Friday Five: Race Day Surprises

Happy Friday, TGIF and all that jazz. First things first, thanks to all who have RSVP’d for the DC Trifecta Fitness Bloggers Brunch scheduled for Saturday, August 8 at 11 am. As an update the location has been announced and we will be meeting at Matchbox in Chinatown conveniently located near the metro (and several lines). Parking is available in neighboring lots and on the street all with weekend rates. If you want to join us please RSVP HERE!! We are really excited and can’t wait to dine with you all and give out some fabulous stuff courtesy of Pure Barre, Zengo Cycle, Bowl’d, South Block Juice Co., Rove and more! FF Race Day surprises marontherun.com

Now, on to the Friday Five. As the Boy Scouts say – Always Be Prepared. But sometimes as others say, sh*t happens. Today’s topic is Race Day Surprises. I’m sure we’ve all had something come up one time or another so here are a few I’ve had and maybe a tip or two on how to avoid them in the future. 😉

1. Always review the course map. So… about that bridge at Mile 10 of the Outer Banks Half. Touted as a super flat and fast course this hit me like a ton of bricks. I had driven over it the day prior and if I’d actually looked at the course map ahead of time, wouldn’t have been so surprised.

2. Test out your gadgets. I have a couple of examples here but most recently was last weekend at the Crystal City Twilighter 5K. I forgot my Garmin died so plugged it in early in the afternoon so it would be charged by nightfall. When I got to the start line and hit the button a weird word popped up to indicate it was finding location. The language converted to German (I think). I ran the entire 5K with 30 second intervals beeping at me (I may have hit something for that??) and no way to change the language back to English. The only way to fix it is by doing a factory reset. Either that or brush up on my foreign language skills. 🙂

3. What time is it? As an official blogger for the Pittsburgh Marathon you would think I’d know when the race started. Not only that but I stayed in a hotel a block from the race start. For some reason I got it in my head that it started at 7:30 am – but really it was 7. Surprise! Luckily I was so close that I didn’t miss the start altogether but not in my assigned corral and can’t say I was ready to really go. This was even after I downloaded the app and studied it all evening!

4. No, it’s not normal to see horses on the race course. AKA the race where I got lost. Whose bright idea was it to run my first ever trail race on the first day of summer as a half marathon? Don’t answer that. But the Big Elk half will be forever etched in memory. I knew I made a wrong turn when people riding horses started passing me by…

5. Will run for hot chocolate (never again). In late 2011 I ran the first DC Hot Chocolate 15K. And it was a nightmare. Traffic leading into the National Harbor caused a delay of at least 90 minutes, it was December and it was freezing. By the time we started running half the course was spent breathing in exhaust from cars we shared the road with and gotta tell you, the chocolate was not all that (and we had to walk UP big hill at the finish to get to it). I know this organization has had several successful races around the country but they haven’t been back to DC since. They are also lucky I hadn’t started blogging yet 😉 .

What’s your most memorable race day surprise? What’s on tap for the weekend? 

15 thoughts on “Friday Five: Race Day Surprises

  1. Getting lost on the race course is one of my phobias! I really want to run a Ragnar, but getting lost along the way worries me!

  2. I hate traffic to the start line, and I will go over my route there 1000 times to make sure I know it. I’ll also throw in the GPS just in case because I hate feeling rushed when I get to the start line.
    Lesley recently posted…Allie’s StoryMy Profile

  3. DC has had some tough gos with races. I had a horrible experience with the Biggest Loser 10k when they hosted a race here in 2013. Needless to say, that race series only made that 1 appearance here in DC. I know others have had great experiences at their races, but their race at RFK Stadium was just an absolute nightmare.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…August 2015 Monthly GoalsMy Profile

  4. These are CRACKING ME UP, Mar! I love your choices! Definitely checking the course and technology failures are ones I have experienced as surprises, myself; it’s always something, isn’t it? I hope you have such a great time this weekend; thanks for hosting another super fun Friday Five!
    Tara @ Running ‘N’ Reading recently posted…Race Day SurprisesMy Profile

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