I’m going to start this post with a story:
Back in 2002, I was competing in my very last track and field season in high school. I competed in the 100m Hurdles, 100m sprint and the 400m hurdles, as well as the 4×100 relay. At our regional event, I had already advanced in both the hurdle events, but the 100m sprint did not go well because of a crappy start. The last race I had on the schedule was a 4x100m race. My team was made up of more junior runners. Usually, I was in the ‘anchor’ position, which is the last runner. My team refused to practice hand-offs, let alone practice at all – so I wasn’t too happy with them already. Because of the lack of teams registered for the event, we would automatically qualify to the Southern Ontario regionals as long as we finished the race. At the last minute, I decided to switch from anchor to the starting runner because I wanted to give the rest of the girls a bit of a head start. I started off the race well – being the first runner to exchange zone. I watched the other girls run and saw that we finished the race.
That is went I saw the red flag go up.
A red and white flag system is used to signify a good exchange or a bad one. If an exchange zone is done well – the white flag goes up. If a team messes up – red flag. Whenever I see that red flag go up – I get a little sick to my stomach.
Anyways – I saw that red flag go up and soon enough I heard that we had been disqualified for a bad exchange in zone 3. At that point I *may* have yelled a very bad curse word across the track. I proceeded to stomp my way up to the stands. When I got there, I threw my spikes and all of my gear everywhere and I believe might have yammered on about people not wanted to practice. I then left and went to pout somewhere outside the stadium. I was not a happy camper.
So remember that for a few minutes while you read the rest of my race recap:
Somersault Events – Fall Colours 5K Recap
The Fall colours race is held in Cumberland, Ontario, which is just at the edge of East Ottawa – and only about 10 minutes away from my house (and is where P’s parents used to live). We left fairly early because I knew traffic/parking would take some time. It wasn’t too bad though. We parked within about 5 minutes and went into the grounds. The expo area was fairly chaotic. I managed to get my bib, timing chip and shirt fairly quickly. There were huge lines for the washrooms, but I managed to wait less than 5 minutes, which is pretty good.
We watched the little kids run their 1K and then heard that all the races were now delayed by 10 minutes due to late entries and parking issues. I wasn’t too happy about it, but 10 minutes isn’t too bad. I wore my trusty MEC shorts and my purple long sleeved tech shirt. I regretted the choice of a long sleeved shirt as by 10am, the sun was out and it was getting a little bit hot out. The 3K race was right before the 5K start, so once they went off, we got into position.
I placed myself at the front of the pack as I know for the slightly smaller races, in order to place, I should be close to the front. I had no big plans on running this race – I just wanted a solid, clean race and work on my pacing. Because I tend to obsess about the watch from time to time, I chose to keep my Garmin turned over and not look at it during the race, at all. Remember that point as you continue to read.
The course took us around the Cumberland museum for the first little bit, which was great because it was completely surrounded by people. The only downfall was that it was gravel paths – and I’m not the biggest fan of that, but the first loop went well. I saw P and Max a couple of times and then we went down to the main road. Just as we were approaching the road, I noticed quite a few 3K runners (who were mainly kids) running up the path at the same time we were coming up it. There was no barrier or another, so it was a bit unnerving to see runners all jumbled up together. I do think that I saw Kristi’s son Evan run by me – but he was going so fast, I didn’t have a chance to cheer him on.
KM 1 – 5:00
When we went down Montreal Road, there was a nice downhill stretch. At this point I found a male runner with a red tech shirt and ball cap on. He looked like he was going at a pace that I would like, so I followed him. I tried to not go to fast down the hill, but wanted to gain some time as well. As we turned onto a side street, there were pylons all around to help control runners and traffic. The thing is – the runners were all on different sides. One would think that the runners going out would be on the right and the ones coming back in on the left (like traffic), but there was people everywhere.
KM 2 – 5:09
We approached the water station and I accidentally took a Gatorade. Luckily it was blue flavoured and it didn’t make me sick. I continued up around the side streets – passing a few people as I felt, including one girl who kept cutting me off by wandering all over the place. When I went past the red shirt runner, he stopped to walk and I said byebye to my unofficial pacer. At one point, I noticed as we approached an intersection that there were people running one way, and the big crowd going another. But I figured that was the loop we started with and continued on. At this point, I was thinking that this 5K was going pretty fast, especially when I saw the 4K marker.
KM 3 – 5:09 (again!)
We went up the big hill and I just charged up it. I didn’t want to stop, so I just went up and made it over the hill fairly quickly. At this point we were to turn back onto the museum grounds, to complete one more loop and head into the finishing chute. I felt a little sick at this point, but trucked on through. Again, not a fan of the gravel, but it wasn’t too bad. I was in the the lead pack for most of the race – being able to see the front for pretty much the entire race. I knew that if I stayed in this group, I would place in my age group for sure.
KM 4 – 5:27 (the hill slowed me down)
It was nice to have a huge crowd of people cheer you on as your approached the finish. Unfortunately the timing clocks were not set for the 5K, so I had zero idea how the race went. I flipped over the garmin, stopped it, and then swore.
What is wrong with that? Look above – KM 1-2-3-4, no KM 5.
That’s right, we were short of 5K. I looked down and saw 4.3KM on the distance section of the watch. My next thought was “I cannot believe this happened again!!!”. Two years ago, the 5K race in Fall Colours was too short. My friend from school and another friend from track both told me today that they got stuck in that race two years ago. So.not.impressed.
I talked to a few people at the recovery zone and all of us were pretty bummed. I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but the route we took was not right at all. At first I thought we had simply run the 3K loop, but because we ran a loop of the grounds first (the 3K’rs didn’t) that made up for the extra 1.3 KM.
Nope – somehow we made our own race.
Here is a map of the loopy part of the race:
Here is the map my garmin made:
Yeah – I don’t know how that happened. At all! I do not remember seeing any marshalls telling us otherwise at Lockwood. It is not like only a few of us made the mistake – apparently everyone did, as they changed the results to a “4.3K run”. From what P said, the marshall he was standing next to had no idea what the routes where and did not know the colour coded bib system. I have a feeling that the marshalls were not properly informed. When you have a course with this many loops, it is imperative that they are positioned properly. Unlike the Army Run that had only one big turn (that got messed up), this one had many. The potential for error is very, very large.
Understandably, I am a bit upset about this. I was definitely on pace to PB – and probably on pace to go sub-26, even with a few hills. Had I known that I was missing 800m, I would have turned around and kept running just to get a 5K in. P said that one guy realized this where he was standing and did go back and run more. I am very proud of myself for going under 5:10 for my first 3 KM – that is a first!
So back to my track story – no, I did not throw my bag across the field and swear. I was fairly upset and maybe cried a single tear, but I think this will just fuel the fire for me to PB in the Rattle me Bones Race, even in a hot dog costume.
I love Somersault races, but this one was not my favorite. I will probably not sign up for this race again. It is too bad, because the weather was perfect and the fall colours were indeed, very pretty.
Official Time: 21:54
Place: 57th out of over 359
Age Category: 1st out of 29
Gender Category: 21/232
So yes – another gold lanyard for me! Although I did not stay to pick it up (again).
That is my race recap! Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂