And then there is reality......
The missing element is having people involved in organizing the race who know the course, and are there to direct the runners about which way to go. I'd been taking that piece for granted and found out yesterday what happens without it.
Started fast in the 10K on a supposed good course, and was running in a group of 3 behind the leader who was off like a shot. Well, he missed the first turn, so we yelled and he came back. We then ran for a bit and went past the registration site for the race. Lots of enthusiastic yells of "Go Runners!", but not a lot of response to our question of "Go where, exactly?". We kept going in what seemed like the right direction but a six foot wall and a bunch of trash cans had us doubting our choice...... We stopped as the leader dug out a map and to find the correct route. At this point (about 3/4 mile) I bailed and decided I'd see if I could get back to the start in time for the 5K.
Got there OK and had about 5 minutes to recover (but a 6 minute mile isn't a good 5k warmup).
That started OK, but at the first turn they mis-directed us the long way, and did the same thing again later at mile 2. I didn't run great as I wasn't mentally ready for 5K pace, but I still managed to catch a couple people in the second half and come in 5th pace overall. Got first in my weird 36-50 age group to win a gift basket of "stuff" including some size 14 running socks and an ugly hat.
Time was really slow at 19:33, on a long course with lots of 90 degree turns. According to Garmin I ran at 6:04 pace, which was about my plan for the 10k, so I guess I didn't get my mind into 5k mode quick enough.
Oh well, hopefully next week is a little more successful! (although I doubt I'll win any giant socks)