Sunday, September 28, 2008

09/26/08: Race Judicata 5K

The Race Judicata 5K, put on by the Dedman School of Law at SMU and run through neighborhoods north and east of the campus, is an obscure yet pricey race that feels almost like crashing a private (but not snobby private) party, only without any alcohol. Most of the runners, and sponsors, too, for that matter, had some connection to the legal profession, which I haven't had since 1993. And that's not a pleasant memory, not counting the dismissal.

Since the race was near the aorta of the Park Cities, it behooved me to ascertain that my car's registration and inspection were up to date, particularly since I drive an older (2002) vehicle that isn't of upscale lineage. My Honda just came out of the shop Friday; I'd have kept the rental car (a Chevy Aveo - but a registered and inspected Aveo) for the race if my car hadn't passed inspection. I think I've received two tickets for expirations in Highland Park, in about ten minutes of driving time spread out over many years. Now if something's out of date I avoid those towns completely.

This race was much smaller, with fewer than 100 runners, than last week's Oktoberfest run and the weather, although numerically similar, felt more comfortable, probably because most of the streets were shaded. There was a better opportunity to run fast; I just didn't feel like I was the person to do it.

I ran 21:41, which for me would be very fast now that I'm old, maybe one of my top three times for the past seven years. I think the course may have been short.

The race organizers handed out course maps before the race. They said the course was clearly marked by flour on the ground but they were just as clearly worried that people would go off course. They had reason to be concerned - we went off course. We took a wrong turn maybe 2.5 miles into the race and returned to the finish by a different route than intended. Perhaps they forgot to give a map to the operator to the lead vehicle, not that I actually remember there being a lead vehicle. At any rate any distance lost by this deviation was probably minimal; we missed out on a slight jog to the north and picked up one to the south instead.

A Map My Run of the planned route showed a distance of 3.06 miles; if that was the distance I ran then my time would extrapolate to 22:02 or so, which is still better than I'd expect right now. Of course I'd have a better idea if my Garmin's batteries hadn't died early in the second mile.

Nobody was collecting race tags or compiling results afterwards although the first male and first female each won a $50 gift certificate to Luke's Locker. Unless they contracted out the tabulations to a psychic, I wouldn't expect to see any results on line. Certainly not accurate ones, in any case.

For any perceived bitching and moaning that my have come across, I should say that it was a fun race and I'm glad I showed up, except for maybe squandering a 21:40 in a lesser race. Small races can have some appeal and this one did; a fun run through pleasant neighborhoods in a non-competitive environment. People I talked to before and after the event were unfamiliar with the racing scene and here they got an introduction without being overwhelmed.

Thirty bucks for race-day registration is a little steep, though.

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