I have just completed what I officially consider the worst race ever (ok at least that I have participated in). Last year, I ran the same race, Go Green St. Patrick’s 10k in Los Gatos, and despite being sick I had a great time. I had looked forward to greatly improving last year’s time. I actually almost didn’t run the race because I have so much school work to complete this weekend, but I decided that I needed to run anyway so I’ll go ahead and run the race (plus I already paid for it).
Unfortunately, both packet pick-up times conflicted with my schedule and I was able to just make the end of the second day. By that time they only had large shirts. I know shirts aren’t the most important thing, but I like getting free running gear and it’s a bummer that I won’t really be able to wear this one. I was more annoyed with the response of the organizer when I questioned how this happened but this morning I decided not to taint the race with bad vibes and focus on having a good time.
Due to the time change, I had a hard time getting up and out the door on time. I worried that I would miss the race start. I got there just 5 minutes before the time my race was supposed to start (there were 3 race lengths, half marathon that started first, the 10k that I ran and started second, and the 5k that started last). Thankfully they seemed to be running late, par for the course with races. But unfortunately their loudspeakers didn’t seem to work and it was hard to determine which race was starting. But not a problem, I figured out and started with the rest of the 10kers.
The race began well, I started a little slower than normal trying to save my energy to speed up at the end. Great, I was right on pace where I wanted to be by mile 2. I started to see a few runners coming back my way and knew I was approaching a turnaround. A turnaround sign sat in the ground but unlike the previous signs did not say if it was for the 5k, 10k, or half marathon. Other runners kept going and I followed suit. But within a few minutes I started to grow concerned. Apparently another runner went too far as well (farther than me) and informed me that I needed to turn around. As we headed back to the official turnaround spot, the 10k runners let others know they needed to turn around. My time was officially going to be off and much slower runners than me had turned around much earlier. This was the first race I didn’t wait to see my official results posted.
After I finished I found that the timing chip had cut my ankle (I have a problem with these types of chips and should have put a blister pad on my ankle). My leg hurt and I was frustrated with the unclear signage. I went to a race organizer, along with some other racers (5k runners who almost ran the entire 10k!). The organizer was unsympathetic to say the least. In fact, she seemed angry with us! I know mistakes happen, that’s ok. But the worst part of the race for me was the organizers’ anger at runners for complaining. That’s just poor management.
On the positive side, my new nike running shoes felt great! Sami even posed with them yesterday 🙂 And the race medal is quite nice. The vendors also had some good snacks for post-race fuel and the first aid tent was great (thanks for bandaging my bloody ankle). My results for this race (and my others races as well) are here.
To see other people’s experiences see the Active reviews.