Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Bridgton 4 on the 4th. Not the best time.

Monday was the 4th of July, the wondrous 3rd day of a 3 day weekend and a day that is much dreaded by people who own horse barns in close proximity to fireworks. (although thanks to the power of science and medication we survived!)

The feared fireworks, from above.
July 4th also marked the beginning of another marathon training cycle for me and what better way to start than with a race up a mountain! (?)

I feel like Eric and I have figured out how to turn this race into a streamlined event over the past couple years. We have the parking in a crowded town situation down, bib pickup is easy and last year the actual race start (which can be a clusterfuck of 8 year old campers and stroller pushers) went off seamlessly.

As a general rule I find the 4 on the 4th to be an enjoyable race. The roads are closed to traffic, there is always plenty of water and watermelon at the finish and it is a fun community event.
I do have one bone to pick and that is about the chaos that is the start. As previously mentioned this was NOT the case last year so a smooth start CAN happen! My hope (upon hope) is that next year some care is taken to give better instructions on how to correctly, and safely self seed.

Well, while the race itself only had one major fail I had a couple all on my own. 

Fail #1: I woke up feeling like a bag of assholes. Female issues made me wish to curl into a fetal position and die and my GI system decided that it felt sympathetic. WOW. BAD.

I took 2 pepto and 4 advil and said a little prayer.

Fail #2: Due to said issues after .3 mile warmup I quit. A bathroom break was more critical and I felt so lousy that I seriously considered not even starting. Helpfully, with 3 minutes to go until the start my fistful of pills kicked in and I was able to maintain. Knowing that the first mile of the course is basically downhill I didn't think my lack of warmup would matter.

Fail #3: A horribly congested start. Sardines. Total gridlock.

Bottom line: This needs to be a race that gets a rename. "The 4 on the 4th, crash 'em up derby".

I'm not going to waste time ranting about the situation (or am I?). It was shit. Dangerous shit. Children darting, stopping, getting hit. Young people strolling 5 across, hand in hand (starting in the SIX minute area!!) I want to support this race because it is local, convenient and community driven. I also do not want to hit your child who is unsupervised and doesn't know how to stay safe because he is about 8!!! (and by NOT hitting your child on Monday I got hit by another runner which wasn't fun for me.)

SIGH. Moving on.

Oh! Fail #4 was that it was hot as balls. Luckily, most of the race was well shaded so it wasn't really too bad! As far as the race season of 2016 goes it was almost frigid! (so cold! 75!!) So maybe this was a win.

Hot July sun
After the first two miles of stupidity I felt a bit better and had room to run at a pace that was slightly quicker. I actually could see Eric up ahead of me and at the 2 mile mark he had a 20 second lead.
At this point the runners had thinned out significantly, I felt as good as I was going to and I had managed to get over my irritation about the BS start. I knew it was no day for anything close to my course PR but I figured that I could salvage a couple of decent miles.

Which I did. After a start that was a slow I ran a strong negative split, with the last 2 miles at 7:40 and 7:10 (hello?)
Eric and I ran the entire last mile together which was quite fun. We passed a few people, narrowly avoided a boy who was projectile vomiting up large quantities of purple barf, and finished in the exact same time of 31:03. (which, shockingly was good enough for 3rd in my AG.)

My face in this proves that there was suffering...
I'm glad that I was able to have a couple good miles despite some less than ideal moments.

This certainly wasn't a great day for me, I wasn't feeling my best, I had a terrible start and never was able to really pick it up until the final mile.

After the much better organization of last year's race start (there were many reminders of how to appropriately seed one's self) I'm really bummed out about the decline of control this year.

Everyone should be able to have fun racing. People who are front runners should be right at the line. People who want an easier day should figure out what that means and try to be honest about it. This is more of a safety concern for me than anything in a race such as this one. So, SO many little children were running in a way that could have caused them, or others harm that I couldn't help but to feel irritated.

The rest of the day was spent prepping horses for fireworks, enjoying the gorgeous weather and eating ice cream. We had a very pleasant 4th and hope all of you did too!!


No comments:

Post a Comment