You win some and you lose some

The inaugural Monster Dash 5K >5K is complete! I met my goal of winning best couple’s costume, but because I followed the herd and not my gut I missed my running goals of finishing top 3 ladies, top 10 overall, and fastest costumed couple.

Bits and pieces of our award winning couple’s costume: Guilty Lance Armstrong and Dr. Ferrari. Lance-Husband ran with his tarnished trophy and transfusion bag (in his arm, tied off with his Livestrong bracelet) and I ran in a white lab-inspired coat, green athletic “scrubs”, with a stethoscope around my neck and my EPO-filled syringe at the ready.

I was either second or third woman at the turn around (and in the top 10 and for sure one half of the fastest costumed couple, as most runners ahead of us were NOT in costume, so the chances a costumed couple were ahead of us were basically nil), but our group missed the turn back to the finish, climbed a nice long bonus hill (that’s me being positive), did a loop, and then returned back downhill to the turn we missed, adding over 1.5K.

Finding the proper turn, of course, took us up another hill. At that point we were on a dark trail trapped behind slower moving runners, with little opportunity to pass without going off-road or through monster Frankenstorm puddles. Which I did. The finish times are telling: the first four finishers probably took the correct route, but there is a hilarious >4 minute gap between 4th (18.44 – it was a tough, dark course) and 5th (23.03) place.

The most annoying part is that I knew it was an out and back course, but everyone visibly ahead of me ran right past the turn to the trail and there were NO marshals* or signs or pylons telling us to take a hard left. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the pylons place on the course at the turn did not block the return side road, just scooped the outward bound runners in the correct direction and so I didn’t even notice them until we ran back to that spot – I’ve drawn a terrible schematic to help you understand my stupidity.

Terrible schematic.

I also hadn’t studied the course carefully, which is on me. As we ran up the wrong hill my gut told me we were going the wrong way, but because I hadn’t studied the course I didn’t trust my gut. The movement of a group is a tremendous pull. I even caught up with the runner in front and asked, is this the proper course, and he very confidently said YES. I was so uncertain I asked again, are you certain and he, a little more annoyed this time, said YES. Trust no one.

The lost ones  included Husband, who was a few spots ahead – he too wondered about the route, but thought, ironically given his costume, I don’t want to cheat and cut the course short.

The overall prizes were pretty darn good and I’m a bit disappointed to lose out on some awesome Salomon gear or sweet headphones, but I can’t complain too much as overall it was a pretty fun event. The course was definitely as spooky as advertised, even without the added touches of the graveyard and other  Halloweeny decor, the pre and post race perks were terrific, and the swag bag was packed. That and I’m pretty stoked to have won a costume award (which included a box of Clif Bars and a $20 Value Village gift card for future costume needs). I like to win.

*Given the conditions (pre-hurricane wind and rain), we were told about 50% of the volunteers were no shows. Those who did brave the elements were amazing and to them I say thank you!

Title: Scandal – Win Some Lose Some. 1982.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to this race.


6 responses to “You win some and you lose some

  1. Oh no, that’s crummy about missing the turn! I worry about doing something like that on a trail run, where it’s sometimes not well marked. Knowing me I’d never find my way back. Congrats on best costume. Brilliant!

    • Thanks!

      I feel for the RD. I direct a series of trail races and one of my biggest concerns is that runners will go off course… but I reassure myself that we’ve never permanently lost anyone ;).

  2. I feel for you since I too was one of the unlucky runners to not take the turn. As it turned out I was the last runner to miss the turn since I never crossed anyone else on my return loop and down the hill. I estimated approx. 10-12 people missed the turn which would fill that +4 minute gap nicely between 4th and 5th place. What should have been a top 20 finish ended up being 50+. Oh well, live and learn!

    • Ahh, that sucks. It must have been so weird running up there alone. I saw runners coming and going, so it wasn’t super spooky. When I returned a marshal was at the turn, so you must have just missed him. I hope you otherwise had a good evening.

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