I signed up for this 5k earlier in the week because I thought it would be fun as well as a good fitness gauge as I put aside my (recent) slothful ways and I look ahead to a January/February marathon. Plus it’s a worthy cause.
I woke up this morning with a sore throat and seriously considered bailing however I’d already spent the $30, decided it was probably allergies (which it unfortunately was not) and made myself get up. I took the Race Bus from the Park n’ Ride to the Pepsi Center in downtown Denver and arrived with plenty of time. I picked up my race packet. This consisted of a t-shirt and a race number with a few safety pins. Something felt weird about the exchange between myself and the volunteer but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was.
I started a warm-up jog and found that my Garmin’s battery was low. Dang it! I had left it on the charger but apparently it was not engaged correctly. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was hoping to get some heart rate data (my simple Polar HRM died recently). At least I would be able to look up my official finish time… Wait a minute! That was when I realized I was not required to identify myself when I picked up my race number from the volunteer. That was the nebulous weirdness I had experienced earlier.
Ok, so there were no timing chips, but was I wrong to assume they would at least record our times the old-fashioned way? How could they possibly time us, though, if our race numbers were not linked with our identities? I consoled myself, knowing at least there would be an official clock at the finish line. Unfortunately my Garmin won’t give me any information when the power is off, including the time.
The 5k went by pretty fast… I started off at a hard pace and tried to maintain it, but I suspect I faltered during the last mile. The race was characterized by very little other than dodging a lot of walkers. I approached what I thought was the finish line, passed through it, and slowed to a walk because that’s what everyone else was doing. I asked someone “Is this the finish line?” She said “I guess so.” I asked some guy what time it was. He said 8:55. I hoped he was rounding up because the race started at 8:30. I wasted minimal energy being disappointed or mad that I was slower than ever because I was busy being disappointed and mad that THERE WAS NO CLOCK AT THE FINISH LINE. Maybe this was supposed to be the perfect opportunity for me to enjoy the moment, cherish the process not the result, or be zen or something. Whatever. I didn’t get up at 6am for the 4th day in a row with a sore throat to ride in a bus to Denver to be zen!!!!!!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in promoting funding for breast cancer research. I believe in honoring the lives of those who endured or were killed by the disease. But I don’t get why the management advertised the event as a race and failed to provide a clock. I just double checked the website to make sure I wasn’t crazy and its chock-full of terms such as “race details” and “race start times.”
Oh well. Let’s say it was a 25:00 5k, that’s a little over 8:00/mile… The good news is there is a lot of room for improvement!