We showed up to the starting line and took lots of terrible pictures in the dark, said good luck to Chad (who was going for some kind of world record) and Crystal (who was in another corral), and went on our merry way. The race course was pretty similar to last year’s 10k, but it steered clear of Critter Country and Frontierland (no spoilers or behind the scenes on the new Star Wars Land for these runners!). Still we had plenty of time on park property, lots of Hero & Agents of SHIELD photo ops, and volunteers cheering us on.
I was so insanely excited to start using the “special treadmill for injured people”. I got into the most ridiculous looking machine you’ve ever seen, one designed to take the weight of gravity off my lower half, and I ran for 30 seconds and walked for 4 minutes and repeated that for as long as they would let me. I was deliriously happy. And then they told me I wasn’t progressing normally and needed to back off for another three weeks. I cried in the car on the way home from that PT visit because I had been holding on to that being my starting again point. The one shining beacon getting me through missing three races. And it was taken away. I was back to square one.
And it finally sunk in what I had refused to admit to myself: I didn’t know where or when my next run was going to be.
As usual, we had a couple of days to enjoy the park (sore legs and all). And for something completely different my sister, Laura, her husband, Mel, and their daughter joined us for a day. This gave me the chance to finally make an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and participate in a princess transformation. Because, “ma’am, this is really only for kids” can be told to me so many times before they threaten to kick me out of the park. Jerks.
My niece LOVED being transformed into a princess and thoroughly enjoyed meeting as many pixies, princesses, mice, and any other type of Disney character she could get in line to hug and interview.
When I went to the Race Expo/Packet Pick-up, I was surprised. The very well run event had a good assortment of crap that’s either needed or not needed for a race (depending on the runner), great packet pick up people, and excellent race bags. Along with the requisite race stuff (bib, pins, shirt, random coupons you will NEVER use) there were also gloves, a space blanket (until you run a cold start race, you will never truly appreciate these half bag, half Reynold’s Wrap blankets – AND it is SUPER rare that races will just hand them out), and a packet of KT Tape.
After re-reading that last sentence I just realized that literally no non-runner would ever get excited about any of those things.
I still refuse to admit I’m a runner.
On their website, Deseret News Classic touts itself as the “oldest road race in Utah and the fourth oldest marathon west of the continental divide.” Which for some reason, led me to believe that this was a well run and organized event. Also? The price. After participating in 9 half marathons, I can tell you with some certainty that the price of the race is the greatest indicator of the type of event you should expect.
Alas, that line of thinking was shattered as this race was $95 (more expensive than Drop13 AND SLC Half) and easily the worst organized event I’ve ever participated in.
Any well run half marathon has a minimum of 6 water stations, one just about every other mile give or take 0.1 of a mile. runDisney (all that is great and wonderful, of course) spaces them 1.5 miles apart and you can set your GPS to it. Deseret News Classic’s website claimed: “Aids [sic] Stations for the Half Marathon will be at approximately every other mile, with powerade and water available at each station.”
No. Unless “approximately” means “don’t count on it.”
The upside this year, was that instead of waiting at the top of the mountain for 90 minutes freezing before the race started, we got on the last bus up the mountain and were dropped off five minutes before the start. This is because they have a REALLY bizarre way of organizing the bus pick-ups in that they don’t organize it at all. So you have to nomadically wander from bus group to bus group hoping that they can squeeze you onto the next bus that arrives. And when that doesn’t work, you try again.