|Zach and I ready to race!|
We lined up in the field in front of the parking lot and got some confusing instructions about where to run. At that point I was a little afraid that we were all going to get lost. I have to say that the course was really well marked. There were large chalk arrows all throughout the trail and signs at every major turn. As Zach and I were standing on the line, I sized up the women. There were not a lot of women, but a lot of them looked to be in my age group. I thought that maybe if Zach ran well that I had a chance of an age group award. The gun went off and Zach took off. I was chasing him for about a 1/4 mile until I finally caught up with him. Another boy his age tried to hang with Zach for a few minutes, but Zach got determined and put on a little surge at a hill and dropped the boy. As I was catching up to Zach, I started to notice that the women were mostly novice trail runners. They didn't seem sure on the trails and were fussing about the mud. At this point I also looked around and realized that I was running 1st woman OVERALL! That never happens to me so I was shocked. I was figuring that women would start passing me at some point because we were hitting about an 8:30 pace...good for a trail, but not super fast.
As we started into mile 2, Zach slowed a little because the wind was bad on the back half of the course. I was letting him draft behind me, and we were running around a 9:15 pace. At this point one woman passed me. I checked behind us and noted to Zach that there were no kids anywhere close behind him so that I thought he had his age group solidly locked up as long as he kept his pace.
|Zach won for most mud!|
When I checked a few minutes later, I noticed that I could now see two women behind me. I mentioned to Zach that we should pick up the pace because I did want to stay in the top since we were near the end of the race. Zach assured me that he was good and that I should go and hang onto second. I put on a pretty good surge at the last half mile and held the other women off. I crossed the finish line around 27:50 (...there was no race clock...they had some weird handheld thing keeping times, and I didn't stop my Garmin right away). I was second woman and 16th place overall. Zach finished about 30 seconds behind me and won his age group.
We waited around until the awards ceremony. Zach got his medal for the 10 and under age group, but then things got weird. They called the 30-39 age group winners and had the first woman as 2nd place in the age group with men. That's when we realized that the race director had no clue that you should do awards separately for men and women. I was still OK because I knew that I was up for an overall award so a 40+ age group award was not a big deal. So they called up three men for the 40+ age group awards. Then they called the top three women overall, but they didn't call my name. They called the two women behind me for 2nd and 3rd. I stood there stunned as they accepted the award. They were running together and clearly knew that I finished in front of them, but they still stood there and accepted the awards. I didn't quite know what to do, but I didn't want to make a scene as it was a Scout event. After the race I went up to the woman who was giving out the awards and explained that there was a mistake. She consulted the score sheet and realized that they had skipped over me when putting together the overall awards. However she wasn't overly apologetic. She just kind of shrugged her shoulders and said that she was sorry. No offer to fix it in anyway. I was still not sure what to do so we kind of just headed to the car, but I was really disappointed because I'm not the kind of runner who gets overall awards or even AG awards regularly. It wasn't even really about the award because I could care less about a medal or a trophy. It was more about not getting to have the experience of participating in the awards ceremony with Zach since we had done it together.
|First age group win!|
My awesome husband went back and found the race director and talked to him for a little bit. The race director was much more understanding and said that they would get a trophy out to me in the mail and also gave me one of the AG medals as a consolation prize. The race director said that he was serious about trying to grow the race and that they were still learning about how to put a race together. I would give this race one more try because I like the idea behind it, it was 5 minutes from the house, and the course was nice. I'm hoping that next year they are a little more organized with the awards. I would suggest maybe focusing the AG awards more on the kids since it is a race for Scouts and then just doing top 3 or 5 overall for the men and women.
|Age group medal and cool Scout patch that all of the boys got|
A big thank you to my awesome husband for working things out for me and also to Nicolas for being an awesome cheerleader since he couldn't race today (healing a minor foot injury).
|My replacement medal|