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.