|Image from Pinterest.|
I had no clue what to expect from this race and we (Mike and me, with Muffin in the jogging stroller) were telling ourselves that it would be fun because it would be someplace to run other than the treadmill or the park we always go to. We were right about that part, and had to admit afterwards that it was nice to run somewhere different. "In the now," though, as the morning was going on, we lost sight of the fun a couple times.
There was no formal registration like you would normally expect for races. I bought two tickets online and they never asked for any personal information for registrants. The event started at 7:00 a.m. but there was no indication if that was when the race actually started or not. To be safe, we arrived around 6:45. And the race didn't start until about 8:15. "Registration" consisted of showing printouts of online receipts to get tickets and then turning in those tickets to get t-shirts, water bottles, and hats.
The t-shirts were plain white. And so oddly sized that I have no idea who could actually wear them.
There was a bunch of thanking of sponsors and "Hip-hip, hooray!" about things. Every few minutes they mentioned another cause that the race was supporting -- polio-free India, illiterate orphans, English dictionaries for students, and my favorite, being "green," all while people were throwing chai cups and sticker backings on the ground. We finally moved into the street and there was more thanking of sponsors and cheering -- in the middle of a road that had not been closed to traffic, so cars were honking and trying to edge by.
The race finally started. Fortunately it wasn't too hot and sunny yet, although the fog was starting to burn off. (So if they'd started an hour earlier the weather would have been just about perfect!) Most people started off way too fast and it didn't take long for us to find plenty of running space and then start picking people off. Cars kept stopping to look at Muffin in the jogging stroller to the point where there was nearly a pile-up. Lots of people needed to take her photo but once we started running we didn't stop for the paparazzi.
We ran along and I glanced at my Garmin every few minutes. Eventually we reached 1.5 miles, but there was no turnaround in sight. We turned around at two miles. The question became, is the finish going to be exactly where we started or are they pushing it up? Are we running one more mile or two? We decided to gamble on two. And we were right. A 5-kilometer, 3.1-mile race was 3.98 miles in length according to my Garmin. Even if my Garmin is off by a little bit, our finish time indicates that the race was longer than a 5K.
When we crossed the finish line I mentioned that to some of the people who seemed like they were part of the organizing group but they didn't seem very concerned. They were more excited by us being the only white participants and having a baby with us, too. I may have even been the first female finisher. I don't know, I didn't stick around to find out. They wanted us to stay for the final presentation, but we couldn't. Muffin was tired and Mike and I were, too. We didn't want to be part of the show anymore.
There's another race in the same location by the same organizers next week. We're torn on if we should go or not. It might be more fun now that we know what we're getting into, but it was an exhausting morning, dealing with Muffin and the crowd.
And we still smell like the lake.