Tonight was the second run in the Sunset Series. And I’ve got a rant coming on…
When I did the first run, 2 weeks ago, by the time I finished they’d run out of drinks and didn’t even have water. Not good but you could understand that maybe there was a miscalculation or something. One of Simon’s friends wrote to the organisers who agreed it was irresponsible and they’d ensure it didn’t happen again.
Tonight I finished and there were no drinks to be had at all. I felt incredibly disappointed and let down.
One of the reasons I love running is the sense of community. If you run a PB then people are happy for you – whether that’s an 8 min/km pace or a speedy 3 min. You’re only competing against yourself.
To finish to an event, an event that’s supposed to be for families and be about participation, only to be told that you miss out on even a cup of water because you’re too slow shows no only irresponisiblity but a lack of respect. Respect that should be shown as equally for the person shuffling last over the line as the person coming first. It can take as much guts and determination just to finish a race as it can to win it. I don’t think that respect was shown tonight.
Sure we were at Princes Park and there are plenty of drink fountains around, but then I can run at Princes Park for free any night of the week. This was meant to be an event, I’d ran damn hard and didn’t want to go wandering around looking for a fountain. I wanted to be included. The people crossing the finish line after me wanted to be included. A lousy cup of water isn’t too much to expect.
When you participate in a fun run, sometimes things can be a bit of a muddle – long lines for bag checks or to get a goodie bag full of sponsor’s advertising; too few toilets; late starts. You accept and deal with these things. But to be told you can’t have a drink at the end (with the implication that you’re too slow) can be a dealbreaker. I’ll be thinking long and hard before I enter this event again.
I’ll also be emailing my thoughts to the organisers, for what they’re worth.
That out of the way, tonight’s run was good and bad. The good: my calves didn’t hurt (much). The bad: because I’ve had to take it slow and easy with the calf problems over the last few weeks, my cardio fitness is shot to shit. For once it wasn’t the legs letting me down.
I ran a steady pace albeit slower than I’d have liked for the first lap, having to take one walk break (I’m really going to have to start timing my walk breaks too – I tend to zone out and forget to run again). Although I’ve run Princes Park a zillion times, tonight we went around it in the wrong direction which totally confused me. We entered Optus Oval for a lap and I thought we’d only done half a lap and couldn’t figure it out.
I almost stopped after the first lap, I felt totally buggered. Then I remember the chocolate I ate at lunch time and kept going.
A lot of the second lap I felt like the absolute last runner on the course but then I looked behind me and realised I wasn’t.
By the 6 km mark, I sped up – maybe too fast a pace for me but began overtaking people. I saw Simon’s friend, Jane, ahead of me and thought I’d never be able to catch her and stay ahead but she stopped to get a drink and I overtook her. Every time I heard steps behind me, I thought it was her but she never passed me. I had to stop for another walk break (too fast at the 6 kms… wore me out).
By the time I got to 7 km, I realised I’d not break 50 mins since it was around 45 mins and I can’t run a km in 5 mins. I actually thought I might as well keep walking and save my energy, what’s the point of trying if I couldn’t beat my previous time. Well my head said that but legs didn’t hear it – they kept going and even sped up. I was breathing like the steamshovel from Mr Squiggle and thought my lungs would collapse but my legs wouldn’t stop.
With the finish line in sight, I still had to do too fast a time to go under 50 mins, but I kept running. Simon ran along beside me and told me not to talk, to save my breathe for running. Like I could talk if wanted to!
I caught up with the girl beside me and overtook her as I crossed the finish line. No matter that I’m at the back end of the race, if I pass someone at the finish line then I’ve won! I did it in 49.55. I dunno how I ran that last km so fast but somehow I did.
Of course, after the drink incident I didn’t hang around. I doubt I could have talked without cussing like a sailor. Hopefully I’ll get an official time under 50 mins (last time the official time was over 2 mins more than my watch???) The only trouble is now I can run 8 kms in 50 mins, I want to do it in under 48.