I’m not a big fan of Mellew Productions, which probably isn’t something they lose much sleep over, and the inaugural Hypnotic Donut Dash didn’t help me see the error of my ways. I walked into the Embarcadero Building in Fair Park 45 minutes before the 5K was scheduled to start, followed the sign to race day registration, and got into a line that was longer than my standards usually permit me to join. A few minutes later a dude came along and pulled people who still needed to register, like me, out of the megaline, which was just for packet quicker picker-uppers, minus the quicker part. He led us over to a laptop that I had walked past because it looked abandoned; that was where race day registrants were supposed to enter their information before moving over to another table to pay, and then a third to pick up their shirt. So I was registered and done inside of five minutes while those poor bastards stood in that line for I don’t know how long, but the 5K started 25 minutes late to give the line time to clear.
I think there were two main reasons why they had such a packet pick-up logjam. I’m pretty sure they only had limited pick-up prior to race day: Friday from ten in the morning until two in the afternoon at three locations, which were Hypnotic Donuts on Garland Road in Dallas, the Hyatt House Lincoln Park at Caruth Haven and Central Expressway in Dallas, and the Aloft Hotel in Frisco. If you happened to be west of I-35E during those hours, you know, like because of your job or whatever, you were hosed. Also, it looked like they were assigning bib numbers to people as they got to the table, an extra step that increased the transaction time. I’m not saying that they screwed all this to hell because I don’t know what resources they had available, but if they want to avoid similar delays at future races, these are the two areas I’d try to address.
Given the limitations of a Fair Park 5K – all you’re going to do is run around Fair Park – the race itself was fine, and given the limitations of my current capabilities, my performance – 28:05 – was acceptable. I ran two sub-nine-minute miles, walked for three minutes, and ran the rest of the way in. Which is encouraging in some respects but also sad-making: Sub-nines are now what sub-eights used to be, which probably means that sub-eights are now what sub-sevens used to be and sub-sevens are now a pipe dream. Getting old, being injured – I can’t say I’m a fan.
After the race and after going back to my car to find my way into a drier shirt, I returned to the Embarcadero Building in time to see the band breaking down the stage, which seemed early but maybe they were asked to leave for playing too loud or for playing “Ah-ah, Yawa Em Ekat Ot Gnimoc Er’yeht” or for committing some other major transgression. Whatever, the important thing was that the Deep Ellum Brewing Company people weren’t breaking down their kiosk so I joined their line and a few minutes later found myself holding a Dallas Blonde, proving once again that the best things in life are, if not free, at least included in the entry fee.
1. It’s a beer, people.