Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Joy of Racing

I am going to be very sad once this racing season is over because I have really taking this racing thing head on, some might even say obsessed. I have only been consistently running since February and my first race was March 17th. Since then I have ran 10 races and I still have at least 3 more planned for the rest of the year. A lot of people say they run for sanity, health, etc. Is it bad to say that I run to race? Racing is so exciting to me. The competition, the atmosphere, the goal of trying to better myself. I think Oprah Winfrey said it best when she said:

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it”

This quote is so true. This is why I love running/racing. How I compete at a race is a direct correlation to how I’ve trained. Unlike in other team sports where you are depending on others, it’s only you. I’m not saying I don’t love team sports (because I do), but there is no one else to blame. If I don’t do well, it’s all on me. I consider myself to be a very independent person, and running is a great independent sport.

On that note of not blaming anyone or anything for my perceived failures, I have yet another race recap to talk about.This past weekend I participated in the Race to Benefit the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit 5k and 10k. This was the inaugural year for this race, and like most races, I couldn’t resist the allure of a free technical t-shirt and cheap entry fee ($25). This was a very small race with only 162 people doing the 5k and another 79 doing the 10k. I opted for the 5k. Since this run was put on by the Reno Running Company, they were giving away gift certificates for AG winners 3 deep. The course was definitely not flat by any means, so I knew I would most likely not PR, but since it was such a small race, I thought I had a shot at an age group placement. This race started about 15 minutes later than it should have. One of my friends and her husband were running in the race so I lined up with her near the middle back. The race started about 15mins late (better late than never I guess).  The first .75mi was downhill. I should have taken the opportunity to use the downhill and go out really fast, but again my fear of going out too fast got the better of me. My first split was 8:14. The course was a lollipop shape through a neighborhood. It wasn’t pretty or scenic, and like I said previously it was not flat. The next mile was 8:41. Since this was a lollipop course, I would have to go back up that huge downhill in the beginning of the race. It was tougher than it should have been. I struggled the entire way up, but still managed to eke out an 8:44 for the final mile and 7:35 for the last .1mi. My friends husband was already done and relaxing by the time I got to the finish line. This was his first 5k and he still managed to place first in his age group and 12th overall. My results…not so good. I placed 32nd overall and 4th in my AG (for the 4th time, will it ever be my time to get an AG placement). However, upon a closer look I noticed something about the girl in 3rd place.

Lauren Tomory

Eleanor Su
Hayley George
Lynsey Day (me)

Do you see it? She had a faster gun time than me, but I had the faster chip time. Normally I wouldn’t put up a fuss, but there was a gift certificate to my favorite running store on the line, So I went up to the women who was posting the results and asked her if they were going by gun time or chip time. She wasn’t sure but said I should go talk to the people doing the timing. I went to them, and they said they were pretty sure it was going by chip time. So I told them that my chip time was faster than the girl in 3rd place. They told me to go talk to the race director. I found him and asked him the same question. Chip time, or gun time? He told me they were going by gun time because he didn’t think it was fair that if someone showed up 5 minutes late to the race and crossed the finish line after everyone else should deserve an award. In the nicest way I could I said, “So, even though I was on time for the race and ran the course 4 seconds faster than the girl in 3rd place, but obviously started behind her, I don’t deserve 3rd place in my AG?” He just said that they were trying to be as fair as possible and that awards should be given by who crossed the finish line first. Seriously??? Had I known that, I would have started up at the front. I have to say I feel pretty cheated out of an AG and a gift certificate. I was a good sport and still clapped for her when they called her name.
So, 26:48...not my best, but also not my worst. I guess that is about my average for a 5k. My Garmin put me at a 8:30 pace because it said I went a total of 3.15mi. I honestly don’t think I will be running in their 2nd annual race, but it was still a race, and I still had a great time.


  1. Oh, that sucks. It's usually that the overall awards go by gun time and AG awards go by chip time. Good job nonetheless.

  2. I'm surprised they went by gun time for AG awards, it's usually chip time. But you should pat yourself on the back because you DID finish in 3rd place! Good Job!

  3. You said this was the "inaugural year" for this race - I wonder if the RD was new, too, because I do not understand his logic. Not everyone trying for a PR or AG award can line up in the front row.

    But congratulations on your finish. And keep at it! I too had many "not quite" races before I finally broke through. I would treasure my first award (a Xmas tree ornament) forever...if I hadn't dropped it. But I got another one the following year!


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