Today, for the first time, maybe ever, I didn’t run a race for no reason. I’ve dropped out of races before (albeit rarely) due to injury or to focus on a more important event. But I didn’t run the SF Hot Chocolate 15k simply because I didn’t feel like it.
Months ago I had signed up for this race with a couple of girlfriends as a fun run. We thought we’ll run the 15k, get in some good miles, and make a day of it. A few more people also signed up (including the hubs). But then the day drew closer and the logistics of getting to the city started to get complicated. Originally we thought we could park ourselves and get to the start line. But then we found out we had to park at a pre-determined parking garage and pay for a shuttle. (Note to race directors: if a shuttle is absolutely necessary for a race, add it to the original registration fee nobody wants to pay more after already registering).And since some of us were running the 5k, which started nearly an hour before the 15k, we would need to be parked by 6:15am. This would all be fine if we were not coming from Santa Cruz.
Slowly, runners started dropping out. Most of us came to the conclusion that we just didn’t want to run this race. Three of the runners decided to still run and will definitely tease me mercilessly for not showing up. Fair enough. A little part of me cringes that I didn’t run the race. But when it came down to it, several major reasons factored into my decision: I wasn’t ever planning to race this run so it wasn’t like I was giving up a goal; getting up at 4:30am (or earlier) sounded awful to me and the hubs; the 49ers are playing at 10am (we would have NEVER made it back in time); and driving logistics for nine people became more and more difficult.
Instead, I joined three of my friends (two of which also had registered for the race) for our own mocha run. Sure I committed a runner’s sin: wearing the gear of a race I didn’t complete (the Hot Chocolate run gave out some nice swag) but ultimately this was the right decision for me.
So have you ever dropped out of a race before (not because of injury)? Do you regret your decision? Did you run the Hot Chocolate run this year?