Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rum Run!!! OR How my kids didn't get their medals

This past Sunday was the 10 Cane Rum Run to raise money for the Children's Cancer Association.  A worthy cause, and one for which we are semi connected to.  You can read why here.  So the day dawned just about perfect for a race day.  It was overcast and about 50.  Nice weather for putting on the running shoes.  I was dreading the thought of having the sun come out and warming things up.  I put the finishing touches on the Strata that we would be eating for brunch and programmed the oven to start cooking while we were out.  The sitter showed up to watch Number 4, and the rest of us headed to the van.  All looking quite sporty in our black shirts.

We arrived in Tualatin, and pulled into a surprisingly empty public parking lot....hmm must have been a lot of people not realize that the grocery store could technically have them towed from their lot.  Oh well, it was close enough to the start/finish area that I was happy to lock my warmer clothes inside and then head to the race area.  We tracked down our friends we were meeting there, and got the kids situated into the "child watch" area.  IF I/we run this next year, I may just have the Mrs. watch them.  $20 for three kids to enter, then another $20 for them to hang out while we run?  I could have just finished the race, driven home, then brought them back in time for their race.

So, the 10K started first, and ONLY 15 minutes later than advertised, and we were off.  The course starts off flat enough, and my first thoughts were, "I shoulda hit the latrine, first".  There was a short distance to the first/second water stop and they had one Porta-john there.  I hit the door, and no one was home, so I stopped.  My friend yelled, "DUUUDE?!?!" as I peeled off, but hey, what are you gonna do?  Feeling LOTS better a few seconds later, I hit the trail again looking to see how far behind my friend I was.  As we climbed the first good hill, I could see him at the top.  I dropped a gear, and powered up the hill.  I caught up to him a short while later, and ran behind him catching my breath for a few minutes.  Then I eased up even with him to let him know he'd been caught.  He asked me if I was going too fast, I said that my goal was "to puke in the lake at the end."  He told me to have fun with that, and he would see me at the end.  I left him just before we made the decent back down into the park.

That downhill was a tough one, and I pushed a bit on it to see where I could get to.  By the time we were at the half-way point I was feeling like I had gone out a bit fast, but I wasn't going to back off the throttle any.  Or, at least not too much.  We cruised through some tree lined unpaved areas of the park and as we headed to the boat landing, I jokingly said out loud, "Are they going to make us swim across?"  The guy next to me didn't look that amused.  Maybe because I could still joke as I was passing him.  After we wound by the Tualatin River we made our way back to the paved trail and to the first/second water stop.  I have been consistently going about 4 miles before my first drink, and that was about where this stop was, so I took a cup and gulped it down.  I think I should have brought the hand-held that I got my wife.  I don't mind that it is pink, although, I do get the occasional look from others when I run with it.

So, back onto the paved trail, and back towards the bridge over the river, except that instead of a right, we take a left to a nice short steep hill that is awaiting us.  I had run this in a group run a few weeks ago, so I knew it was there, however, my lack of sleep was catching up, and I ended up walking up the last little bit of the hill.  DAMN!!!  The cute girl that I was trading off and on with trudged by me, but after I got to the top and started running again, I passed her a short while later again.  We wound back towards the start and then made the turn onto the street where the start was.  They left the starting gate up, man what a mean trick.  You are all set to go when you see the gate, but we knew that it was one lap around the "lake" (they have a pond in the center of the town that is kind of neat) before we finish.  A quick left onto the sidewalk around the lake and as I am making the last corner towards the finish...the little girl goes by me.  I say, "Oh sure!  Chick me at the end!"  Well, not this time.  I downshift and kick it out.  I went by her and another guy right at the finish.  I am hoping that the photos look good, cuz I might want that one.

I didn't puke, but it was a bit before I got some water, the dancers that were leiing us at the end were also to give us water, but somehow I missed that.  I was looking for the Mrs. to see how she had done.  Since I hadn't passed her, I knew she had to be in that mess of people somewhere.  I found her, a banana, a piece of bread with some peanut butter on it and a Jamba Juice.  We gathered the group together and tried to figure out the kids race schedule.  There was to be an hour between the time we finished until the kids were to start, so everyone else headed to the beer garden, while I hung with the kidlettes.  Ah, where would we be without the ease of communications provided by texting in large groups?  When it was close to time, I sent a message out, and the other dad came over to help get the kids to their race.

THIS IS WHERE I GET ANNOYED!!!  So far, it had been a fairly well run deal.  Yeah, they started the two main events a little late, but hey, that's not that bid a deal, it happens to lots of races.  However, with the kids races, the schedule clearly posted that the short race-one lap around the lake- would start and then 15 minutes later the kids 1K would start.  Yeah, well, they broke the first race into 3 races each taking about 15 minutes to run.  3-6 year olds with parents, 7-9 year olds without parents, 10-13 year olds.  THEN they started the 1K race, also broken into 2 heats.  The first being 3-6 year olds the second being 7-13's.  Number 3 just turned 6 this past week and was concerned that she wouldn't be allowed to run with the other girls.  We told her that it wasn't a problem.  Now our 4 girls and the other fams son were all going to take off about the same time.  But the way they were running the starts, the boy got out on the "first wave" of the second heat.  He finished fourth against kids that were clearly older than him.  The kid has some legs.  Then our girls started to come in, well my oldest anyway.  The other older girl stayed with my two littles, and they finished last.  I'm cool with that except that all the kids were supposed to get Finisher's medals, yeah, they ran out.  UM, Excuse me?!?!?  You have 200 kids spots FILLED.  Did you NOT order 220 medals JUST IN CASE?!?!?!

We pitched a fit, and the RD found some of the 5 and 10K medals from last year, you know the ones they give to the top three age group winners.  You know the ones that they know exactly how many they will need, since there are only 3 in each age group and the number of groups doesn't change ever.  NOT really that impressed.  They have extras for the adults, but not for the kidsTHE KIDS.  Let me repeat that for you in case you missed it the first few times.  T.H.E.  K.I.D.S

While we went home mostly happy, the kids all know that this race they got kinda messed up on, because three of them didn't get the medals hung around their necks like everyone else did.  The RD did give me his business card, and I am going to e-mail him and let him know that he can read all about the race from my point of view here.  I will let him decide what he wants to do. I get that he doesn't have an easy job putting together all the details of the race, but I am thinking on the one thing that you want to have extras of...that MIGHT be the main one.

And for those of you following along...we got home at Noon, and the oven beeped that the strata was ready to eat at 12:15.  We had a marvelous brunch, and the strata was fantastic (if I do say so myself).


  1. Oh man, things like this do NOT a happy Fruit Fly make!

    I read a race report from some Disneyland races last year - and they ran out. If they have a limited number of spots, then how do you still not have AT LEAST that many medals ready for the finishers?

    I was disappointed when I had to wait for my race shirt to be mailed to me once, but this would be an even bigger disappointment. And I'm technically not in the "kid" category anymore. If I was, well, a tear may have come down my cheek. Any race for me is a huge victory, I can only imagine how exciting it would be if I were a couple feet shorter and a couple decades younger. Poor things. :(

    **I was obviously NOT at this race. I thought it sounded fun, but the leg would not cooperate and thus I had a terribly painful run of 3 miles on my own instead.**

    Congrats to you on not getting chicked!

  2. Such a downer when they screw up things on KIDS! Kind of makes it not so fun :( But it is pretty awesome that they did have SOME cool medals for the kids... so there's that... AND the marvelous brunch :) But you being so gadgety and all, I would have expected as much!

  3. I'm sure you've made your point, and eloquently so. I would bet that they ask for your input in how to organise kids races for next year. And follow your advice on making sure there's extra medals for the kids.

  4. Nice time except for the medals - uncalled for.

    No rum? Sad.

    looking forward to the pics.

  5. I've been to a couple races where they have ran out of medal and food. It always frustrates me when they advertise fun run/walks and if I'm running (even though I'm not fast) and they run out, then what about all the people walking??? It fires me up more if my kids are left out after trying so hard.

    BTW ~ I would LOVE for you to have a sign for me at the Run For The Roses. After all the races I've run, I've still never had a sign. You are awesome for doing it. Thank you!!!!

  6. First- if the RD is reading this:
    If you require the children to register for a race, you ought to have enough awards for them all. Or, explain in the registration that there is a CAP and only enough awards for the first 200. This kind of thing will not get people to return in the future.

    OK...about your race, nat. Well done on the PR!! I especially liked the part of you NOT getting chicked. =D