Monday, November 29, 2010

Who to watch out for at a local race.

Saturday night my daughter Amanda asked me what the swag was for a local XC race that was scheduled for Sunday morning. This race is famous (or is it infamous?) for not handing out the standard issue tee shirt but for trying to go a little off the standard swag menu. I emailed one of my friends in the running club who knows about these things and she emailed back that they were handing out wool winter hats this year. Amanda thought about it a bit and then decided she wanted to do the race. I had a short run on the training calendar for Sunday so I decided to stretch it out a bit for the 5k distance.

I haven't raced in a long time (the turkey trot didn't count because I ran it with my younger daughter). I had to get my head out of a competitive mindset to prevent myself from going too hard and hurting myself (again). I decided I was going to use this race as a test of sorts to see if I could limit myself to set a pace somewhere between a jog and a run. That mean to me to try to dial in the pace to about 11:30 and force myself to take a walk break of 1 minute every 8 minutes or so. Sounded like a plan that could work given my current lack of fitness.

As we were walking up to the on site registration, Amanda started checking out the competition and I joined in out of habit. As people were heading the other way from us we would comment on if we should be concerned with them or not. We started making a list of who to watch out for and I thought I'd share. Realize this is a trail race with the temperature in the 20s so most casual runners stayed home. So we figured out all (meaning us) should beware of:
  • Anyone wearing a race shirt from a race held before 1990.

  • Anyone who looks over 200 years old.

  • Anyone who, while running, looks like they are going to tilt over to one side.

  • Anyone who makes strange noises while running.

  • Anyone who farts while running in the lead pack.

  • Anyone wearing "senior road racing" team apparel

  • Anyone who wears a singlet and shorts when the temperature is less than 30F.

  • Anyone who breaks out spikes for a trail race. We didn't see any but someone running barefoot would qualify for the list too.

  • People who appear out of shape but with a Mdot tattoo or wearing an Ironman finisher shirt.

  • Teenage soccer players running in Adidas Samba indoor soccer shoes.

  • Someone with an Olympic ring tattoo on their ankle

We ran out of time trying to codify this crowd and the horn went off. I ran my race close to plan (I was a little quicker than I should have been but not a lot). MY friend Lorie commented that I was running almost too easy and said that I committed a trail race faux pas by running with an ipod. Amanda said she started well, passing the 1m mark in good shape but twisted her ankle somehow on the single track section. It wasn't bad enough to make her stop but she slowed down to a jog and still finished about 10 minutes before me.

Maybe I should add annoying fast daughters to this list?


Unknown said...

Yeah, but annoying fast daughters make you proud even if they are someone to look out for in a race.

btw, i think it's great that they gave wool hats. i wish more races would do something other than a tshirt. i got gloves back in sept and I've been using them 3x per week. most race tshirts i never even wear once!

Caratunk Girl said...

Joe, sounds like Amanda is a fast one! That is cool. And she has a nose for good SWAG. I think something other than a shirt is awesome. I think I will do wool hats for next years Turkey Trot (I was going to do shirts, but the wool hats are much cooler)

Unknown said...

Wool hats are very cool! Great to hear you are doing well running!

Btw - I'd have been the guy farting in the lead pack (-:

Teamarcia said...

Great list! And how great you get to run with your daughter--priceless!

Heather said...

Awww. Don't add your daughter to the list. That's so nice you ran with her. (Did she dig the hat?)

Good list. I'll have to keep that in mind.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Jeff - I am not surprised one bit

Anyways, I have reach the part of my racing career that now it is all about the race swag, the cooler the swag, the faster I sign up, no swag, no race. I want the goodies, and I have turned into a medal diva, need, need, NEED the finisher medal.

I like the list

Anonymous said...

Jut let your daughter know you finished ahead of her based on "age adjusted time!"

Georgia Snail said...

They give out hats for the Pine Mtn 40 miler around here...very nice swag...

Aka Alice said...

Wouldn't the first three be the same guy?...maybe five?

LOVE the list!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

i love it! sizing up the comptetition! i do it too. i'll see if i can procure another pair of fuzzy slippers for you and will have them waiting or you at IMFL. By the way, how was the wool cap that you got for the race?? Don't think I'll ever see swag like that for a race in Florida.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Love the list!

Lorie said...

This is funny! I am so excited I am mentioned in the blog. How is Ananda's ankle? Sami and I are planning on running another 5K soon--hopefully you guys will run with us.