Monday, May 11, 2009

A Disaster

Saturday was the Run Wild for a Cure 5k at the Cleveland Zoo. We ran this race last year and it was quite good, though a bit odd that miles 1 and 3 took place on the same paths in the park. This year was the same thing, except part of the zoo was closed off due to construction, so the mile 2 route was to be different from last year. It is still a very challenging course as there is little flat ground and a hill which is nearly 100 foot elevation change.

The race, however, ended up being a disaster. The course should have been as follows...
Mile 1 - Run through the bear section
Mile 2 - Run up and back down the big hill
Mile 3 - Run through the bear section again

Rather than letting runners continue to the second mile hill, for the first several minutes of the race they routed runners back to the bears. To further complicate the problem, at a different intersection they were directing runners toward the finish line who had only run about a mile.

Kristin ran pretty close to a 5k. She got sent back to the bears too soon, but within about 50 yards of turning around found out she shouldn't have. She got back on track and ran the proper course from there on. She ended up finishing right about 32 minutes...which is her best 5k time ever and she did it on a very challenging course. Great job!

I didn't fare too well. Things went well the first mile -- which I completed in 7:35. I was in a group that was directed back around to the bears shortly after mile one. As I was approaching them the second time, another set of volunteers tried to direct me toward the start/finish line. But at the same time the runners who were errantly sent to the finish line were coming back to the main path and warning me and other runners not to go that way.

I ran the bear section again, then up and down the big hill. When I got back to the intersection with the start/finish leg, the volunteers tried to route me through the bears a third time, but I refused and headed toward the finish line, knowing I had run more than 5k, but hoping that I could get a fairly accurate time. I crossed the line at 28:03. With the help of MapMyRun.com, it looks like I ran about 3.4-3.5 miles, which means my pace would have put me right around a 25 minute 5k (which would have been my second best ever).

I wish we would have gone to the awards ceremony. I can't imagine they actually gave prizes since the fastest runners were the ones that got screwed up the most. The slower runners would have run a perfect 5k course.

Talking to people afterwards, we had a guy tell us that his Garmin recorded a run of 4.6 miles (likely what I would have run had I ran the bear section a third time). No race results were posted online -- just an apology and a statement that we would get free registration at next year's event.

Here's hoping that next year works out better...

2 comments:

Matt said...

That sounds ridiculous! You would think that they would have just postponed the race, with the construction and all. Hopefully things will be better next year.

Kudos on the times and distance!

Chris said...

Holy cow, who was directing this race? The Bears? Geez!

Great times though, sounds like you have found some serious speed since January!

Are you guys running again in January? The wife and I will be running the half. Should be a good time.