Ok, so it’s been a while… again. But we’ve got some pretty decent reasons for our absenteeism. Let’s catch up, shall we?
On April 20, we both ran the Run4Fun 5K at the Eastside YMCA in Taylors. This run was a challenge, not because of the course, which was relatively flat, but because of the weather. When you think of a run in late April in South Carolina, you think of mild, pleasant weather. Instead, the early morning run was greeted with temperatures in the 40’s and a brisk wind that made all the participants shudder as we awaited the starting signal.
Still, the race was a successful one for team Moore. Lesley set her personal record for a 5K,
and I (Andrew) actually won first place in my age division!
Needless to say, we were happy campers. The course was fairly simple, though there were some moments of worry, as there seemed to be very little buffer between runners and the traffic at times. Luckily, due to the quiet suburban neighborhood and early Saturday morning start time, traffic was fairly light. Overall, we were quite pleased with this race. It’s a great opportunity for seasoned runners set PR’s, or for new runners to give competing a whirl.
Of course, not all races can be great ones.
Speaking of which, no matter what you’ve heard, do not ever, ever run the GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K. If a friend asks you to run the race with him or her, break your legs to prevent such a mistake. For such a popular race, this is the most poorly executed, overhyped race we’ve ever had the misfortune to take part in – one that is so dreadful, that not only are we not going to go next year, but we feel it to be our duty to warn others against doing so as well.
This race, boasting 5,000 participants, was a disaster from the outset. It wasn’t the rainy weather that did it – in fact, that actually was a welcome sensation to us. The execution of this event was downright amateurish, and frankly, an epic failure. Travelers Rest, boasting an incredible running and cycling venue like the Swamp Rabbit Trail, deserves better than this circus.
The 5,000 participants were supposedly divided into corals based upon self-assessed mile times. Those running sub 5-minute miles were supposed to be at the head of the pack, those with 10-minute miles around the middle, and those with strollers or those walking should have been in the back, etc. The problem? Corals only work when you actually allow distance between the groups. Instead, organizers simply placed each group directly behind one another, and let them all start at the same time.
Yep, that’s right. 5,000 people, ranging from grizzled veteran runners to overweight Dads bearing their weight on children’s strollers they were pushing, all started on a narrow Travelers Rest road at the same time.
Look, Lesley and I aren’t killer runners. We’re new to this. But literally 10 steps into this event, Lesley and I looked at each other, and simultaneously said “I’m never doing this again.”
There was simply no room to run due to the lack of effective corals, and this was exacerbated by the fact that a large number of participants apparently didn’t think the rules applied to them. Those in strollers meandered up to the 10-minute mile coral just before the starting signal, and walkers and those with kids, instead of following the pre-race instruction to stay to the right, choked up the course by casually ambling through the course without breaking a sweat, shoulder to shoulder with each other.
Once the course made its way to the narrow confines of the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the situation became downright maddening. The only way we aren’t still running this race is because we constantly had to scream “PASSING“ at the walkers and stroller-toters who refused to take to the right side of the course. Some people are trying to compete in a race here. It’s all for fun, yes, but what fun is it to run in a race when you can barely run at all?
In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, we also participated in a “Runners For Boston” event. Lesley, Connor and I all ran 2.6 miles in honor of the victims of the horrors in Boston. This was an awesome event.
In late May, I ran on my own in my first 8K. It, unfortunately was very poorly organized, and eventually cut short. My pace was strong, and I felt good about my performance, but not having a true official time made me wonder if it was worth the price of admission. It was the “80’s 8K” at the Imagine Center off of Haywood Road. The theming was terrific – the race? Meh.
We got up bright and early for our next race – another 8K, which was Lesley’s first. The Greenville Track Club put on the Sunrise 8K in Simpsonville, and though this was not a chip-timed event, it was executed flawlessly. The course went through winding suburban neighborhoods in the pleasant summer morning sun, and was challenging without being overwhelming. Lesley was VERY pleased with her pace, and frankly, surprised. She’d not been able to run as much as she wanted to before this race, and her performance in it bolstered her confidence to keep on trucking toward our goal of racing at the Princess Half Marathon next February… which we have now officially registered for.
We have just more than two months until the Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Disney World, and about 6 months until the Princess. Those goals were already going to be tough ones. June 18, 2013 ensured they would be even harder.
You see, Lesley ran in the Red, White, and Blue Shoes 5K at Furman on July 4. She had to go it alone. Read our next blog entry to see how the events of June 18 required me to watch Lesley’s next race from a wheelchair.