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My 5ks are turning to dust

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Nope... I didn't say I'm leaving them in the dust. Two of the races I'd wanted to do this summer look like they're all junk and I'm trying not to be disgruntled. And the third organizers haven't answered their emails and the website isn't very informative. That's what I get, I guess, for picking them for convenience rather than for the event organizer.

The June 23rd race, Emotions in Motion in Eugene, Oregon, might still turn out to be an ok beginner's nonprofit race, but there sure isn't a lot of advance information. Oh, well. It is on a convenient day, at a convenient time, in a place not too far away for me to visit my Mom afterwards... so it won't be like all is lost. It was only $20 to register.

The July 20th race, Lighthouse and Lake 5k, apparently has been cancelled, but none of the running websites know that. It used to be listed on Reedsport/Winchester Bay's info, too, but has magically vanished off their tourist websites. I've already paid for registration. Unlike Emotions, I don't live close enough so I can just drive there the morning of the race.
I also reserved a place at the local state park for 3 nights and my husband and I were planning to make a vacation out of it. I've been emailing people for a week trying to figure out what's going on and tomorrow morning I'm going to have to restrain myself from calling and being irate. I'm just going to get my registration money back. Now we have to decide if we're going to go to the park for our little vacation, anyway or to change our reservations to a less crowded time? Because July on the Dunes is crazy! Everyone brings their 4 wheelers and cases of beer and it gets noisy. (Kind of mindbogglingly different from green and vegan Eugene!)

There was a third 5k/9k for which I hadn't registered, on July 13th. However, I almost did because it this race is a charity to benefit a lovely local park with peacocks, big trees dripping with moss, a creek and horses. I wanted to see the trail first, though, because the park website was unclear about where the race would be held and I remembered some of the park as being rather unsuitable for my plastic-wrap-for-cartilage- self. Fifteen years ago I would have done any of these trails with relish.

I had gone out to see the trail after heavy rain and wondered if the race would be held on the largest clear trail, which was made by cattle and horses, and was therefore full of hoof-print dents and debris. There was also at least one hill that did not seem to end, ever. I walked up it while my husband and the dogs stood at the bottom. I got to what they thought was the top, looked down at them and they were smaller than my pinky fingernail. And I was not even half way up.

I couldn't find anyone to ask so I wandered around, looking at various places that had trail signs. One was really nice, bark chip lined and wound through a treed area, but it was too narrow for a crowd and was heavily slanted to the right, in the direction that my ankles unfortunately turn. I noticed my right ankle was somewhat swollen the next day. I started across the street at another trail, which was completely unmowed and was barely recognizeable. I thought, well, this is Oregon... maybe a crew will come out and clear the area up.

I went back a week later and asked the groundskeeper if there would be any maintenance done before the race. First he was confused. "What race?" Then, after I told him what I read on the website, he laughed. "Oh, no", he said, as if that were completely preposterous, as if I were a city slicker... "what you see is what you get." So I won't be signing up for that one. Meanwhile, a peacock pecked at the door of my car. I guess he didn't like what he saw, either.

Grumble... there are two other convenient 5ks, but they are $40! For a 5k! One of them isn't even for charity! Gee Whillikers!

(5k and 9ks are bad enough... Can you even imagine MARATHON event planners being this lackadaisical about their runners' feelings, efforts, time and money? And having hundreds of marathoners show up in an idyllic seaside town on a July weekend, expecting the perfect race after months of hard training? I'm picturing a biker movie riot scene ... but with buff men and women in tiny shorts!)

There's another race coming up by Eclectic Edge in August (Umpqua River Run) and they have a very good reputation as event organizers. Their entrance fee is $30 and it is for charity. I think I'll sign up for that. At least I know they'll be there on race day. Their website ALREADY, in June, explains registration, parking, packets and footpods. This one has real money prizes, so I don't have a prayer of placing well (competition will be steep in a poor economy area like Douglas County!!!) but it will be a real, professional race.

Oh, well... I am a member of the the Violet Venus BLC team now, so even if I don't currently have a slew of good races to look forward to, at least I have 12 weeks of other reasons to keep on running... until I stack my schedule full again. I do like a full schedule... keeps me on track.

Today I walked for almost ten minutes straight . That wasn't in the plan, but my first supposed 4 minute run ended up being less than 2 minutes because I had to blow my nose repeatedly. Solly enjoyed chasing the tissue that I dropped because it raced to the back of the treadmill and fell off. Once I decided I was "done" I put my treadmill on 4 and slogged (jogged at a very slow pace, like running through slush) for most of the next 30. Solly watched the treadmill for more tissues a few minutes, gave up and wandered off. Sometimes I increased the incline to 5, but lowered it again soon. Once I got to 3.1 miles, I decreased the incline and my speed for a cooldown.

Afterwards, I did assorted strength training and a few stretches and went outside to weedwack. So I had a good exercise day and felt a little better about running in general. Maybe I deserve better races, right?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow - NOT good!! Especially the race you've paid for that seems to have disappeared!! That's a new one on me - I've simply never heard of it. Do you think its the economy? But if they canceled the race you'd think they'd have returned your fee!!
    2088 days ago
    Wow! Oregon has changed since I lived there. Everyone used to be hitting the trails and creating fitness events that many attended.

    Here in Texas where I now live and there is actually a lot of dust there are tons of running and cycling events.

    Well, Oregon is still incredibly beautiful and you rarely have a 105 degree race day like is so common here in Texas.

    2088 days ago
    I just read an article on how to pick a race;

    What I rememberis:

    longevity....if the race has been run the last few years most likely it will again.

    Also if the Race is being timed by a reputable group they will do their best to put on a properly timed and measured race.

    I would pursue getting your money back. ...ya I know only $20 but it's your twenty bucks that you were donating to a specific charity and you expect to get what you paid for.

    C U @ the finish line!
    2088 days ago
    You've stumbled on the most important thing: event organization! Funny, I just listened to a podcast about that issue yesterday. Imagine folks running a marathon and finding out at the end that it's not official because the course wasn't regulation length.

    You do deserve quality races!

    Good luck with BLC.
    2088 days ago
    Yes you did have a great exercise day all in all. How unfortunate to run into all these troubles with your anticipated 5 kms. What a nuisance; especially with the loss of the registration fees. That's just not right!
    Despite all the obstacles keep training and running for yourself. You can do this.
    2089 days ago
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