This was my third road race and I think it’s going to be my last, but more on that later.
To start, this year you helped me raise nearly $3000 for the MDSC. This is a fantastic thing and I couldn’t possibly be happier with the results. I’m especially touched by my co-workers who descended in droves to donate. The entire team of runners for the MDSC raised over $56,000. This is awesome.
Here’s what the road race is like for me as an MDSC fund-raiser: E’s mom lives in Falmouth, so we go down on the Friday night before. Saturday morning, I head to Falmouth High School to pick up my bib and check out the running trade show. Midday, the MDSC hosts a luncheon for the runners. This is a nice time to touch base with other parents and see what other parents are experiencing. They give the runners their singlets and a nice gift bag. When I picked up mine, I announced to the other runners where they could stop for a high-five from Alice on the route.
On race morning, E takes me to the junior high where they have shuttles to Wood’s Hole where the race starts. I bring some food with me and about a half hour before the race, eat as much as I can and drink as much water as I can manage. I hang around the back of the pack because I’m slow until the race starts. I usually cross the start line about 40 minutes after the race has begun. This year, I had a nice chat with a woman who was pretty sure that this was going to be her last FRR since she was 80 now. She barely looked 70. I was very impressed.
I had trained for over a year for this race and got to the point where I was running three of these races per week. This was the best I had done in training and I got wiped out around mile 3. I can’t say why other than the first 3 miles are hilly and it was extremely hot and I couldn’t cool down. I walked the rest feeling very nauseous and dizzy. One of the reasons why I love this race is that in the last mile, there are tons of people who are done with the race who saw me and said, “You got this, Steve!” I heard that a lot and it helped. I struggled my way to the finish at a slow jog and then went straight to the medical tent. They put me in a wheelchair and took me to a pad on the ground where they took my temperature, which was 102.8F. This is not so good. They helped me to a cot then covered me with towels that had been dunked in ice water until my temperature came down. On the good side, the doctors didn’t put me in an ice bath (and yes they had those set up). On the good side, I wasn’t running a 108F fever like the woman who ended up heading to the hospital after an ice bath. I chugged a quart of gatorade and a pint of water and when my temperature and BP were stable, they let me go with a new, dry shirt. I walked 3/4 mile to a nearby store, called E and waited for her to take me back to her mom’s house.
I had time to think about this. I finished about 10 minutes slower than my training pace. I felt like crap for 4 miles and for the second time I finished the race in the medical tent. The conclusion is simple – much as I love running, this race is just too dangerous for me. I have a family that depends on me and it is in everyone’s best interests to make sure that I stay in good health. This means that I keep running for sure, but just not this race. Two trips to the medical tent is enough for me. I can and will find other ways to help the MDSC that aren’t so risky to me and my family.
If you donated, thank you very much – you’re the bomb!