November 27th, 2010

(no subject)

I walked in the Alexandria VA Turkey Trot Five-Miler on Thursday morning. My brother and I ended up at the very end of the race starting off, so with 3500+ people, we left the finishing line at least five minutes after the race started. We started out right in front of the race official who was opening streets behind the race. We were told they would be opening streets at a 15-minute mile pace. This worked just fine for us because I usually walk about a 12-minute mile and I was going a little faster than usual. Seemingly in support of this, we put some distance between ourselves and the officials at the back in the first mile or so. But after that, they started speeding up some, telling race participants to move to the sidewalks and opening up the streets. This seemed odd to me, especially as it was only 10:20 or so, but I know that a lot of the participants would finish behind the officials- some people finish at or after the 2-hour mark for a five-mile race. But then they started opening streets at an even faster pace. They sped up to about a ten-minute mile pace, relegating nearly all of the walking participants, including those with strollers and dogs, to the sidewalks. This meant that we had to navigate not only poorly maintained and crowded sidewalks, but the police who were watching the route left, so a lot of people missed turns in the route because nobody was there to direct them! I know we missed a turn and basically ended up walking a shorter route by accident. I guess we just would have gotten lost had we missed a turn that didn't recross the race route. I really don't understand why they had to reopen the streets so quickly- they were supposed to be closed until noon. I'm writing a letter to the race coordinators, but we've already decided to go with the SOME Turkey Trot in DC next year.