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Monday, April 7, 2008

Race Report: Running of the Fools 5k

AKA... The longest 5k you'll ever run.

This was a race that I had mixed feelings about. For one... it not only took place at, but also benefited my rival high school. Even after all these years (10 years ago now), I still feel kind of sour against them. They carried the city's name.... Hendersonville High School. Whereas my school, Beech High School, was the ugly red-headed step child of the city. We were considered the "redneck" school, because we were way out in the boonies... just outside of the city limits.

Saturday morning as I was getting ready for the race, I decided that this was my chance.

Backstory: When I was in high school, the only sport I played was golf. Now... I wasn't really that good. I did make it to the State Championships one year, but that was basically my one claim to fame. My high school and Hendersonville High school shared the same home course. So, I played with their girls a lot and they always beat me. Always. And I hated them. They got into my head. I was like Phil Mickelson (actually you could insert a number of names here... Sergio would be a good one) and they were Tiger. Incidentally, their best girl (whom I was always competing against) I also had to play against in tennis when I was growing up. And she was better at tennis than I was, too! Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

So, I decided... this was my chance. I was going to go to the race and give it my all. I usually try hard at races, but admittedly, I don't give it my all. That was going to change on Saturday morning.

First of all, let me say... early forecasts called for a sunny, nice day on Saturday with highs in the 60s. Of course, the early forecasts were wrong. It was a damp, cool 40 degrees. I decided to wear my short sleeve marathon t-shirt, in hopes of intimidating some of my competition. Cause, yeah, I run marathons. Be intimidated.

As I'm standing at the start line waiting... I like to scope out my competition. I like to know where people are... if they're in front of me, behind me, etc. That day... I didn't see one girl that looked like she was in my age division. This made me very excited.

We're off and after about 9 minutes or so, I break off from my mom and start to increase my speed significantly. I figure... well, I'm at about the one mile mark, so it's time to start kicking it into gear. About 5 minutes later, I come to a marker that says 1 mile. Huh. I instantly think... okay, they must mean a mile to go! So, I really kick it up at this point. Full throttle, balls to the wall, whatever you want to call it.

And then I see a water station ahead... I'm like... why do they have a water station at the end of the race? And... then... I see the sign. 2 miles. What the hell? I'm thinking to myself... am I really trying this hard and actually running this slow? I try digging deeper. But, I'm almost all tapped out. And this course was hilly. Quite hilly.

As I'm nearing the finish, a girl tells me... "the route got messed up, they'll tell you about it at the finish" and I was thinking that the route got messed up only for a few of us... which really pissed me off. My one chance and my one real all out effort and I got screwed by taking the wrong route. I come through the shute at 38:36.

Turns out.... everyone ran the wrong route. A couple of people had garmins on and one said 4.43 and another said 4.5. The guy who won the race overall said he thought it was more like 5 miles based on his time.

Everyone teased and joked afterwards that it was an April Fools Joke... But, it was actually a dumb motorcycle cop who made everyone take a wrong turn at the start. Figures. Hendersonville motorcycle cops are notoriously annoying in races.

But... you know what... there were people in my age division. 7 to be exact. And you know what?I schooled all those bitches! I WON FIRST PLACE! in my age division. Seriously. I'm not joking. I was so freaking excited. I actually accomplished my goal! Woooooo Hooooo. First place prizes were Jester hats and medals.

And of course... surprise, surprise... my mom won first place in her age division, too!

Winners modeling our goods.

Afterwards we went to cracker barrel and had a crazy waitress but some good pancakes. Yum.


April said...

That is so awesome! i want to win first place too! And what is the deal with Cracker Barrell and crazy waitresses?? said...

haha, i googled and found this.. i love race reports!
This is jacob carrigan, overall winner (three times now..) I won this race in 2005 and 2006, 16.22 and 16.50, and this year in 26.26, so i am just telling people i set a new personal record (slowest!) for a 5k.
It is all good though, had a good time and everyone had the same start and finish line!
Just think of it along the lines "i got more for my money" ;-p

Dana said...

You definitely showed them how to race a 5k! BIG CONGRATS!!