Almost nothing good, unfortunately.
That's not entirely the race's fault though. I blame all the fuckwits who participated.
Okay, not really.
Okay, yes really, but I'm not quite being fair.
Part of the blame is on me, who for some reason was under the impression that this -- being called a run -- would have the opportunity to actually run. As in, it's a race. It's not a run, and it sure as hell isn't a race. The correct way to describe it would be the "Bloomsday Run unless you're not an elite then it's more of a fun run except by run we mean walk." And then there should be an asterisk to the caveat that you'll be walking like sardines packed into a can except by packed into a can we mean shoved together on a road.
Holy crap, there were so many people.
Really, they should just call it the Bloomsday Clusterfuck.
It all started at the expo. Which looked nicely huge from the brochure and did have a lot of vendors, but the venue was not as big as you would've thought. Plus, so many people. Almost 50,000 in the Clusterfuck itself, and I'm pretty sure they not only all went to the expo at the same time I got there but they brought all their extended family. Which, okay, they're entitled. But then... the expo.....
Had. No. Free. Stuff.
This really should've been my first clue. Race expos have free stuff. Not here. Here, I got a free chapstick and that was it. It. Was. Weird.
The bib pickup was really well organized though, I'll give them that. Better than Shamrock and much better than the Portland Marathon. Though they could've taken about half of the space allotted to bib pickup and put it to much better use in the vendor section.
Once I got past my homicidal impulses -- so many people -- this is the first expo where I've really bought stuff. They did have some decent expo pricing on some items. I've been thinking about getting The Stick for a while but wasn't sure about the texture. I saw the Tiger Tail at the expo and decided to get one. I like it. It's much easier to roll my IT band and low back with this, compared to the regular foam roller. And it packs much smaller; this would easily fit into a suitcase. I bought an ankle brace at incrediwear that is absolutely phenomenal; the pain in my ankle that usually would persist for up to three days after a run was gone within 24 hours. I don't know how it works but it does. I also bought a Pure Energy Band for pain and haven't had but a whisper of a headache since I put it on. My balance has also improved; almost no incidents of vertigo whatsoever.
I wish I'd remembered to go back for these fabulous arm sleeves I saw. I've been trying to figure out who the vendor was but so far no luck in tracking down a website. Boo.
So. The Clusterfuck itself.
My hotel was within walking distance to my color group and it was a nice warm up, particularly since while it was sunny it was also 35 degrees at 8:30 a.m. Immediately went to the porta potty line, and having done 50+ races over the past few years I estimated it should take about ten minutes to get to the potty.
Except that, cilley me, I was estimating based on runners. Not on
Meanwhile, my color group got the go-ahead to leave right before I got to the potty so I ended up with the group after mine. You know, roughly seven thousand people. I finally got started shortly before ten a.m.
And immediately got to do the bob and weave, bob and weave. Seems that none of the
Rule No. 1 - NO Headphones.
Headphones (and iPods) pose a serious hazard because they limit your ability to hear other participants, emergency vehicles, or safety warnings. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR HEADPHONES, IPODS, etc.
If a race specifically says no headphones, I leave the headphones at home. As for everybody else? Yeah, no. Three out of five had headphones. So they couldn't hear me (and the others crazy enough to think this was a run) behind them saying "on your left.... On Your Left.... ON YOUR LEFT MOTHERFUCKER!" But the last part only in my head -- okay, maybe muttered very quietly to myself. Because nobody could seem to follow rule number two...
Rule No. 2 - If you're walking, keep to your right.
We love walkers, so if you are running and feel the need to walk, we encourage you to do so. But PLEASE MOVE TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD to allow runners and fast walkers to pass.
Not even close. I guess not only could they not read, they didn't know their right from their left. Which wouldn't have been so bad except for.....
Rule No. 3 - If you're walking, keep to your right AND walk no more than two abreast.
Please do not walk more than two abreast, as it makes it difficult for others to pass.
Maybe they thought "abreast" was a dirty word and therefore clearly this whole rule must be a typo so they didn't have to follow it. Which again, wouldn't have been so bad except for....
Rule No. 4 - Don't hold hands on the course you dumb
And wait until after the race to hold hands.
Not even going to cross that last one out because the rules actually did come across with that kind of tone. Really, unless you have a very small child you shouldn't be holding hands with anyone on a race course. And if your child is that small, they should be in a stroller. Which, in this race, had to be at the very back. So I do give props to them for enforcing that rule at least.
They did also have a no wearing garbage bag rule; I saw only one
As for the race itself, I really should learn to pay attention to things like elevation charts. There were two pretty serious hills and one truly serious hill. There was some nice downhill throughout but with so many people it was tough to make up any time on the downhill. With three aid stations plus my handheld I was able to stay hydrated fairly easily but it did get warm and I forgot sunscreen again and with less pollution the sun is really strong out there; my arms are still lobster red. Despite everything I was able to maintain a somewhat decent pace until just before mile six when I pushed it a little too hard and then spent a half mile trying not to hyperventilate. Doomsday Hill comes around mile 6.5 -- right when I caught my breath again -- and I couldn't run up it even a little bit at that point. At the top, though, I was ready just to be finished and realized I might be able to chase down my C goal of 1:45. I ran as much as I could to the finish and I almost did it. Almost.
Then me and my fellow lemmings piled on top of each other waiting to funnel through the finisher's (cotton) t-shirt pickup. Fifty thousand people, four lines. Somebody at this Clusterfuck clearly needs a remedial physics lesson. Not sure if they had more water or even any food in the reunion area. I was starting to feel stabby. I have zero plans to ever run Bloomsday again.
But the medal was cool.
*Those from the shallow end of the gene pool. I'd be nicer about this for first timers, but every single fucking set of race instructions tells you on which side of your body to pin your race number. There shouldn't be more than two of these in a race ever.