How long is a 10k? It’s 6.2 miles. However, mom and I, along with the bulk of the 10K runners, ran about 8 miles during the 2015 Rum Run on May 24.
I was pretty excited for the Rum Run. Although I hadn’t run anything except a 20 minute run two days before ever since the Hippie Chick Half Marathon, I felt confident that I could run 6.2 miles. Plus, the theme was exciting and I was running it right around my mom’s birthday. I’d signed up for the race months earlier at the RaceCenter Event Expo.
When I got my race packet, I immediately fell in love with the vibrant orange shirt. I was sad that the Hippie Chick Half shirt was black rather than colorful, so this is a perfect addition to my running wardrobe (especially since most of my race shirts are long-sleeved, strangely enough). Mom and I decided we had to wear the tiki-themed shirt.
I always run better in costume, so I threw one together using my green sparkle skirt from the St. Patty’s Day Luckython and leftover orange spandex from my Star Wars droid costume for a bright headband.
We got there early and the pre-race area was bustling with tents and activities. We got our ID’s pre-checked so there would be no delay in getting our post-race mai-tai’s. The start line music was rockin’ and I was pumped! They sent us off in waves. Mom and I set off in the third wave, which felt like a great pace for us. And we ran!
About a 2 miles in, a police car pulled up alongside the running pack with his megaphone, “Turn around. You’re going the wrong way. These streets are not traffic-controlled.”
At first there was disbelief. After all, as far as we could see in front of us, there were runners. But we turned around and then as far as we could see were runners (slower than us) going back the way they had come. The faster you were, the further you were off course. At one point, the runners were supposed to go straight into the park via a pathway. It wasn’t marked. Instead, runners followed the curve of the road (and arrows on the road leftover from a previous event).
Soon after entering the park, the course became bedlam. As we were trying to pass walkers, the fast runners had finally caught up and were speeding by trying to get back to the front. The wave start intended to decrease congestion on the narrower park paths were all reversed with slow people in front and fast people behind trying to dodge walkers and trotters. Mom and I would often “jump” into the fast lane, sprinting for a bit to get past people who were running a slower pace than we before jumping back into the “slow lane” to run at a slower speed and catch our breaths.
Mom and I can’t be called speedy, so I can only imagine how frustrating it would be for the dedicated runners. Since the entire pack had gone off course, you could hear some people muttering angrily, others joking that they deserved more rum (I was one of those), and those who were reading off the mileage recorded by their GPS watches and apps. The most cheerful reaction I heard was the man who said, later in the race (after most of us would have already finished), that we were just getting “more race for our money.” I have plenty of ways I could refute that, but I loved his idea.
The course itself was gorgeous. I’ve run in the Tualatin Commons a few times (Twilight Run, Earth Day Run) and it is really lovely. Aside from that one critical junction, everything was well-marked with large signboards.
Because I didn’t really want to run more than 6.2 miles, I was a little grumpy. Our times were already shot from going off-course so we didn’t have much motivation to run fast.
However, I felt pretty good, and finished strong. The finish was awesome, with a half-lap around the lake before coming through the finish line banner with tiki torches blazing above. We were handed our medals— actually a Kraken Spiced Rum Bottle Opener on a lanyard.I also picked up a Lei.
Post-race snacks were also stupendous with free chicken & rice, a generous and most delicious Mai-Tai and Beer. Jamba Juice and Clif Bar were giving out samples and there was shaved ice available from State Farm.
Basically Post-Race was awesome.
Overall? I actually enjoyed the race. There was nice weather, a good course (once we were actually on the course) and a very fun post-race experience. Just proves that a perfect race experience isn’t always necessary to have fun.
Time:1:33:23. Turns out that running further than a 10K gives you a bad 10K time.
Ran With: Mom
Distance: According to the GPS watch people, we were a little under 2 miles off course. So around 8 miles?
Favorite Post-Race moment: A toss up between sipping the delicious and fruity Mai-Tai (with plenty of rum) or snarfing down the amazing hot rice and chicken while cheering the kids race.
People I felt most sorry for: The lead runners at the start of the race. They ran the furthest, but likely didn’t win because of the runaround. The prizes for places were all screwed up. Oh, and the girl with the grass hula skirt that fell down around her ankles while running.