Monday, September 7, 2009

09/05: Breakfast Bash Five-Mile

I got to White Rock Lake at about 6:45 for the Breakfast Bash Five-Mile; parking at White Rock in general and Winfrey Point in particular has become a controversial topic in recent months and I wanted to make sure my super secret parking spot, personally endorsed by Dick Cheney, wasn’t taken. Which it wasn’t, although two of the three were and the less-than-competent parking job done by the early arrivals forced me nearer to a handicapped sign than I’d like to be. But I wasn’t actually in the handicapped spot and I didn’t get ticketed or prevent anyone from using the handicapped space so I guess it’s okay. It gave me something to obsess about while running at any rate.

The parking controversy concerns parking, or more accurately not parking, on the grass in the park. In general I support the ban; it seemed like Winfrey Point hosted at least one race every weekend last fall and all that driving and parking on the grass can’t be beneficial. Most of these races were charging $20 to $30 per runner; I don’t know the economics of road races but it seems to me that if you’re charging that much and drawing enough to exceed the parking limitations, you can afford to take your race out on the streets. I would like to see an exception made for the Dallas Running Club, though; they charge a nominal fee (free for members, $10 for non-members) and they only have one race a month, not all of which are at Winfrey Point.

The DRC is also getting better at certain things that always bothered me - most notably, they prevented people from lining up on the trail until just before they were ready to start the race. White Rock Lake gets a lot of use on weekend mornings, from bikers and bladers as well as hordes of runners, and it was always obnoxious to be clogging the trail for fifteen or twenty minutes waiting for the race to start. They left a little room for improvement - they staged us for the start, then they had a moment of silence, then they played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” then they started us on our way. We weren’t standing around on the trail that long but it seems to me we could have heard the moment of silence and the national anthem just as well from alongside the trail. They had a reasonably good sound system. That played “Fadeaway” by the Bo Deans while waiting for the race to start - now there’s a song I don’t hear every day. Or every year, for that matter.

We started to the north. It was a typical Winfrey Point race which means there’s not all that much to say about it - we ran out about 2.5 miles, then we turned around and ran back. Then we went back up the hill to the Mansion at Winfrey Point and ate breakfast burritos of various kinds: egg and potato, egg and bacon, egg and sausage. I had one of the bacon variety and one of sausage; the sausage was better. But given that I’m a DRC member it was all free - and no parking tickets! - so it’s all good.

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