For my twenty-fifth race, I picked a doozy — a once in a century event. You see, Pi Day is celebrated every year on March 14th (3-14) — the first three significant digits of pi. This year, the once-a-century alignment of month, day and year creates an über pi day (3-14-15). So now, start a race at 9:26:53am that morning, and you’ve got a major pi event (3-14-15-9-26-53 … the first ten significant digits of pi).
I drove to Columbus OH for this race, with most of the drive in a rainstorm. Nothing like almost eight hours of pouring rain to get ya off to a good start, eh? Add to that a temperamental GPS — I mean, who sends you through the downtown maze of interstate connections in Columbus at rush hour? — awful traffic, and a tired guy, and you have the ingredients for a grumpy driver. I got there safely, though, and that’s the important part.
Saturday morning, it was still raining, but the temps were in the high 40s, and there was no wind. If it’s gonna rain on a run, those are pretty good overall conditions. And frankly, I enjoy running in the rain. It’s settling, peaceful, and is usually a wonderful experience.
A few days before the race, the race organizer let me know that the packets for the out-of-town participants would be at the race site at the Very Important Pi People (VIP2) table. it’s the first time I’ve been a VIP at a race, so I enjoyed that. They really seemed to be unaccustomed to folks coming from out of state for this fundraising race for the local school district. But with a cool event offering a really nice medal, I’m surprised they didn’t have more out-of-staters in attendance.
The race was awesome. The foot pain that kept me out of the races in Lincoln at the beginning of the year flared back up, so I took it easy, and mostly walked the course, which wound through a suburban park. I had no idea what to expect from the course, but it was a paved trail, and very easy to navigate. And it was flat!
A little over four kilometers in, I started to see people go off-trail, and up into the woods. I quickly saw why. The trail was flooded for about fifteen feet, and they didn’t want to go through the shoe-high water. After earning my water wings in the Sandmine Challenge a couple of weeks ago, I simply couldn’t go around, and high stepped through the mini-lake! And of course, that meant I passed about fifteen folks that were up in the woods. Woot!
I came around the corner, ran to the finish (because you always run to the finish!) and collected my medal. They had engravers on the spot, so I turned my medal over to them, and had my name and time engraved… except it wasn’t.
Like most on-the-spot engravers, they had a feed from the official timing for the event (this time from Fleet Feet Columbus). I got my medal back, and the time was about two-and-a-half minutes longer than my own timing. And suddenly, I realized I was dealing with gun time, and not chip time. Again. Dunno why suddenly this year that’s been such an issue, but it is what it was. As with last week, I’m claiming my “watch time.”
So, race four of six in the back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back race weekends is in the books, and with some irrationality! (See what I did there?)