Also known as the race that didn’t happen.
After my experience last year I was sure that I would run this race every year, make it a holiday habit like the TreesGreenville Turkey Day 8k. After this year’s experience, I scour race listings to find another race with which to kick off the new year.
Like last year, runners could register on two different platforms, the YMCA’s internal platform and racemine. Since I am not a member of the YMCA of Greater Spartanburg, I registered us through racemine. Nothing seemed different from last year so I expected a repeat.
The weather threw us a curveball with a below freezing temperature but at least no rain accompanied us. We arrived around the same time, 8:10 and headed in to get our bibs and shirts.
This is where things got interesting. As we stood in line, I overheard another runner asking about bibs. I could not hear all of the volunteer’s answers but heard something about there not being any bibs this year. What?
Sure enough…we stepped up to the table and after they finally found us on the separate list and asked if we had paid yet – again, what? – they handed us our bags. I stepped off to the side, opened the bag and found a shirt and several slips of paper including one with “directions” printed on it. No bibs.
I stepped back over to the packet pick up table and asked about it. The volunteer told me that since it’s just a fun run, they did not have any bibs this year. They had a clock at the finish line but no official timing.
Seriously? A fun run? We had bibs last year. Nothing in any of their materials indicated that this was just a fun run. Even if it was a fun run, how could you possibly tell which people actually registered and paid for the materials if you did not also give them a bib to wear?
Okay fine. We would run the race and not get a bib. We had come all the way out to Spartanburg after all.
As we sat inside and waited, I thought about that paper with “directions” on it. Those “directions” consisted of one or two words – street names I assume – and directional arrows. I am not from Spartanburg or in any way familiar with any of those directions. Plus, who takes those sorts of directions with them out on a run? The paper would blow out of my hand in seconds.
I checked again with one of the volunteers manning the pick up table who assured me that the course had been marked. The race director placed those directions in there just in case because several people last year had issues. (If you read my recap from last year, those issues were caused by a volunteer telling people to run the wrong way, not an improperly marked course.)
While reassured that the course was in fact marked, I already had lost my desire to run this “race.” I asked Mom if she would rather run the 5 miler instead of the 10 miler. After all, we didn’t have bibs so would know the difference? They were the same price too. She was game.
Around 8:40 with 20 minutes still left before race start we saw a huge group head away from the building. Okay…why? Should we go? I had no desire to miss the start like we almost did last year. Then we wondered if that group of people headed out for the one miler or something. Unsure, we found another volunteer and asked where the start was.
Her answer erased any remaining confidence we had in the race. She mentioned two different locations that it could possibly be, that they kept changing their minds and advised use to wait until this group headed out.
We decided to cut our losses ($30) and head home. If we wanted to run a “fun run,” we would run it back home where we knew where we were going and wouldn’t get lost.
I will admit to extreme disappointment that the “race” devolved like this. Unfortunately, I have to put that $30 in the sunk cost column and keep moving forward.
I came home and ran 6.5 miles at home in the extremely chilly weather at an 8:33 average pace which felt easy! I’ll take that any day.