I did it. I ran the five mile Newport Pie Run.
If you start your day by running five miles in the rain, then the rest of the day should be more comforable in comparison, right?
Actually, the run was enjoyable. It rained throughout the first half of the race, stopped briefly, and then resumed more heavily toward the end, but the temperature was quite mild -- mid to upper fifties -- and the usual killer wind that comes across Narraganset Bay at the turn-around point seemed to be missing. This is always a popular race but there seemed to be a larger than usual number of runners. (I tried to check this out in the Providence Journal but there was not a word about it that I could find in the next day's paper, nor on Saturday either. I couldn't find anything about it on their ProJo.com website either. The Newport Daily News doesn't appear to have a webpage and it isn't sold anywhere in my town. Oh well, I suppose eventually I could search various running sites... ) Fortunately I was not actually racing to try to get a fast time, because there was the usual traffic jam of walkers during the final mile. I have seen races that combine a 5K run and a 5K walk that start both events together... but the runners will have finished ahead of the walkers even if they are using the same course. Other races offer different length events, such as a five mile run and a five K walk, but run them separately, so that they don't overlap at the finish. The Newport Pie Run, however, has both a five mile run and a 5K walk which start together and finish together. This means a clogged start, with walkers blocking runners... and later on, a clogged finish. The elite runners, of course, will have finished well before the first walkers reach the street leading to the finish line, but as slower runners (such as yours truly) come along, they find the street filled with walkers, strolling along five or six abreast, chatting away, oblivious to the runners zig-zagging to get around them. Even worse are the walkers with dogs. Here you are running along, just another block or two to the finish, when suddenly your path is blocked by ten feet of leash connecting owner and dog... Do you suddenly swerve to the left or to the right or attempt to leap over? Oh well, I was really just jogging along this year... but in some previous years, when my daughter was winning age group trophies, I was running a lot faster and the way was still blocked by walkers. It would be nice if they were to divide the roadway -- runners to the right, walkers to the left -- half a mile or so before the finish instead of right at the finish.
Ah well, it was a good start to Thanksgiving Day...
I didn't stick around for any of the post-race activities, just hopped in my car and headed home. Our house was serving as a pre-dinner place to hang out and visit... so I had to shower and change quickly so Nancy and I could set out veggies and chips and dips and shrimp cocktail and juice and soda and beer and wine... Thanksgiving dinner was at my mother-in-law's house... I can't give a 100% accurate count (I keep coming up with a different number each time I try) but (including little kids) there were at least forty people there.
Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
(p.s. Sorry to have left this entry half-finished for a week or so... I had begun typing it in but didn't have time to finish it and then was out-of-town on business for a week.)
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