Aleka and I ran the Sand Creek Half this morning. In its inaugural year, this race supports the Bluff Lake Nature Center with a course that wends its way along two creeks near Stapleton. Being a mid-summer run, a 7 AM start time helps beat the heat, so with the sun already surprisingly high in the eastern sky, the start gun went off.
The first half, a simple out and back, passed without incident and I was pleased by my 8:30 pace given the previous day’s 5 miler. The second half, since the race was constrained by residential development, involved a series of loops in and out of the Nature Center. Here is where things went awry. Signage was inadequate and poorly written, I am still note sure what Loop 2 Bypass means, and race officials were offering inconsistent direction.
Operator error is of course what comes to mind, and trust me, I had plenty of time to dwell on that as I was misdirected onto an additional 1.1 mile loop. I spent 9 minutes wishing a pox upon the course official and curious how many other people scored a bonus loop. That will likely never be known, but the other problem I learned of, misdirection shortening the course. Aleka was directed away from a loop and finished having run only 11.6 miles.
This was the sole topic of conversation at the finish area, with the race director apologizing for the confusion. I was beat from my run and Aleka was letdown to have not run a half, so she fired off 1.5 miles upon getting home, showing a degree of dedication I do not possess.
Post-run recovery, buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, cheese and eggs, lovingly smothered beneath a pork gravy
Bloody Mary to restore sodium levels