Ooooooh goodness, I was here for a race I’m ultimately not counting toward Project 882, because feels like too much of a mess to me. (Also, I kinda knew it would be…)
The morning started off cool enough. We had this amazing gigantic free breakfast at my hotel. And I was delighting in basically everything. “Oh my goodness, look all these labels are in Spanish! All these little butters and jellys and stuff are in Spanish!”
“Oh look, these are in Spanish too!” (And on an on and on.)
Yes, Aurora, they’re all in Spanish, because you’re in Spain, silly goose!
This race was SO. INTENSE. Like, so intense.
It all started at the expo. In America, there’s just a little machine where you look up your number, and then you go get it. In Spain, you have to show your ID to a person who seems to be guarding your number like it’s a total secret.
And do you think you can show whatever ID is most accessible in your wallet? License or work or school ID or whatever, what does it matter? Well, it does. They want to see your passport. Then you go pick up your number where they also intensely look at your ID. In America, they just glance really fast to make sure you are who you say you are. In Spain, it’s like, “And what’s your mother’s maiden name and your favorite breakfast food?” Like, eeesh.
Also, the bibs are different colors whether your male or female. I don’t know what the deal is with that. I’d be interested to know why that is, but I don’t.
Then, for the race, there are these GIANT fences separating the corrals from the public. No one is climbing over that.
And there are probably like 9 or so security guards in between corrals to make sure no one runs between them – and that’s after you already pass a clump of multiple people checking your bib at the entrance to your corral.
So, all the corrals went off, and I fell way behind. (Like way, totally.) Which I knew I would. The time limit was 3 hours. (I’m not that fast right now.) But I knew the finish line would be open for 6 for the marathon. So, I figured everything would be okay. But the half left me in the dust.
There were some other slow people I saw walking, also being left in the dust, and a number of us originally got there.
I went along and saw signs and mats and things being taken up, and bands putting stuff away. It was helpful to know I was on the right path (which, for the most part I stayed on, but in signature Aurora fashion, I always get a little lost).
Anyway fast forward and toward the end, there was basically a loop around the park. And I basically ended up having to jog on in and “finish,” and then finishing my loop.
It’s happened before (just this year) that some of the course has been cut off for me. Obviously I do *not* want to make this a habit… And the Rock ‘n’ Roll series may not seem to mind, since they let people continue on courses with detours, and/or they let them get in shuttles. *But* I, of course, care! I don’t want the rest of my races to be races where I’m making excuses as to why it’s okay I didn’t actually do the whole thing. That doesn’t sound like me, I think…
The other thing was clearer cut. There were a number of issues and it was part of a larger day. This one was simply I came to a race I wasn’t fast enough for, because I had to if I wanted to do all the Rock ‘n’ Rolls in a year (which I do).
So, I’m just gonna throw up my hands and say I got through the day as best I could for what I needed to do for this race series, but just so there’s no questions or thoughts of impropriety or anything, I’m just not gonna count it toward the 882. Simple enough.
Even though the race was a mess, I was totally prepared for that to be the case. (Or I was at least mildly prepared. I knew it would be some kind of mess, hoped for less than it was, but whatever. Aaaaanyway…)
The point I was trying to get to is that I still had fun in Spain. I got to use a pay toilet in a beautiful train station and be treated to the best bathroom of my life!
And I’ll say one last thing about Europe tomorrow!