Frustration. That is a single adjective to describe many of the races I have been to here in Mérida. Today was no exception. I try to stay flexible, but today pushed my flexibility a bit too far.
I got notification on Thursday that there was an 8K cross country race today. I was very excited about that since I would like to do less road running when possible.
Sunday races are always difficult for a pastor in a Christian church since Sunday is the “big day” of the week for us. Fortunately, our church does not start its services until 11:00. That means that I can race in the morning as long as I can be home by 9:30 to get ready for church. This race was to start at 8:00. That would allow me enough time to run and hang around a few minutes before having to head home.
Out of the 12 or so races I have run here, only 3 have charged an entrance fee. So it was not unusual to not see any fee amount in the race announcement. It was not an official race announcement, just a posting that someone put on a local mailing list. When I got to the registration table this morning (pre-registration means that you are there at least a few minutes before race start to register) the lady told me that the fee was 15 pesos (about $1.40 USD). The amount certainly was not an issue. The fact that I was parked quite a ways away from the venue and had to return to my car was. I went back and dug between the seats to try and find 15 pesos.
I returned with the money, thankful that I found exact change. Otherwise I would have had to make another trip back to the car to put away the change. I registered and pinned on my bib. 219 was my number.
Race start was at 8:00 and it was currently 7:40. Enough time to do a slow lap around the course as a warm up. The course was 2 Km. in length. About 3/4 of the way around the lap I heard the announcement that the ladies would be starting at 8:00 and the men would start at 8:30. 8:30? What happened to an 8:00 start?
When I made it back around to the starting area, apparently this announcement took others by surprise. No one was complaining. They were just talking about how they should not be doing as much warm up yet since they did not start for 30+ minutes now. No biggie to them.
But for me, this was not going to work. The announcement said 8:00 start which was fine. 8:30 would give me enough time to run and rush straight home with hopes of maybe being ready on time. Really it was going to cut it too close.
I went back to the registration table to tell them I was not running and to turn in my number. I was not looking to get my money back. I did not really care about that. I mainly wanted them to know that the time change was a deal breaker for me. Did they care? Probably not.
They offered to let me start with the women. I don’t think so. “8K won’t take that long to run,” she said. I told her that some of us are not elite runners.
To me, it did not matter how long it took to run. Changing the start time to later was not acceptable. I understand that it was a small course and they wanted to give everyone a chance to race without being too crowded, but this decision seemed to be made just before the race was to start.
I was really frustrated.
I went home and ran 5K. That helped some.
I put off doing a long run yesterday because I knew there would be a race today. I have not had a good long run in a while. I need to get an 8 or 10 miler in soon or I am going to lose something there. I may have already been away from it too long.
I heard there is a 6K race next Saturday. I would not normally be interested in doing a 6K as opposed to a long run. But, since it is a very rare Saturday race, I could stick around for the awards. I have only been able to stay at one other awards ceremony. It was a Saturday race as well. Saturday races are very very rare here. It is a shame to pass one up. The only Saturday race I have run was a PR at 5K.
Oh, and one other point of frustration with racing around here are the distances. I have moaned before about how the races are
rarely never the distance advertised.