Two lessons learned: The Colony is a hell of a long way from Euless and the American Heroes 10K isn’t worth the drive.
Before the bitchfest begins, I should probably note the two pleasing aspects of this race: the lady who sang the National Anthem, a woman whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, did a really nice job and the trail we ran on down by Lake Lewisville was pleasant. So it’s not like the morning totally sucked.
On the other hand, my problems with the race began virtually from the moment I stepped out of the car. While no single problem was that calamitous in itself, the sum total indicated a decision-making process with an unerring instinct for erring.
There were no race forms available out in front of the registration table so I took one from the registration table and filled it out while I stood in line. Which I had plenty of time to do, along with writing the check, and figuring my taxes, and computing pi to 10,000 places, because despite being fourth or fifth in line, it took fifteen minutes before I got to the front. At which point it took maybe forty seconds to get registered so I’m not sure what the hold-up was with the other people. Once I did get registered, I didn’t get a bib number because the had run out of 10K bibs which I’m not sure how that happened given that the race only had 78 finishers.
I did get a timing chip, of a variety I had never seen before - it looked more like a timing badge and we were told it had to be pinned to the right hip. Now this is something I don’t get - the original chip system worked well so you would think that a newcomer would have to work equally well and offer some advantage - be disposable, cost less, whatever. Maybe this badge thing is cheaper and just as reliable but based on what the organizers were saying, I’m thinking it’s less effective than the other systems. They told us that if we wanted our start times recorded, we should line up on the right side of the road, near the chip reader. Which isn’t something I haven’t had to worry about with any of the other systems.
The brochure said the 5K and 10K were supposed to start together at 8:05; somewhere along the line that plan changed and the 10K started ten minutes after the 5K. Which isn’t that big a deal, but doesn’t look good when everything else seems screwed up, plus I was actually pressed for time. The real kicker was the mile markers, which made no sense. According to what they had out there, my splits were one mile in 9:38, one mile in 6:42, 1.1 miles in 6:10, .9 miles in 8:54, one mile in 7:15, and 1.2 miles in 9:45. The upshot is I have no idea how far I ran, but I’m guessing the course was a fifth to a quarter of a mile long and if any of the mile markers were placed correctly, credit random chance.
I was bummed to have to take off immediately after the race because it looked like they had beer. On second, though, if their instincts held true, it was probably sans alcohol.