouldn't meet the high standards I bestow upon myself. However, as I crossed the starting line it was quite the opposite. I started off strong and in peak performance. I had started near the front, but as we set off, I was able to pretty much pass all of the
5k participants. That is before I got jumbled in with the 10kers and couldn't tell who was running what.
Another 5k cool chick was also running at my pace and it was comforting to have her along as we were passing people left and right. Literally. I was really enjoying the run and happy about my performance level.
All good things come to an end....Given my track record of going off course in other races, I made sure to ask every volunteer I passed if I was on the right track for the 5k course. Each of the four I asked, all said the same thing. "Yes, keep on going for the 5k." So I did. Now, I am not foreign to this course by any means. In fact, I run it quite frequently. I usually try and avoid paying for races where I can run the course for free, but every once in awhile I will pay the hefty race fee so that I can get my time recorded electronically. Yes I am that person, and yes I will admit it! I like running races because I can always improve my performance and try to place. I have a competitive streak in me and I am proud of that!!!!! I had a funny feeling that I was running farther than I should be. I asked the cool chick who was at my pace if we were still on the 5k course but she was in the same confused state as I. So I kept running.
So, I kept running. I was now mixed in with the 10kers and Halfers. A bit later, a sign came into view that stated "U-turn." I followed the directions as everyone seemed to, minus the cool chick who kept on running. I tried to shout out for her, but at this point there was a mass of people also turning and it got quite confusing. This slowed my pace down considerably. Not only were there hundreds of runners turning back around, but there were also runners still coming from the opposite direction. On a narrow path to boot - no bueno! I will admit this was a bit stressful and other runner's started stressing as well.
As you might know, bad energy spreads like wild fire and soon runner's were yelling at each other. This fun run is no longer fun. Especially since I am now looking at my Garmin and it states 3.44 miles. I am not a happy camper and a big shout out goes to those few runner's who were running near me that were able to put a smile on my face. You guy's rocked and while I might not remember you face to face, I will always remember the positivity you maintained!
So we kept running....I slowed my pace down and talked to the others around me. As we passed the mile one marker for the 5k course the others made me laugh as they commented how it was the longest mile ever! Volunteers at this point recognized the error and were trying to do their best to allow the 5k participants to cut through to the finish line so we didn't have to run the 10k course. My friends were cheering me on at the finish line, but I wasn't having it. They even managed to snap a picture where you will see a "Mad Syn."
Not wanting to be completely negative in this race recap, I will say that the swag was very nice. Everyone got a medal regardless of what distance was run. A cool reusable shoulder bag, and a thick coupon book called; Chinook Book to be used at local spots in the Silicon Valley/ Santa Cruz area. A wide arrange of vendors were also out giving away samples and food.
Finish Line Productions who were the timers of the event really went above and beyond customer service expectations and added an error category for all those in the half marathon, 10k, and 5kers who were mis directed. When the results were first published online I finished 1st overall in the "5k Course Distance Error Category." Since an email came out that stated to contact if you ran another distance other than posted, I have moved to 4th place overall. I will take it! I am just happy that it will be marked electronically of the course error and will not actually state that I ran a 5k in 43 minutes.
From throwing events in the past, I can certainly sympathize to things not going according to plan. This was Moshan Productions second year organizing the Go Green St. Patrick's Day Race and hopefully they learned from the snags of this years race and will evolve accordingly. As the old saying goes "Third times a charm" and I hope to see great things out of this race in years to come as well as from Moshan Productions as a whole.
On a side note I did manage to pull a classic Alisyn move...Yet again. After the race, I headed to the porta potties. En route I stopped at a car to look at my sweaty self and adjust my disemboggled hair in the reflection of the car window. I was in deep concentration you see, so much so that I didn't realize there was a guy in the car staring right back at me. I waved and signaled that I will just look in the other car window instead, and we both had a good laugh about it. Sadly, this was the highlight of the race.
I don't like writing reports like these, but what a great reminder - Always expect the unexpected!
|At bib pick-up. Ironically appropriate!|