An email from one of my runners this morning got me to thinking. Sometimes we get caught up with timing chips, wave starts, age group placing, water stops every couple miles and huge post-race buffets. For those of you who have joined the running-racing world in the past 20 years you don’t know any other way for the most part. There was a time that road races were formally- informal. There were no post-race buffets and not runners expos and heck, there weren’t even numbers given to runners. It was show-up and run. The course was the course. It wasn’t manufactured into a 10K or half-marathon. If the road circled and ended to make a 5.7 mile course then the race was a 5.7 mile race. And they took your five-dollar bill in cash – on race morning – to enter the race – no need for online credit card payments and second-mortgages to afford to race.
What happened to the days of lining up to run and see how fast you can get to another pre-determined point with a bunch of people just to test yourself? Well, they aren’t dead!
I share this because of a wonderful experience one of my runners had recently at the Dizzy Daze 50K/100K in the Seattle area. It is billed as “This race gives you all the pain and suffering of any ultramarathon except you don’t have to deal with the annoying change of beautiful scenery.” Just do more loops.
Here are his comments overheard at the race.
“If you are running the marathon, do 8 laps and then run to where you see that chain link fence end. Just turn around there and that is pretty much 26 miles……….”
“We will only count the 100k’rs laps after they have gotten to a point where they don’t remember ANYTHING…….and can’t think for themselves.”
At the finish line the guy said, “OK, good job. What was your time, we don’t have a clock”
When asked about PBJ sandwiches they said, “We have lots of them, you just have to make your own, there is PB jar and knife right over there.”
“Most of the people at this race didn’t want shirts so we only have medium.”
“For the 50k just run 10 laps……..It is a little longer but we think you are more cool for running 32 something and only counting it as 31.”
“For those of you doing the half-marathon, please proceed beyond 13.1 miles because your shirt says 25k on it. Anyways, you can do it and it won’t hurt that much more”
Hugs were given to the race director by many people as we took off at the start.
At the finish I told the guy 6hrs flat, a lady next to me got mad because she said her time was like 6:00.11 and finished before me. The guy said, “Is it OK if you did the 50k a half second slower per mile. I will put 6:00.20 if that is OK with you.”
“it’s an open course and you will be running with everyone else who lives around here, watch out for cars”
“It really is too bad it is not rain/snow mix and 34 degrees like last year, it’s not going to be as much fun this year sorry. No money back.” (It was sunny and 40’s.)
“Go ahead and do more loops than you intended race, we won’t be counting anyway but will think you are cool if you do”
So that is a list of some of the funny things I heard at the race. just wanted you to know because I loved it – Jason
So, low-keyed, no stress, running and racing for the point of just doing it exists. I’m sure there are many more out there. These are wonderful experiences and a nice variation from the rigid world of mega races and chip timing. I think we need more of these races. By the way did I mention it was a $35 entry fee instead of $100 plus for the mega-RocknRoll; Chicago; Boston marathons.
I’d love to hear from anyone with similar experiences. Tell me about some races in your neck of the woods. You never know… I might show up just for the fun of it all.