Race fail.

I’ve tempted rain at my last two races, and avoided it. On the drive to the Chi Town Half Marathon, it poured, but by the time we got to the race, it stopped for good. On the drive to the Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K, I had a few raindrops on my windshield, and that was it. I was hoping the third time would be the same. Not quite.

This morning as I drove to meet Kelly on the way to the Quarryman Challenge, I should have started to get worried as I saw lightning in the distance. As a former outdoor lifeguard, I know you don’t mess with lightning. But, it was still an hour and a half until race time. I figured it was no big deal. The weather report had improved overnight. We’ll be fine. Right?

By the time we got to downtown Lemont for the race, the rain was coming down. But like mailmen, we race in the rain, sleet, snow, hail, heat, humidity … whatever. (Although running in hail sounds painful.) I brought a spare pair of shoes for post-race. We had hats and jackets. We were ready for the rain.

Trying to stay dry before the race

We picked up our bibs and put our chips on our shoes (actual chips! not disposable! how vintage!) and headed toward gear check. It was still raining and there was a empty tent next to gear check, so we hung out there waiting for a couple more ladies from the F’N Runners.

The race was supposed to start at 7:30. Around 7:20, they announced that because of lightning, the start would be delayed until 7:45am. Then at 7:30, they announced the start was being pushed back again, to 8am. Good thing I brought an extra GU in my Spibelt.

But then at 7:50am, they announced that per police orders, the race was canceled due to additional heavy storms (and lightning) headed our way, and everyone needed to turn in their chips. Major bummer.

Of course by the time we get through the line to have our chips removed, and start walking back to our cars, the rain was starting to let up. The dark clouds were starting to move out. But what can you do? They already collected everyone’s chips.

At the forest preserve trail

Some runners decided to run the course anyway, but it was 10 miles and my handheld water was in the car – I wasn’t going to attempt 10 miles without water. Plus some of us had bags and weren’t about to run with them. We didn’t know the course, and the group that was running it had already left, so by the time we would have gone to our cars and back, we would have been lost.

Instead we headed to a local forest preserve nearby and ran the trail there. Kelly and I both have half marathons the first weekend of June, we needed to get a long run in today. Plus we were dressed. And awake. Can’t let that go to waste.

It was wet and rainy and a little chilly, but we got our miles in. It was disappointing not to do the race, but what can you do? It’s not like this was a goal race for me, so I need to just keep focusing on my next half. And hopefully this race will be rescheduled for a weekend that I can actually make it. It was still a major bummer, but when you sign up for a bajillion races, this is bound to happen.

Also, this is why you don’t send pre-scheduled emails … this was sent at 8am … 10 minutes after the race was cancelled. Race results? What race results? Wonder how those survey results turn out!