Wednesday, March 6, 2013

02/09: Dashing for the Beads 5K

Ten Notes on Dashing for the Beads 1. One of the hidden benefits to running races is that it takes me to neighborhoods I might not have visited before. This was truer in the old days, when there were so many neighborhoods I hadn’t visited and when races didn’t seem to be as clustered around White Rock Lake and the Katy Trail. At any rate, the Dash for the Beads runs through north Oak Cliff just west of the Bishop Arts district up to the Kessler Parkway, and is the first race I’ve run completely within the boundaries of north Oak Cliff. 2. This was the fourth running of this race, which I wanted to do last year and I think the year before, but things never quite worked out. For example, last year I’m pretty sure it was too damn cold for my delicate constitution. 3. I registered for the race at packet pick-up but the t-shirts weren’t available until race day, which they really weren’t worth the wait. They look great, but the image on the front is kind of plasticky and heavy; when you wear the shirt, it also feels like you’re wearing a bib. 4. Parking and race day logistics were chaotic but not irritating, although clearer signage would be helpful. I stood in a line to pick up my t-shirt that I wasn’t totally sure was the correct line, but I got a t-shirt so I guess it was. 5. Do not run this race, or at least this course, in search of a PR. It’s not that it’s constantly hilly, but the hills that you do run are daunting. 6. I read somewhere that this course was new for this year; if they stick with this general idea, they may want to consider reversing the direction in which they run it. There’s an out-and-back on the Coombs Creek Trail early in the second mile that was crowded. If they ran the course in the other direction that section would be late in the second mile and runners would be a little more spread out. It would alleviate the bottle neck although it wouldn’t eliminate it. 7. I didn’t know anything about this Coombs Creek Trail and still don’t, really, so I should probably check it out more closely sometime. According to the Dallas Parks page I found, it hasn’t been built yet. 8. They had beer after the race, good beer from Rahr and Sons in Ft. Worth. That would be the good news. 9. The bad news is that the beer wasn’t exactly free, at least so far as I could tell. You had to get in one line to buy a cup, and then get in another line to get the cup filled; I don’t know if you were allowed to bring your own drinking vessel. The problem with this set-up, for me at least, is that I don’t tend to carry my wallet, or any money, on me while running a race. And because this is a fairly popular race in a location with no parking lots, I was parked three or four blocks, which would only be a hassle on most days but was genuinely problematic on this particular day – I was on a sort of tight schedule partially because the race started at 10:00 am. 10. If I do this race again I’ll be easy to pick out. I’ll be the dude running with the Oktoberfest stein.