While everyone was nervously awaiting the start of their own virtual race, there were 10 or so brave souls who tossed anonymity to the wind and decided that they would indeed find out if I was as handsy (gropeish?) as everyone said. The race was called the Sweat Your Thorns off 5K and when finished, each participant agreed that they sweat SOMETHING off.
While there was no expo, as the race director, my work started much before the race itself. Some race directors might have focused on making sure there was adequate water due to the high temperatures or possibly ensuring that there were enough port-o-potties. Where did I focus most / all of my time? Race medals. I know why people race!! Besides, I assumed people could "figure it out" and goto the bathroom while
squatting on a cactus running into desert. Cactus need water too!
As in years past, the medals were high tensile strength metal (read: washers from Home Depot) with victory red ribbon (read: whatever was on sale where my wife went). But, that isn't to say that I didn't put in lots of loving time. Here is my best attempt at the creative process:
Any good medal starts with one thing
a donut shape the year!
Added little cactus runner dudes
Finished Medals! (Next to a stack of bills) **groan**
My plan for this race was to be in a supportive role. I am not in 5K shape and wanted to make sure that everyone else had fun during the time out in the blistering heat. That and, I felt like a TOTAL tool coming in first for my OWN race during the FYTO5K this winter. As Jeff pointed out, I can't let that happen this year. So, while I didn't run the actual course, I was going to try to run with my son in the stroller while I could to still get each and every 5,000M in.
The racers at the start
I believe there was more than one "OMG, it is sooo hot" heard at the starting line
RunningLaur and I marked the course with chipmunk friendly flour (no atkins diet there!) and each of the runners went through their race day prep. (My race day prep? Standing around looking dumbfounded). Once the clock struck 7:00am, and the temperature was a toasty 89 degrees F, the runners were off!!
Much like all photogs at races, I decided to get on the top of the steepest hill and get pictures of everyone straining to get to the top. They're having fun, trust me.
When I was running back to the starting area to grab a water and the race medals, I couldn't help but notice how really pretty Papago park in Phoenix is. Blistering hot, yes. But pretty. Sort of like a supermodel or high maintenance Los Angeles type. Fun to look at, but spend too much time around them and you're likely to get burned.
Desert Oasis Indeed
Once I was confident that the finishers area was ready to 'accept' finishers (who am I kidding? I didn't do anything) I ran about a mile out to help pace some of the lead runners in. Adrienne and Lacey were the lead runners - both just barely missing a sub 30 finish. Given a larger race with more people to pass off of, they both will have no trouble beating that and then some.
As everyone finished and was greeted with a
friendly baseball style slap on the ass high five from me, we all tried to compose ourselves and dry off our shirts. There may or may not have been mention about someone taking their pants off to get out their gross wet shorts. I did not protest this action.
Overall the race was a great success. I think that the participants had a good time and I got in a solid 3 miles of stroller running. My overall time for the 3.03 miles (I ziged and zaged and didn't run the "official" course) was 45:00 and change. A lot of that was standing around at the finish handing out medals - and I wouldn't have had it any other way!
Finally, as I was reviewing the race pictures that I took I realized that there were none of me!!
Since blogging is mostly a narcissistic endeavor Since I mostly took pictures of other racers, I realized that I should include at least one of me. To prove that I am actually not narcissistic, I tried to make as unflattering as possible.
Who am I kidding? The picture of me on the toilet was way more unflattering than this!
Finally finally, thanks to all of the runners both virtually and in person. Sweaty times were had by all (except for those south of the equator - you guys have all of the luck!).