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Why I Put Up With the Crowds

Posted Feb 10 2010 12:00am

Last Friday, I espoused my feelings about large crowds at large races. There is something about small neighborhood races that is nice. Pull into a parking spot next to the start line, pick up a race bib and goody bag, tighten up the shoes, and take off. Run for a hour or two, get your medal, water, banana, bagel, and then walk back to the car and be out of there. Indeed, I put a lot of value on the convenience of those small races. They certainly appeal to the lazy streak in me.

Large crowds and large races, on the other hand are filled with hassle. No race day bib pick up. It's show up the day before and fight the hordes of people:

Then there's race day. No showing up 15 minutes before the start. Parking shuttles. Bag drop lines. And what always seems like the minimum 20 minute line to use some smelly blue monster with barely enough room to turn around in:

Once your all done with that, it's the mass of humanity trampling plants, medians, and other people to squeeze into a start wave. The jockeying for position at the start line. The impatience of listening to starting waves being let loose while you get to stand around wondering if you'll make it to the next porta potty:

Then the start. Bobbing and weaving through the mass of bodies in front of you, only to make it to the front of your wave and run smack into the back of all those people who should have been in the start wave behind yours. More bobbing and weaving:

Six miles. Seven miles. Won't the people ever thin out? What the heck! That's right! Stop right in front of me and start walking jerk! Finally, the finish. Get out of my way people! PR coming through! Don't zig left slowpoke! Zag right!

What? Where's the food? Porta potty lines still? What? Where did all these people come from?

Okay. Now that I sound like a Nattering Nabob of Negativism (how's that for a Spiro T reference?), let me tell you why I do these mega-races.

It's for the pasta dinners the night before:

It's the joy of seeing people having a great time on a beautiful day:

It's for rekindling old friendships:

And for forging new ones:

Yes. I really do enjoy these social events!

Oh - my nose is also back to the grindstone. I rowed 7.6 kilometers Monday evening, and with a cold heavy rain beating down last night, I put in another 7.7 kilometers on the erg last night. Today is bright and sunny, so I'll be out for 10 miles this afteroon. Back Bay here I come!

P.S. - I'm sorry if I missed you on Sunday. I had an eye peeled for a bunch of people that I missed. To my blog budddies: Slomohusky, Rookie on the Run, Chicrunner, L.A. Runner, Discovering the Meaning of Stonhenge, Runner's Rambles, Love2Mags. To my fellow Tweeps: @ChrisSchauble, @LJ3000, @cowhaternation, @chrisin140, and all the others I'm leaving out - hope to catch you soon at a race up or down the Left Coast.

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