Sunday, September 9, 2007

Learn the Course!

Since I ran my first cross country race back in 1967, I've entered and run well over 1,000 races. Of those, I have gotten lost at least 2 dozen times, maybe more.

Well it happened again at the annual University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Alumni Cross Country race. Sometime after the 3-mile mark (which I hit in 17:55) with the main pack out of sight, I followed the guy in front of me, who for some reason veered off down the wrong loop (I think perhaps he followed a runner who was already cooling down).

Knowing that I would be well back of the leaders, I didn't bother studying the course map thoroughly enough. You would think I would know better.

Back in 1971, I attempted my first marathon in Whitewater, Wisconsin, which turned into complete chaos. I was in 18th or so after 10 miles but by 20 I was suddenly running in 4th. A pack of 15 or so went the wrong way. Hitting mile 25 in 2 hrs 51 minutes, I was on pace to easily break 3 hours until I followed an arrow sign the wrong direction. After several minutes, I figured everything out and finally got in at 3 hr 05 min. That was a painful mistake for me, but not nearly as painful as the 15 guys who got lost and ended up running an extra 4 or 5 miles.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry that you had to run an extra 60-70 sec. I gave the guys hell on the team that ran the wrong way. they had run the cousrse the day before and all assured me that they knew where they were goig.

    Thanks again for coming to the meet and again I am sorry that you ended up running longer than the race distance.

    Coach Witt