Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monster Bash 5K Dash

This weekend was the Monster Bash 5K Dash at Wichita's North Branch YMCA.  I got there an hour and a half before race time, not to run it, but to help time it.  This year I started helping the local race director, Clark Entz, time races once he got an electronic chip timing system.  I've been saying for years Wichita needs to get into the 21st century and start chip timing. 

Background Info:  The Easter SunRun 10k/2M back in April was the first local race to use chip timing.  Not only was it new to us, but the technology was new to the country.  We use the BigTags which are disposable chips stuck to the back of the race bib numbers, and it was so new that the manufacturer had to loan us the prototype hardware since the manufactured versions were not yet available.  One reason it took Wichita awhile to get chip timing was the expense.  A basic system costs between $20,000 and $30,000.  When Clark first announced he needed someone to setup and operate the chip timing system, I jumped at the chance to combine 2 of my interests, running and computers.

Back to the race...  I like the different perspective working the finish line gives me.  For one, I get to meet people I normally wouldn't.  A couple came up to me and asked if I would take their picture in front of the finish.  I found out they were from Orlando, Florida.  They actually said they were enjoying our weather.  How many times have you heard someone from Florida compliment Kansas on our weather?  Another lady came up and was wanting advice on glucosamine suppliments.  I also got to chat with a few friends, one of whom I hadn't seen in over 20 years.

Besides running into friends I know, I met a fellow blogger for the first time.  Lacy's is one of the first running blogs I came across on the world wide web.  One of the reasons I started my own blog was to connect with other runners, so when I somehow recognized her through the costume she was wearing, I had to introduce myself.  I was a bit surprised when she recognized me too.

My morning ended by tearing down and packing the equipment away after which one final 5k participant finished the race.  Notice I said participant, because I'm not sure the terms runner, jogger, or even walker would quite apply.  Ok, I'm sure she walked, but she finished in 1:24:15 for an average pace of 27:07 minutes/mile, a full 24 minutes after the next to the last place person.  I'm not singling her out because she was slow, or obese, or lied about her age (21 my ass).  Congrats to her for going 3.1 miles.  I'm only mentioning her because she insisted we manually access the computer file after the fact and add her to the results.  Again, I can understand most people who sign up for a race wanting to see their name/time in the results, me included, but I would think someone finishing in that time frame to be a) not caring b) just trying to get some exercise c) embarassed to come in last.  One thing that didn't suprise me about her was when she asked where the post race pancakes were.

5 comments:

Fair Weather Runner said...

i would have loved to do that race, but pretty sure my husband's head would have exploded if i did four races in october. um, awesome about the last participant, that's dedication. will you be timing the turkey trot too? not sure i'll race, but i'm pacing someone at the end!

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

FWR, I will actually be running the Turkey Trot (10M), hope to see you there.

Indi said...

working races always gives me such a different perspective on things. Its a great way to meet people! I'll be working Pilgrim Pacer on the 13th and really looking forward to it. Thanks for stopping by my little blog :)

Julie said...

So you were the official time keeper:) Awesome! I have volunteered for a race (marathon) too. My job was to direct traffic and keep runners safe.

I really enjoy meeting other bloggers and have been blessed so far. I have been blogging for less than a year and have met so many:)

I was reading your profile....ha ha, I am currently 19 minutes to slow for Boston:) I have only run one marathon. I am not sure if I could really cut 19 minutes off of my time. I would honestly just love to finish sub four. Your time kicks butt! I am so jealous:)

Take care and thanks for stopping by! I am following you now too:)

Fair Weather Runner said...

well yay, see you at the TT then, shhhh don't tell i'll be the bandit helping my friend out on her longest run ever :) won't cross the finish line natch. and i'm only helping her the last 4. i have a half marathon to destroy the next day after all.

also, if there were a comment of the week award on my blog (maybe i should instate one) you would have totally won last week. made me laugh for quite awhile!