Friday, November 23, 2012

Jive Turkey

Waking up at 5am after spending a night with your friends at a dinner, drink, and Singstar engagement (we always have a day before Thanksgiving pot luck with friends) is tough.  What's worse is when you realize that even that wasn't early enough.  

I was out the door by 5:30, and had no traffic trouble whatsoever on the way down.  Then I finally hit the crowd downtown.  I ended up in a wrong lane to park down there, and instead of dicking my way into a lane, I decided to keep going at come back at it from the other side.  So, after getting to Detroit by 6:30, I didn't manage to be officially parked until 7:45.  Even then, I questioned the legality of my parking spot, even though it was supposedly paid for when I gave money to a homeless-looking old guy.  

So I officially missed my "Blitzen" heat, and from the look of things, so did half of the runners down there.  Figuring it wouldn't matter, I took the liberty of a downtown restroom stop before I started my race.  Having that out of the way, I ran up to the start and began my journey of trying to zig-zag around the rainbow of bib colors, from all different speed heats, trying to navigate their way through the course.  Walkers, slow runners, run-walkers, and speedy runners all lined the road as an impossible to navigate asteroid field.  Collisions were almost inevitable, and I consider myself lucky to have only had a few grazes here and there.  Most of came along with headphone people that made completely erratic moves right in front of me, without knowing I was coming fast behind them.  

About a mile in, I saw the finance guy from work and said hello to him, and moved right along by.  I was determined to knock off my 10K PR.  It wasn't going to be hard, given the record was a 10 minute pace.  Even with the congestion, I figured I was going to have it anyway.  

Then, things got ridiculous.  I ran into a wall of people right by the Detroit Princess, just before the last turn to go into the finish.  The finish line was so congested that we all had a nice slow walk to the finish line at the end.  I don't know how many minutes I was waiting there...5, 7, 10.  It seemed like an eternity.  My PR hopes were completely dashed by then, and I think I officially came in at a 1:05, which is still, sadly, somewhere in the middle of my 10K times.  

By the time I got across and got my medal, my only thought was that I wanted some water.  I had skipped the last few water stations to save myself some time, so I was really thirsty.  I never did find it.  I'm not sure if it was gone, or temporarily gone, or what.  I could have a bagel...but that was pretty much worthless to me (but I still had one).

So I went back to my car, where I had my own water, and not knowing whether I could stay parked there or not, gave up on spending a few hours down in Detroit and drove home.  I was already in a semi-pissy mood, and the best cure for that is spending time with my wife, who was still sleeping when I got back at 10am.  So I decided to join her for a bit, before we had to get up and go to Thanksgiving part 1 of 2.  

I just don't know about this race.  I think their organization needs to step up.  The route, the costumes, the people, and the atmosphere are electric, but every time it seems to be some sort of logistical nightmare.  If they don't fix this, they will really be losing out on a huge opportunity.  This race could easily be the crown jewel of Detroit, and who knows, maybe even the entire state.  You need to find a way to continue to hold the crowds you're getting, and maybe even draw more.  You can't run out of room or supplies, and you most certainly shouldn't run out of medals.  I don't care if you need to get some criminals that need community service hours down there, you need more volunteers.  What's the worst that could happen?  

I did get mine, though, and it is quite fantastic.
Trust me, I want to do this every year, but now I'm telling myself that I won't for another 5 years.  I love Detroit, but if I'm not going to the game, it's not really worth this much hassle.  So, with the game being too expensive, and the NFL continuing to have stupid rules unnecessarily protecting people that get paid millions to play a child's game (not to mention the other idiotic rules that my Lions seem to always find and figure out how to use to cause them to lose a game), it may be a long time before you see me again.  That is, until you're ready to change.  I'm sorry Detroit Turkey Trot, but I think it's time for me to see other races.  I hope this isn't our last time together, but if it is, know that you'll forever be in my heart, even if you handle yourself in a manner befitting of your Parade Company sponsor's mascot. 

You see this, that's you!  Clowns!!!


  1. you had to walk into the finish? that is definitely poor planning! Sorry to hear the race was frustrating, but the medal is very cool. Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

  2. The most unusual race problem I have heard about. read the same complaints elsewhere. Bravo for enduring.


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