63. Jailbreak 5K, 2011

Wet Shoes

I left these outside after I got rained on. Then they got rained on.

The Jailbreak 5K is a small 5K in Lexington SC, organized by the Sheriff’s Department. Strictly Running handled the clock, so things were pretty organized. They were also pretty humid.

I had place my shoes out on the porch to dry off after getting rained on yesterday, but it also rained overnight. On the left, you can see a picture of the really, really wet shoes that I wore to the race.

About the Course

Columbia has a surprising number of races, but there really isn’t much to see. I guess I was spoiled by Charleston. And Vermont. And Boston. It doesn’t sound fair, but I miss the scenery. Still, the course was nice, and well-protected by volunteers and Lexington County police. It started and ended at the Sheriff’s Department.

A Late Start and Two Blank Stares

I made us late. Through some twist of reality, Cara was ready long before I was. She was the one dragging me out the door. We got to the site just in time. An older police officer told us to go straight and take the first left to park, and to hurry because it was about to start. Just one problem: two officers were standing in the road to block it, and wouldn’t move no matter how much their superior shouted at me and pointed through them. “Go straight,” he said. I pointed through the officers with a concerned look, and he repeated himself. “Go straight, just go straight!

“You mean where those two officers are?” I replied. He finally looked over to them and they realized that yes, he had been pointing directly at them. They started to move as I edged the car forward. It’s Lexington. What can you do?

We ran from the car to the Starting Line, arriving after everyone had started. Cara and I crossed the line just after the last walkers. Seriously, we were the last two people through. We spent the rest of the race finding our regular places in the pack.

Several times along the course, a helicopter zoomed over us, just a little too low and a little too close. Then after about a mile, I realized that I had forgotten to turn my Garmin on. What a day it was turning out to be.

Angled Runner Down

I heard an officer tell someone to slow down because he looked like he was about to fall over. I looked back and saw an older man leaning forward at a pretty serious angle. I tried to take his arm and slow him down, but he straightened up and waved me off. He said he was okay, so a backed up a little.

He really wasn’t looking good. He was pushing really hard and he seemed to be at his limit. We were really close to the Finish, so I understood why he would want to slam it into high gear. Still, he was looking rough. After a few seconds he started to lean forward again. I rushed in to grab him, but I was too late. He took a dive on the shoulder of the road, mercifully missing the pavement.

He was turned away from me, resting on his side. I couldn’t tell if he was hurt or just exhausted, so I didn’t want to move him. I just scooped up his glasses, took his hand and tried to get him talking. Another runner was next to me in an instant. Then a volunteer showed up. And then a man in his forties zipped in and told us that the man was his father and that he had been training for several months.

At this point, the chatter started sounding professional. I asked the guy’s son if he had things covered, and he said yes. “I’ve got it. You’re a runner, just go. Thank you for helping.” Sheesh. Even with his dad wiped out, he didn’t want to ruin my race time. Hardcore.

Finish Lines and Helicopters

A little while after I finished the race, I saw that helicopter zooming away with a siren blaring away. I’m not kidding. It had a siren, as if a helicopter needs to ward off other helicopters on its way to an important destination. I found out later that the fallen runner had been taken to the hospital. Maybe he went by helicopter? In any case, I hope his only injuries were to his pride. I hate to see someone punished for working that hard.

  • Brian – Start Time: 26:39, Chip Time: 25:40
  • Cara – Start Time: 29:55, Chip Time: 28:55

Cara and I were sweaty and tired, so we didn’t stick around too long. Between the humidity and our lack of breakfast, we were eager to get home and clean up.