November 3, 2009
Run Like Hell? Rain Like Hell!
Friday night I timed a race after work — Run Like Hell. I think we’ve done this for five or six years the Friday night before Halloween. I’m not much for wearing costumes myself, but I always enjoy seeing what people think they can wear while running three miles. Last year, the best costume was a guy in a 17-pound jack-o-lantern. It had to smell pretty gross in there. Another of my favorites was in the group category the first or second year — imagine running three miles on a narrow path wearing a school bus (my favorite part was that the headlights actually worked!):
This year, it was sprinkling just a little bit when I left the office at five to head over to the old Washington Street Bridge in White River State Park. By the time I got there, it was drizzling steadily, so I pulled out the raincoat. After setting up for a few minutes, it was raining a bit more, so I pulled on the rain pants. (After the 2008 Chicago Half Marathon, when it rained for 42 hours straight and I was outside in more than 10 of those, I vowed never to be caught by surprise again.) I set up the 10 by 10 tent and put the small table for my computer right in the middle, thinking the wind might blow a few sprinkles but that I should be okay.
By the time the race started at 7 p.m., it was seriously raining, and it only got worse — the wind was whipping things around like crazy and some random stranger (and he WAS strange) had taken shelter under my tent and was holding the whole thing down (this despite it being anchored to Phil’s truck, a generator, and a marine battery, as well as being staked at all four legs). Eventually, I stretched the cords a bit and took refuge in the truck to finish crunching results. We canceled the awards ceremony and sent everyone home (not that anyone was still there!)
Here’s one photo Don took, and captioned, before it got really bad.
You can see more great photos by Jeff Coates at his Web site. You’ll get a good sense of how windy and wet it really was! It had to be one of the top three most miserable races I’ve timed. However, thankfully the temperatures were in the 60s or we would have been freezing as well as totally soaked!