On October 5th I raced in the Slainte $20 5k series in Hamilton, part 1 of a 3 race series.  The winner of the series is determined by the total time for all three races.  Sounds cool, right?  Well, not quite…

First of all I was in the middle of a 5×12 hour night shift when I thought it would be a good ides to leave from work at 7am, drive to Hamilton, sleep in my car for 2 hours and then run a race… Crazy… Stupid… Agreed!

So as I walk towards the Macassa Yacht Club to pick up my race kit I bump into another competitor who says the yacht club knows nothing about a race today.  Weird right?  So now we have a big group of about 3 racers searching the Bayfront Park looking for any sign of a race… no luck, the park is deserted.  Back to the yacht club and guess who showed up!  Apparently there is a race.  So I grab my bib and ask, “where is this race”???  Less than an hour to gun time and Bayfront Park is empty.  They simply point and say the start is over there along the path…  Well gee wiz, thanks.  I start to think this may just be a local race am I am the only Out of Towner without a clue.  Nut as the racers keep coming no one can find where the race starts or which direction it heads.  I even saw one poor girl in tears thinking she was going to miss the start because of all the confusion.

Around 1pm when the race was supposed to start an official (finally) shows up and says yes, this IS the start location.  Great!  Now, where does the course go?  The only answer I got was a shrug of the shoulders.  Lack of sleep has me in hysterics at this point.  About 10 minutes later a guy shows up on a bike to lead the race.

FINALLY bang goes the gun and off we go.  I ran out too fast, my first km was a 3:04, and with the lack of sleep I quickly paid for my mistake.  I did manage to keep it together though and pulled off a win with a final time of 17:10.

The course turned out to be a beautiful run along the waterfront on a paved path that was smooth and flat.  And although the race officials were completely unorganized, they were very nice people and the local racing folks were fantastic, as most runners are.

I would just like to say to anyone putting on a race – throw up markers every kilometer!  And a couple of signs for the start line and race kit pickup would be helpful.  Even hand-drawn construction paper signs.  Most of us runners put a lot of time into our training and take our races seriously, so a little organization allows us to get into the race with minimal questions and enjoy the event.

As I said, this race is part of a 3 run series, but I will not be returning to finish.  I hope they are successful with the final two and will hopefully learn from this one and get things put together a little better next time.  Our local grassroots racing in the Kawarthas have this race beat, hands down.

One more week until the Scotia half in Toronto… I can’t wait!