On Sunday, the 10th Annual Lower Potomac River Marathon took place and it's my "hometown marathon" since it's only 20 minutes away from my house. I'm deferring my entry until next year, but I was still there as a volunteer. To try to avoid a repeat experience of volunteering at the Frozen Heart 50K, this time I had a ride to and from the event so I could take pain pills. Alyssa was the lucky person who got to deal with a mental incapacitated Kara, but she's used to running ultras with me so it wasn't new territory for her.
Since I was up a little later than usual talking to Alyssa on Saturday night, I ended up taking my nighttime pain meds and muscle relaxers later than usual, and then we lost an hour with daylight savings time. This brilliant planning on my part resulted in me being little more incapacitated than I had originally anticipated. No big deal, right? I was planning on being the person who handed out the t-shirts at registration and even a monkey can handle small/medium/large.
When we got to the building, there was already a line of marathon runners waiting to pick up their bib. I was a little confused about why things seemed more chaotic than usual, but I was also confused by being awake. Before I could protest, someone handed me the master list of registered runners and the first person in line was telling me their name, but it may have been in Swahili.
Luckily for everyone involved, Alyssa took the list from me and looked up the names and just told me the bib numbers, which was more mentally achievable for me. It was a really good choice for Alyssa to take over the name sheet because that marathon has a lot of people from the Korean Marathon Club running, and there was no way I was going to figure out on my own which of the seven bibs with the last name "Kim" was the right one.
Despite the fact that clearly had no idea what I was doing, people kept asking me questions like I knew what was going on.
Where are the vests for the bike marshals? Where are the cups for the mile 20 aid station? The RD told me I could register on race day, do you have my bib? Do you know the square root of 26 divided by four?
The crux of the issue was the RD was missing. Her truck had rolled off the road and into a ditch earlier in the morning when she was dropping mile markers on the course, so she was busy getting her truck pulled out. When I arrived at registration, someone had told me that happened, but I guess I thought it was some kind of joke or euphemism? It wasn't until it was 7 minutes until race start and the timing clock was still sitting in the room with me that I figured out that maybe I should do something about setting up the start line. My "doing something" was telling other people to go set it up, but like all managers, I'm taking credit for it. I was able to provide key information like "That's the timer thingy. You need to carry it out there" and "It should be charged? I'm pretty sure. The button to turn it on is there." I'm totally management material, maybe I should get one of those job things that I hear about.
The RD arrived muddy and bloody two minutes before the race start and all the runners scampered off to run 26 miles. Alyssa and I stayed to set up the finish line area (OK, that's a lie, I didn't do jack shit). We saw the runners pass by at mile 8.8 and there was a young kid far out in front of the pack. The older, more seasoned fast male marathoners were kinda laughing about it and saying they'd catch him in a few miles when he crashed and burned. From the sidelines, it seemed like they would be right because it looked like the kid was running full out and who can do that for 26 miles?
|Halfway mark and he's still flying|
We stayed long enough to see the sub-3 finishers and guess who was first to cross that finish line? That kid! He ran it in 2:37! It wasn't close either, as he was still far ahead of the other guys, even the one who has run almost 300 sub-3 marathons. It was pretty funny to see the guys who thought they could easily catch him finish minutes later and look way more exhausted than the first place kid. One of the older guys even apologized to the kid for not believing in him and expecting him to crash and burn.
Then we drove back to my house along the race course where all the other runners were in the last stretch of the race and seeing their pained expressions brought me great joy. I mean sympathy, yeah...deep sympathy.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?
Have you ever wondered why people don't bet on marathons like they do for horse and dog racing? The thought occurred to me yesterday, but I'd never do it because gambling is illegal and wrong.