I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Catskill Mountain Prelude Relay

I drove to Liberty, NY following my optimum planning skills which consist of going by memory without checking the website for last minute changes. I had already stated that I was not able to run this extremely challenging Relay blaming my inability to participate on my surgery; I wonder how long I can use that excuse…

At 8:15 I arrived at an empty parking lot at the school that had been the start of last year’s race. I drove around looking for markings that would put me on the course without finding any. Finally, I decided to get a friend out of bed and asked her check the website, the start had been changed to Hanoffee Park.

I was late already so I drove the course backwards to avoid missing anyone. That plan would have been good if the markings had taken me in the right direction and they did, except that they sporadically vanished.

With the price of gas, I am embarrassed to say how long I drove back on forth but eventually I found a runner, she was one of the Race Organizers. I ran with her for a while as the skies opened up. I ran another two miles in the pouring rain while holding my phone - another one of my bright decisions that morning. As the third monumental peak came upon me by the fourth mile, I convinced myself that I didn’t need to climb that mountain and got on one of the supporters car, Roger's. And of course, I used my surgery reason again…

The race was scarcely attended; only three teams including the Organizing Team ran. I offered my unsolicited observations that the markings were not visible. One the RDs told me that the rain had washed off some and at one of the main crossings the road had been paved over….

Now, maybe it is just me, but if a race is being organized and the course was marked ahead of time and in a relay the only thing a race director has to worry about is marking the course, wouldn’t you make sure that the markings are still visible? Sullivan County Public Works is not that diligent (if at all) and roads are not paved overnight (or at all).

The Race Directors told me they will not hold this race again. I don’t think many people will question its demise.