I hate to say this, but I did a 10K running race yesterday that I will never do again.
It wasn’t the distance, the cause, the volunteers or the post-race food. It was the course.
Almost half of it was on a golf course. A wet, hilly, uneven golf course. And it was open; people were out there in carts, on the driving range, whacking golf balls and staring at us chugging and huffing (OK, staring at ME chugging and huffing; everyone else seemed to be gliding gazelle-like over the course). And it was on a public course, which meant that any duffer of questionable talent could be out there, knocking off a bucket or two. I’m shocked I wasn’t clocked in the head by a trajectory-challenged Titleist .
So pardon me while I rant:
Dear Race Director,
The town in which this race took place works with you to fund a very good cause [without specifically mentioning the race name or town, I’ll say the funds raised go towards supporting active-duty soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan] so the least you could do is get this race right. Why disrespect the 5K and 10K folks with such a lousy run? It’s not fun to slog, slip and panic about losing your footing, while trying to get a respectable time. The town isn’t big, but it’s big enough and has enough streets to support both races. Start one earlier so runners don’t pile onto each other. Do a double-loop 5K course, if you have to. OK, use some of the golf course if you must, but keep it on the paths, NOT on the uneven, sloppy turf. For heaven’s sake, we were running sideways on some of those hills!
In spite of conditions, my time was not awful, but it would have been far better with a flat, firm surface. Yesterday was a challenge, but surprisingly, after a walk this morning, I feel only slightly sore, thanks to a long walk and some stretching. I feel good enough to go clean a closet or two and do some laundry. Oh, and my next training run? It’s tomorrow morning, of course. I wouldn’t miss it.