Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My Bourbon Barrel

Now this is a good running story. Why is it a good one? Because it shows how far a race director and community will go to right a wrong for a fellow runner.

So, back in March of this year - March 31st, to be exact - I ran a half-marathon in Kentucky: Run The Bluegrass (Recap HERE). It was State #35.

I prayed really hard over running this race because it was hilly. I have been suffering with proximal hammy strain for the last 2+ years. I pushed through 3 marathons, 7 + half-marathons - all with this hammy pain. It's not debilitating, it just makes running up hills really hard for me. And I knew this half in Kentucky was going to be hilly ....

Run The Bluegrass Elevation Profile
Still, I was determined to get in 1 half marathon before the London Marathon (Recap HERE). Remember the debacle in Washington State? Where I got lost, and didn't finish the full half marathon? (Recap HERE). So for my peace of mind - that I actually ran a full half pre-London - I signed up to run in Kentucky.

I doubted I would place - tired legs from training for the London Marathon, along with the hills - I decided to run the best I could, for who I was at the time of the race - a motto that I have really come to repeat over and over again.

When I got to the start, a women asked me if I ever ran The Bluegrass Half before. I said, "No." Then she proceeded to tell me about "Mile 9" ...."You go straight up a hill, and just when you think it's over, you bear right and go up another hill"


I focussed on how hard I trained, all the hills I ran to try to gain some strength for the London Marathon, all my speed work - I wanted to place in my age group - as I want for all my half marathons. Why not? I work very hard to achieve this goal.

As I detailed in my Recap, I first thought I came in 4th place, and when I got home, I looked at the age group placement again. The women in 2nd had no splits and she ran her last mile at a 14-minute pace. Something was off.

I searched for the women in 2nd place in past Compuscore reports - I wanted to know - what does this person usually run, you know, pace-wise? And since she wasn't cranking out sub-9-minute miles, I wrote to the race director, and told them how I felt that maybe there could have been a mistake? Perhaps this woman ran the 7-mile race? Possibly with a half-marathon bib?

It turns out that the race director agreed - 
and this woman was disqualified for the half-marathon race.
I took 3rd place age group.
I was to get a bourbon barrel trophie! 

So, I filled out the forms to have the Bourbon Barrel sent to my address. A few weeks past, and Coach asked me if I received my Bourbon Barrel. Hmm - "No...."

When I got home from my track workout, I contacted the race director, again. She explained that the women who was recorded originally as the second place age group winner was not the woman who ran the race (or so this person said) - instead, she gave her bib to a friend, and 'that woman took the Bourbon Barrel age group award' (Bad, bad, bad running karma). The women who signed up for the race refused to give the race director this person's name and number to ask her to return the Bourbon Barrel ....so, the race director asked the person who makes the Bourbon Barrels if they would make one just for me ...and they agreed! How nice is that?

So I was waiting for my Bourbon Barrel to be made and shipped (No Charge! Woot! Woot!), and l just received it, along with a great note:
I present to you:
3rd Place 50-54 Age Group Award for
2018 Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon

Thank You for the Apology!
I know It Wasn't Your Fault
Please know that I just love my Bourbon Barrel!
This is definitely one of the sweetest half marathon trophies!
Just love my Bourbon Barrel!

Run to Inspire
Run for Peace!
Run Fearless!
Run Strong!

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