Race Failure, Take 2

Yup. For the second time in 3 weeks, I have missed a local race.

The first time, 2 weeks ago, it was entirely my fault. I left the house way too late, and the race was about to start by the time I got there (read my post “Race Failure” for more on that). So I took that in stride; I had no-one to blame but myself.

But tonight was entirely different. I got there almost on time (only 3 minutes late!), but it wouldn’t have mattered if I had gotten there a day early, because the race was cancelled. There was just a small handwritten sign stating “No Race,” and that was it. Granted, it is a local weekly race with all registration done right before it begins, but they could have at least notified the racers of the cancellation on their website. So after psyching myself up for a 5k, I was let down for the second time in 3 weeks.

But, being as I was already dressed for a run and had yet to run tonight, I decided to go out anyway and try to PR for my mile time. I was 3 seconds off, but it still felt pretty good. In fact, I tried the same 2 weeks ago after my first missed race, and was 5 seconds off from my mile PR. Maybe I should consider missing a few more races…

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Race Failure

This past Wednesday I tried to race. Yes, tried. Unfortunately, I did not succeed.

I left my house, as usual, much too late, and by the time I got to the park where the 5k was held, it was close to race time. And by the time I actually found the starting line it was about a minute and a half to race time. Needless to say, they did not let me sign up.

But I had made the long trip (all 15 minutes of it) out there to run, and dammit, I was going to run. And then the race coordinator kindly warned anyone thinking of racing without a number (race bandits) not to do so, because they would be barred from all future USATF events. Or something like that. Naturally, that gave me pause, but being the resourceful guy that I am, I figured I’d just wait a few minutes after the official start, start the race late, and just subtract the delay from my final time (I didn’t have a watch on me).

So I leisurely used the bathroom as the 50 or so other runners set off, and then I meandered over to the start line. I casually stretched, eyeing the clock all the while, and when it hit 2 minutes exactly, I set off. But this race was not meant to be. About 2 minutes in, a race official gave me a look and started saying into his walki talkie “I’m here by the soccer fields, and there’s…”

I couldn’t make out the rest, but in my paranoid state of mind I imagined he was talking about me, and they would then call in the police who would chase me down and arrest me for racing numberless. So I immediately split off from the race and went back to the start line to watch the race from the side.

I don’t think this really counts as my first DNF (Did-Not-Finish) considering I wasn’t officially part of the race, but it really bummed me out. But not so much that I won’t try again this week.