Within my two-year stint of racing locally, I’m no longer surprise to hear complaints or disappointments from either fun runners or the hardcore ones. Could’t blame them. After all they did train and prepare for it. Some kept tab on their personal records. Others, being their first, wanted it to be a legitimate one. Some wanted to get the value of their registration fees.
Accurate distance is important for obvious reasons. Generally, any race distance advertised as a 5K, 10K, 10-miler, half marathon should be that distance and not more than one-half kilometer short. What if you were one of those fast runners who broke a record that day and made a new PR but only to find out it was not accurate?
There are no failures—just experiences and your reactions to them (Tom Krause).
I rarely do a post race evaluation. But mind you, I am also bothered when a certain race fell short of water, distance, race marshals, security, etc. We don’t have control over things that happened behind the scenes. As a runner, I give always any race organizer the benefit of the doubt. It’s not easy to organize and coordinate with everything if you know what I mean. That no matter how one wanted it to be perfect sometimes it just doesn’t work that way.
A new team organized Rotarun last Sunday. The 21k event was short by 3KM. After the race, the team explained the reason why the event’s distance was cut short and apologized to the crowd gathered near the stage. Indeed an admirable trait coming from a runner. The team clearly understood the road race concept, as they are runners themselves.
I don’t want to give a wrong signal or impression. Running is what I do as stress buster and worrying during the run is not one of my objectives. Unlike with other runners, I don’t wear popular high tech running watches. I don’t consider myself as competitive who upon finishing any running event checks the results to see how I ranked with other runners. From time to time it does matter. What’s important for me is reaching the finish line injury free.
Running for me is to pace with running buddies, to bring friends who are first timers in a certain distance to the finish line, and most often it’s a time for solitude where I get in touch with myself and body. Every step is my way of cleansing myself from stress and worry. The support, camaraderie, the shouts, the claps, the greetings that one gets, plus the almost endless photo ops after the race, made the run worth while.
Getting the medal the easy way is not worth it. What is a medal when you didn’t earn nor work hard for it? Did you know fellow-runner-who-asked-for-my-bib that I got my left second toe wounded while running? Well, just too bad you asked the wrong person. I hate runners who intentionally cheat during races.
If you were in my [running] shoes, would you let that runner use your bib?
For me, I still enjoyed the Rotarun race. Even if the distance was cut short by a few kilometers, I compensated it by running extra kilometers after finishing. While we were still running slowly along Lawton Avenue, the staff from the last water station, requested a photo op with us. Wow! The guys were treated like some sort of a celebrity? Or, may be, they happened to be with super hunks Dragon Bong Z and Gab?! Woot! Woot!
Running again with friends who were still on their way to the finish line made running or racing or whatever you call it more meaningful!
(Photos Courtesy of Pio S.)