or… better yet… when is a 5k NOT a 5k?
I’ve been excited about doing another 5K for awhile now. What better way to put all your hard work in one place and check your progress, then to run a race?
I signed up for a 5k. I signed Ethan up. I signed two students up. I found a school driver/chaperone. I got the proper papers signed. People helped pay for it.
The big day has arrived? Well, that’s debatable. I was sure I saw age groups on the website. There weren’t even bibs. #bibchat No, no bibs. Really? Ok. No timing. It was whoever had a 5K bracelet on and crossed the finish line first, won. Whoever had a 10k bracelet and crossed first, won. Same for walkers. That was it. So, that wasn’t too big of a deal, at least the kids would get a feel for their first 5k. You’d think.
They never marked the route.
They didn’t really have a start time either. No gun. Just a woman with a microphone who all the sudden yelled, “Run, Just run!” then “go go go”. hunh? You’d never seen a group of people looking more confused. People just sort of took off in all directions. I caught up to my son at the .8 . I was really proud of him, he was doing great! I wouldn’t see him again for almost 3 hours.
The 5K was not marked. Nothing was marked. I never saw anyone turn. I managed to stay just behind a couple people for awhile. Til I realized #MapMyFitness, my phone app told him I’d run 3 miles… um, what? So do I stop? Do I turn around? I figured ok, I’ve gone this far, run my heart out, set a new record, just do the 10k, and consider it a good weekend run. Coming back, I caught sight of the girl I was following. Had I not caught up to her somewhat, she was about 2 blocks ahead, I would have never found my way back. I was really nervous I’d lose her. Coming back was great. My two students ran out to greet me. That was awesome. It really made me feel good.
I asked about Ethan, but he had not returned. We made a few jokes about it. But inside, I was concerned. I figured if I missed the turn, he would too. Also, he would take whatever path I took. The wait was on.
After about 20 minutes, I found the director and got a phone number from her. They had two cars on the street watching for people who couldn’t make it, and bring them back. Some guy named Eric agreed to go look for Ethan. After a long 15 minutes they hadn’t found him. The race was about 1:45 in now. Eric agreed to look again. One of the students parents were there, they went to look. Our driver went to look. The other student and I started walking and asking everyone we passed if the saw Ethan. Nothing.
I finally went to the police doing traffic control for the race. They called people. I went back to the race. We waited. Nothing. The police at the race got a description and put it out on the radio. They even had probation looking for him. Nothing.
A friend of mine who lives in Winslow came over to wait with me. As she was coming over, I went in the bathroom to collect myself. By this time, I was really upset. Visibly shaking.2:30 and no Ethan. As I was coming out, Ethan walked in the car dealership where the race was. What a feeling. Indescribable. I didn’t realize just how upset I was until I was hugging him. He hugged me back by the way! He was so relieved to be back. What happened was this:
He was following me. He saw me run back down a parallel street, but didn’t want to cut over and ‘cheat’. He ran way passed the 10K turn around, NOT MARKED!, turned around, (he was near a major Route 40 exit) and ran the other way. Some how he kept running and ended up on the other side of the town, at least a FULL MILE past where the race was. He saw a man who was running, and the man came over to him (how dangerous is that?!) but they discovered they were both lost. The man’s name was Paul. Paul got them directions and brought himself and Ethan back to the race.
Part of me wants to know WHO WOULD BE SO STUPID as to NOT MARK A 5k? This wasn’t a difficult task. They had plenty of water stations, but not ONE SINGLE PERSON to MARK THE WAY? It isn’t a new race either. This was their 7th year. (YES 7th).
It was for a good cancer. Cancer. All cancer. They had a raffle, food for sale, etc. Once we found Ethan, we had a great time. Ethan even won two raffles, an olive oil pitcher set (don’t ask, it’s Ethan), and a $10 Chick Fil A gift card. One of our students won the 5k. So that was cool. He got a fancy water bottle and two Chipotle coupons. Then we went to the tourist trap Standing on the Corner in Winslow, Az
What was funny, is we ran in to Paul and his wife here. (above) Paul actually took this picture. I thanked him again.
After that, we all headed to Sonic. It was a great time over all. Other than losing Ethan, we really had a fun time. It was a great trip. Now that we’re back and it’s over, we are laughing about it all. Especially the lady yelling RUN, JUST RUN. (yeah, run where lady?)
relax with me, it’s all over.
At least til I find another 5k.