Monday, November 22, 2010

The Race Marshalls are bloody lost.

Now I'm notorious for getting lost in Trail Events. Turn me round twice and I'm done for. No idea where I've come from or where I'm going and our twisted sisters Running team is well and truly known for our geographical deficits and the challenges we face trying to stay on track.
But last Sunday I had the unusual experience of entering a 10 km. road race in which the race marshalls became somewhat lost and disorientated.
The event was the 10 km./ 5km. Glenelg Classic road race along the beach front road of one of South Australia's most popular tourist beaches. 

The Glenelg forshore.

All seemed well organised and the 10 km. runners myself included set off, followed 10 minutes later by the 5km. entrants. Both distances followed the same route for the first 2.5 km. at which point the 10 km. runners continued on and the 5 km. people turned and looped back on another road to the finish line.

The Running Track.

The 5 km. run continued without incident but for many of us doing the 10 km., things became very confused.
I set off with my race plan ; slow and steady for the first 5km. to warm up, ( because I usually do such long distances I can take quite a while to warm up. ) the next 4km. at a much faster pace and then sprint in the final 1 km.
For the front of the pack there were no problems, but after they had gone through the 5km. turnaround point there was a change in the race marshalls. I passed through the turnaround and then as planned increased my pace. At the 6km mark I followed the marshall's instructions along with many other runners and continued on without ever passing through any more drink stops or marshalled stations.
 Unbeknown to us the new marshall was unclear of the directions and sent us on ahead instead of turning left. The pack separated and I began to tire at my increased speed and think " this is a very long 10 km. " well that's what's printable anyway. I was also getting concerned because it seemed we were running further away from the finishing area. Many of us were also getting very hot and thirsty and wondered where the usual drink stations were. And the organised Police escorts on the roads were no where to be seen.
I don't run with a watch as I prefer to run at a pace my body feels comfortable with .I also don't like to stress out too much about heart rates and times. So with no watch I was beginning to loose track of how long I had been out there for. I paced up to 2 other runners and they were as confused and as tired as I was. One of them was wearing a distance monitor and said we had already done 12.5 km.
At this point we all decided to turn back and head towards the finishing area. Many of us passed through the finishing line from the wrong direction and we were met by a profusely apologetic Race Director who told us there had been a big problem.

I ended up running 13.5 km. with others doing various distances between 11 km. and 13 km. Most of us could see the funny side of the event and appreciate that the organisers are all volunteers and do their best. My only problem was that I was using this run as my virtual race for the Black Knight Army and so had to give Stefano an estimated 10 km. time .
The lead cyclist was also sent in the wrong direction so we had no hope. The chubby Hubby only ran the 5 km. event so he was okay. However with only running 5km. we have all renamed him "  half way Harry "

Trying to work out what went wrong.

Cathy and I at the finish.

Holding my certificate for Stefano to see.

Dear Friend Bette and Husband John who have taught me so much about the enjoyment of running.

Does anyone else have a similar tale to tell about a race that went wrong ?

Thanks for dropping by,
happy running.
 Cheers Karen.


  1. I'm pretty sure you would have been talking and not paying attention and just got lost.

  2. Stefano always trust you, so you don't need to show the certificate. The B.K. is proud of Lady Karen!
    About the Marshall: now you know the reason because someone wrote the song "I shot the marshall".
    I had a similar adventure during a half marathon, wrong information brought me and other runners to run 3 km. more.

  3. Way to go Karen!! You are a super star for running the extra distance:) I had a race like that last year. There were about 40 of us that ended up getting off of the course. We ended up running a few more miles! I just followed the people who were in front of me....I didn't study the course before the race:) Oh well, it was character building!!! Great recap of Stefano's virtual race:)

    BTW, cute running outfit!

  4. What a beautiful place to run; it almost makes the extra distance o.k. :-) I am always worried about getting lost too.

    I'm doing my virtual race this weekend; a recap will follow.

    Have a great day.

  5. Coming to you via Stefano's page.

    What a funny story! I could easily get lost, and even on a well-marked course I've been known to worry that I'm going the wrong way...

    Beautiful pictures, and way to keep a postive attitude about the snafu. I bet that race marshal felt bad! :)

  6. see that's why i don't run........safer not too..........they could make me run too far.........couldn't have that happen........LOL.....feeling sorry for you..........

  7. First of see that BEAUTIFUL weather----oh, makes me long for a lovely run outside (we are in the midst of COLD COLD winter right now).

    Second of all.....OMGOODNESS! I don't think I would have been as "understanding" as you. There has only been one race I've run where the race-course was "interesting," but only for the lead runners. By the time we mid-pack runners made our way to the interchange, things had been figured out.

    Thanks for finding me....will keep my eyes peeled your way too :0)