I was on the road again this weekend. This time in Barrhaven to run a 10k. The day started off well, just hanging out with my nephew, cute little guy. He is going to be a lady killer. He only has a couple of words in his vocabulary, huge fan of the word biiiiiiii (bye). He says it if you enter the room or he enters the room or if you leave a room or if he leaves the room. It’s pretty darn cute!
Anyways, so I went to the race knowing it was a warm day. Kept myself very hydrated all day and was not planning much of a warm up. It felt like 33c when the gun went off so being in the sun and doing a couple strides, just to get the legs fresh, was good for me. Got to the start line and realized it was going to be a race between just three guys this year (Terence Attema, Johana Kariankei and me). Those fellas can roll, but heat can do funny things to people. So my plan was to stick with them and see how I was doing and how things are going. We started out together without a lead bike. We were joined by a couple young gunners (one dude was wearing flip flops and carrying a water bottle). Those guys stuck with us for 800m. We were cruising along at a pretty casual pace when our race took a turn for the worse. There was a T intersection at the 3km mark. The pylons were set up around the corner so we immediately turned the corner(the actual course was straight). We went about 500m or so before the “lead biker” caught up to us and then immediately pealed off to go back to the intended race route. The three of us just kept on trucking. We ran by a course official who pointed us to a path that connected us back on to the route at a roughly the 6km mark of the race. At this point I said something like “so now what do we do?” to the group. No response. So it looks like we have created our own route. We circled through the course, redid the bit we missed, and then tried to figure out where to finish. I dropped back from JK and TA at about 8ish km because by this point I was so turned around I was just going to turn this one into a mini workout. I figured out how to get back to the start by asking people and listening to the sound of the music. On my way to the finish line someone yelled out “first place runner.” I stopped dead in my tracks probably 50m from the line and was so confused (I hope someone took a picture of that moment). I knew I shouldn’t be first and that this whole race experience was really going to be messy from this moment on.
I was worried for the other guys. It was a hot day and if they were going to rerun the 3 or 4km loop on a hot day without any water, it could be trouble.
After I grabbed some refreshments and a couple bananas, the officials pulled me over to have a discussion. He was speaking very sternly. He told me to wait here until the other runners got back. So I did. They got back and we started talking to the official in what I and some on lookers would describe later as very calm and unaggressive tones. We apologized for the confusion and explained what happened. Their response was that this was a tough break, and that because we didn’t follow the course, we will be getting nothing for running this race. We stayed calm and explained to them that this was not intentional and it appeared to be an oversight in the marking of the course. Also, we did not feel at fault because we were not familiar with the course (it had changed from last year). I am not going to talk slander and go into great detail about the 20min conversation. I will say that the whole situation did leave a sour taste in my mouth.
This experience is one that I will not soon forget. It was one where I didn’t let the TBI in me take over and get defensive and confrontational. In the past I would have only been able to see the black and white and responded with my fight or flight instinct. Hell, I just ran 10.36km (flight) on a hot summer’s day so the only thing left to do is fight!
It’s summer time, which means, just burning through shoes and training hard to eliminate excuses for the fall marathon!