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Dizzying Intellect » Running

Category: Running

Elbows Out For the Cure

Saturday was the Race for the Cure, here. And yet again, it was the harbinger of gross incompetence and oversight. Don’t get me wrong, Komen’s my pet cause, and I have a great time every year, but I doubt there has ever existed a clusterfuck of this magnitude.

There were roughly 70,000 participants (10,000 more than last year) and they finally decided to split it into runners and walkers, with walkers starting 15 minutes later. But they’ve apparently been doing it in one big pack for too many years, because it didn’t happen that way.

Once again, the walkers completely ignored the 50+ announcements to go to the rear, and took up the full six lanes of asphalt, refusing to give ground. Once again, the non-elite runners had to take to the sidewalks, single file, dodging trees, lightpoles, parking meters, and door steps, for almost the first full mile. At least they took down the barricades this year, so we didn’t actually have to jump over them to get to the sidewalk, like last year.

The timing of the one mile ‘fun walk’ was also fabulous, dumping the slowest walkers into the last 1/4 mile of the 5k, so there was barely room to walk, much less run. I think we doubled our full distance, swerving in and out between walkers, people pushing strollers, and those who stopped dead to take pictures.

Feh. It’s not a real race anyway. It’s not even timed (like it is in some cities), so I’m not too bent. Last year I was livid, but now I’m over it.

Observations: (1) The middle-aged lady in the pink (breast cancer survivor) t-shirt just in front of me, who was chain smoking before the race started. She was a walker, obviously, and I know smoking isn’t the biggest cause of breast cancer, but still. (2) The big burly bikers who crowded into every intersection, with Komen shirts under their leathers, to cheer us on wildly. I have no idea what that’s about, but they do it every year, and I love it. (3) The amazing steel drum band moved further up the race this year than they were last year, but not far enough. They need to be on the big hill, because their music is such a great push in that insanely sweltering heat. (4) The biggest bumblebee I’ve ever seen decided I was his best friend. Seriously, his wings were so huge I could feel the breeze from six inches away, and he didn’t stay that far away. I couldn’t squash him, because I have this inexplicable love for bumblebees, but I was afraid he was going to fly up my shorts, so I finally had to thunk him on the head to make him go away.