Race Report : SARC Shamrock 5K 2014

On Sunday I drug myself out of bed (well more like the house in general) to do a “fun” little 5K with my friend Liz.

SARC Shamrock Banner

I have done this particular event several times over the years. Sometimes with my Mom, other times on my own. About 2-3 years ago they changed the course for the 5K (the event also has a 15K option) and instead of going out and back along a main road, including a handful of challenging hills, you weave in and out of neighborhoods on a “flat and fast” course. Many people loved the change and I agree it is much more “family friendly”, however I looked forward to the hills. I wanted the challenge. After sitting in the house most of winter, it felt good to stretch my body and push myself to new limits. The new course is boring.

Before I continue, I will fully admit I walked into this event not liking it. So, some of my reactions are biased. I agreed to it because Liz was kind enough to agree to do the tri with me last weekend and I also thought I could use the time on the roads.

Since I live about 15 minutes away it didn’t take long to get ready. The race was at 1200, I was still in pajamas at 1100. I arrived around 1130-1140 and went to stand in line. One of the things about SARC races, they seem to either over sell their events, or parking and checking in are simply poorly planned. I’ve heard MANY people say the same thing. Here is the line for checking in (no, really, there’s a line in there somewhere).

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We stood in a line that moved quickly, but it wasn’t until you were at the tables you were asked for your number (not your name). The doorway in my picture is further away from check in, where the line eventually weaved out into the hall of the school. The doorway with the numbers posted was along the same wall and closer to the tables. Advice piece #1 move the boards to the back doors. Even if the lines are shorter, it keeps the crowd away from the main area. At the tables my friend and I ducked over to grab our numbers (along with a few other people) and when we got back to the table a woman (VERY RUDELY) said to me “Excuse me, the line starts back there”. I looked her dead in the eye and said “I know, we’ve been standing in it, we didn’t know we needed our numbers” and stood in my spot.

After collecting my new lime green shirt and bib, we went in search of water and people we might know. We only found the water, and grabbed a few pictures together before heading out onto the course. When I first went to leave my house, I was wearing a LS green tech shirt and a SS bright green top over it. This was NOT ENOUGH CLOTHING AT ALL. So I tossed on my Ireland hooded sweatshirt (Yes, it is FROM Ireland) and was much warmer. The beads were a nice touch, right?

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Liz wasn’t sure what to do with the shirts since we didn’t have time to run back to our cars. She wore hers as an extra layer since she was cold. I pulled and twisted mine into a fancy little face gaiter/scarf/wind block.

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As I mentioned above, the course itself is boring. We jogged for maybe 5 minutes (if that) before we decided to go back to walking. Liz was getting over a cold and has some asthma related concerns so I agreed to stay with her. Along the way we met a new friend, so the 3 of us chatted and walked and enjoyed the day. Many people were dressed in greens or orange and the best costumes we saw were from a group of girls walking very near to us most of the event.

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The shirts say “Kiss me then Spank me. I’m Irish and I’m Naughty”.

We also ran the last portion of the race as we crossed the finish line. The clock read about 53 minutes. We then went inside where they offered an assortment of breads, soups, popcorn and other goodies, none of which were allergy friendly to me. Liz ran off to chat with a friend, we took a picture with our new friend, then once I was no longer freezing to the bones we went back to the cars. We both agreed if we do the event next year we might as well go for the 15K and get the better shirt (LS tech pullover instead of SS regular shirt) and a medal at the end.

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The official times are not posed yet. Apparently the “issue” is how several people dropped from the 15K to the 5K but didn’t notify anyone. FB is blowing up with people complaining about how it’s rude to do that and how it would have been easy to notify someone. EXCUSE me? Where you at the same event? It was such a cluster-f to even check-in to your actual event. Many people had done early pick up too. Like anyone was going to create even more chaos to ask about switching. SARC can push the blame on the runners, and in the end they did make the choice to do what they did, but I still think (the race) created a problematic environment. Also, I fully understand how hard it is to put on a race, and I would never want to be a director for a day, but c’mon lots of other people and places put on great events, so why are SARC events always such a mess? SIGH. As you can tell though, from my words above, as much as I get frustrated with the events, I will continue to participate in them. After all, I’m not anyone or anything special (aka a professional runner), so who am I to really get too worked up over it all? Haha.

In the end it was a fun little adventure with my friend, I socialized, got fresh air and stretched my legs. Everything else is just details.

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