So this is what hell looks like?
I was at the 8km mark of the Twlight Running festival, running straight into it.
What a crazy experience.
The run was fairly ok for me. I was stoked to line up with Bec who was running her first half. The chute was long and crowded and so was the course. It took well over 3km before the pack spread out, funny though, they were the best (time wise) 3km of my race with every km under 5min I was feeling fantastic about another sub 50 ten km and the decision to enter the half at Noosa would be taken out of my hands. Easy, right? Running is never bloody easy and after 3km my legs just didn’t want to keep working. I’m not as fit as I was last year when I ran the sub-50 and the cracks began to show (mental note to self.. get fitter!!) I carried on though and was pretty much on track for my original goal, 52 min. This was pretty much when all hell broke loose. I remember getting to the 8km mark feeling great that I was going to get 52 because the last 4km had been such a mental struggle. Very difficult run mentally wondering what the hell I was doing running, I have had my day and should quit while I am ahead.. etc etc.. how was I ever going to run a half or a full again, what was I doing out there pretending to be a runner.. blah blah etc etc… So the incoming storm really took my mind off things!! The wind picked up and I saw a branch blown from a tree and strike a runner down. This really affected me!! By the time I got to her there were at least half a dozen people stopped with her so I continued on. My friends 9year old son described the last km perfectly, ‘We were running for our lives!’ Never a truer word spoken. I was running as fast as I could but I was going nowhere. I was in serious shock from seeing a runner struck down and it felt like hell on earth, people screaming and yelling ambulances, I couldn’t believe when I finally got to the end that they were still sending people back out on a second lap for the half-marathon. I had offered to swap with a friend who had hurt herself and was doing the half, there is no way that I would have kept going, just NOT happening, it was that crazy. The whole last km as I was trying to run but not really getting anywhere I started to have trouble breathing, and had a fairly scary panic attack. I was really concerned about tk. I’d left her at the parkrun tent with all our bags and things, my good camera… a TENT, I’d left her at a TENT.. Holy freaking shit!!! When I finally went past the tent I was pretty happy that it was still there, but only because of the awesome people that were holding it there… physically holding it there! I have never felt so good to hug my daughter. I was so relieved that she was still there and she was ok. What a mess it was though… everyone’s bags were full of water there was still thunder and lightening and we were perched under a TENT in the middle of an athletics oval… What a bloody cluster fuck!!
Last time I was annoyed with an event organiser I didn’t want to name them… It was a small issue of having to go to the toilet and there not being a porta-loo handy and I did think I was being a bit of a girl’s blouse about it. So I didn’t name them… However I’m not shy this time.
What the fuck are you doing?
This time, as well as the usual parking shamozzle, overflowing rubbish bins and gross lack of toilets we have also thrown in some dangerous weather, falling trees, rain, thunder, hail and lightening.
Are you freaking kidding me? What was your weather management plan looking like? At what stage does an event get postponed/called off for the sake of safety?
I have already heard all the arguments that we (me) should take more personal responsibility for my (our) own safety and I am happy to admit that I feel as though I left myself fairly vulnerable, I will definitely change the way that I approach a race in subsequent events. However, there is a big but here… When you sign up to an event, you PAY MONEY. You PAY an organiser to provide a safe event, it’s called a duty of care. The organiser promises to provide a safe course and adequate facilities for a specified time/distance and the runner pays them quite a decent amount for this. Yes, yes, noone can do anything about the weather, but it was forecast. There were people commenting on the facebook page at 11.30am about the weather, yet even at the starting line they made NO comment, not a single mention about the possibility of bad weather. I am suprised at the number of people that have positive feedback and comments such as ‘It is queensland, after all’.. ahh, exactly!! It is better to be safe than sorry.
Really, really poor judgement.
So what’s left? There is a man in hospital in a critical condition and countless other injuries. Awesome!
Last time that I was annoyed I said that I had no intention of not going to Intraining events. I generally like them, I just feel that they are not well organised. I feel as though I am now in a real quandary. Not being able to go to the toilet or having to look at an unsightly rubbish bin is one thing. Having my personal safety (and that of the rest of the field) put at risk is something else all together. I’d be more than happy to forgo the twilight events, running in the afternoon really isn’t my thing anyway, no skin off my nose there. I would be upset to miss the Brisbane Running festival though… I really did like that event. I guess I will work it out as the season goes on.
So there you have it. One crazy, stupid run.
At the moment I am putting together some sort of help/aid for the family of the man in hospital. It will probably look something like a cleaning/catering package. If you would like to contribute or have any ideas on how we can help out please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
Stay Safe Runners!!