I have a reoccurring nightmare where I am running effortlessly with my feet hovering off the ground and I'm passing all kinds of people, but the only problem is that I don't know where I am running. I am lost. I would always wake up from my dream race experience extremely agitated and frustrated. My dream or rather my nightmare came true today.
This morning at the Cleveland Rite Aid 10k, for some unknown reason, the lead vehicle led us astray. The runners all followed the vehicle the WRONG way and some were exchanging expletives unsure of what to do anyway. I figured if we are all being led down into the flats, then no big deal, we'll all run the same distance and get our respective times at the finish. I thought lets make the best of it and continue to the finish. The 2 mile marker was the last one we saw until we were directed back onto the original course at the five mile maker.
Between the 2 and 5 mile maker we had, no crowd support, no aid stations, and no police support. And we managed to run probably an additional 2 + miles. Sometime during the race the officials realized the error and made the correction and had the rest of the runners diverted back onto the correct course. But the damage was done and some of the runners were so mad that they didn't finish. My focus was to continue to run tough and stay with one of the lead Kenyan women (Leah Kiprono) who was running a sub 6 minute mile pace. But while I was chasing her, people driving in their cars were beeping and yelling at us to get off the road. They were probably wondering why this old white man was chasing a young pretty black girl. I wasn't going to hurt her. really. She was my inspiration to the finish. Her stride was poetry in motion. I thanked her and shook her hand at the finish for a run well done. I did manage to finish ahead of Leah by 17 seconds. I was happy.
I emailed the race director to let him know how upset I was and requested a refund. We'll see what they say.
If anyone ran the misdirected 10K run and was wearing a GPS and knows the correct distance please let me know. I think my next watch will be a Garmin 205. Anyone have one on sale?