Saturday, December 14, 2013

Race Report: Color in Motion

Finish Time: Somewhere around 43 minutes (Dude, tag me on Runkeeper!)

Charity: Girls on the Run

I thought I was pretty done with the throwing-color-at-you races, but I had to do this one.

Back story: for the medical insurance at our work, we are required to do a biometric screening and do a minimal amount of health maintenance; otherwise, we have a financial penalty. That's all I'm going to say about that. However, if we exceed the minimal amount of activities, we are put in drawings for various things.

Win$low--proving it is, indeed,
hard out there for a pimp.
Team Forced Fun means
dressing like Grumpy Cat
I was ambivalent about the whole additional activities thing until I ran into a friend at work who said he was going for the platinum level--for irony cred and possibly a Wii. This friend (let's call him by his hip hop name, Win$low) is one of the funniest, most curmudgeonly people I know (and I know a quite a few). So when Win$low said he was doing a color-throwing run, my ears perked. When I found out his team was Forced Fun, I was in!

We met in plenty of time before the race to be annoyed by the fog, the cold, the loud music. I am beginning to realize my love-hate relationship with novelty races, and it was fun to be hanging out with someone who can be as snarky as I am.

I did a fun run once.
It was horrible
As Captain of Team Forced Fun, Win$low had put together a chant:
Is this fun?
Are we having fun?
Which is really running in a nutshell.

Now, both of us feeling curmudgeonly toward our fellow runners was neither here nor there.  Youngsters covering each other in colored powder and jumping around before the race even started is just how those crazy kids are going to act. However, as we looked out over the parking lot that was to be our course, we both noted how sketchy the terrain looked--uneven, potholes, gravel, slick, muddy.

Kids today, amirite?
Once the race finally got going, it turned out our comments about the course were not far off. Less than a half mile in, I took a spill. I could tell that I had torn up my left hand and right knee pretty badly; but I could also tell that the damage was pretty surface, and I wasn't going to be a wuss over a scrape. So we kept going.

So many places
to hide our corpses...
Apparently to our doom.

At about the mile mark, the course left pavement for tall grass and muddy bogs. And then led into some woods with a steep dip at the entrance and frequently only two-persons wide. Keep in mind that this, being a "fun run," includes strollers and little people and walkers and people stopping to take pictures of themselves. Our general course of action was to keep moving; when the undead attack, they will go for these slower people first despite the scent of blood that I'm giving off. At last, we finally left the woods in a schlurpy section of mud and finally made it back to pavement. But I felt bad that I was so skittish about keeping up a run for fear of falling again.

Oh, yeah, and there were those color station things. No water station, though. No clear finish line. Not really a medical tent to check my road rash when we finished; there was an ambulance that had gone out toward the bog, presumably to attend to someone with far worse problems than a few scrapes

All in all, I would avoid any event that lists Sam Houston Race Park as the location. Actually, the original locale was listed as Reliant Park, which I have run several times. I would recommend avoiding this organization as well.

That being said, there were some good things. I did enjoy Win$low's company. I got a lot of good responses for my Grumpy Cat t-shirt (even though a couple people asked me if she was my cat, proving that there are, indeed, people who are more out of touch than I am).  have now done a race in a tutu (which cleaned up pretty easily since they only used powdered colors). And, after I report this to the benefits department, I should be at the gold level.
The "on purpose" color
The "not on purpose" color
Was it fun?


Did I have fun?