4 Ways Not to Run a Race

by LeavingAustin

My Newton's helped me get my PR!

Last weekend The Professor and I ran in the Charlottesville Half Marathon race. Held in Charlottesville, Virginia, home to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia, it was a hilly course in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The sky was full of dense cloud cover, so we didn’t see any mountains, but the course was beautiful! We ran through the downtown area, UVA and then out to curvy, country roads.

Since it was April, I didn’t think I needed to bring gloves. Wrong. My hands were freezing the entire race. Maybe that was a good thing. I ended up with a PR – Personal Record — even with all the hills.

I thought I could beat The Professor. After all, I trained more than he did. Wrong. We stayed together until just after Mile 9 — right after I went off the side of the road, around a stone wall and peed. The Professor was my lookout, and when I was done, he took off. Finished 3 minutes before me.

Talking about peeing outside is about as potty mouth as I’m gonna get here. Although both The Professor and I were using 4-letter vocab words during the first half of the race because it was the worst run race we’d ever ran. And that had nothing to do with us.  At first we thought,

Gosh, don’t they know how to run races in Virginia? But then we ran a race in Virginia Beach a few years ago, and it ran like a machine. Of course, that was run by the Rock n Roll people who, except for sky-high race fees, have Wal-Marted the whole race experience.

These Charlottesville race organizers screwed almost everything up. I guess it didn’t help that they had the word ‘Bad’ in their company name. They sure lived up to it.  Wonder if they ever heard of “thoughts become things“? Because they really were bad to the bone.

Instead of complaining, I decided I’m gonna stay real positive here and let race organizers know about some of the things to take care of during a race…like the people who have paid you money!

4 Ways To Run A Race

  1. Packet Pickup —  Actually keep track of the people who have signed up and sent you money. Be nice to the people you hire to work the packet pickup area, and maybe they’ll be nice to the racers.
  2. Port-A-Potty’s — It’s a good idea to have more than 2 along the route. There was a lot of fertilizing going on along the country roads in Charlottesville last weekend. And I mean a lot!
  3. Music — At the beginning of the run, while the racers are waiting for the gun to go off, at least bring your boom box from home and set it at max volume. It gets the energy going! I think in just about every race I’ve done in Austin and anywhere in Texas, there’s not only loud music, but the Star Spangled Banner is played and then everyone takes off! It helps to start off with a fun and party-like atmosphere and remind people what country they’re running in.
  4. Community — Make friends with community groups and engage volunteers. That’s how you get folks along the side of the road cheering on the runners. We runners who pay your race fees appreciate that. Crowd support was weak in Charlottesville. Whoops. Sorry about that I wasn’t supposed to go negative here, but I really don’t understand why Runners World called it one of the best new marathons in the U.S.

The Professor and I were lucky to have Race Friend #1 on the East Coast in Charlottesville. She got up with us at 4 in the morning and drove us to the start area. She even went to get our packets the day before — but they couldn’t find The Professor — so we had to get there extra early on race day to stand in another line. And then once we got to the front of the line, they wanted us to wait until the line behind us was served. Uh oh. Gotta watch myself getting negative again. Race Friend #1 was there at the finish line cheering us in. We did a very Austin-like thing when we got back to her house: made migas!


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