Queen of the Races
|July 17, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
Last week, I sent out this tweet:
My feed was immediately flooded with a whole lot of retweets and a slew of:
“Hot damn, Sweaty Em, you are ALWAYS right!”
…Okay, the last one might be a SLIGHT exaggeration, but if you’ve ever had the pleasure of dating me, being my friend, or sharing the same last name, you know it’s true.
Anyway, RACE DIRECTORS, TAKE NOTE: THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN. ALL SATURDAY RACES ALL THE TIME.
As I happily fantasized about a world in which Sunday marathons are a thing of the past and every Saturday is a 26.2 mile party, followed by a marathon celebration of drinks and dancing, I got to thinking about what else would mesh perfectly with my fantasy world of races.
And so I made a list. For the day when I am appointed Queen of Endurance Racing. (PS can we work on making this an actual job? Because I think…scratch that, I know, I would rock it.)
1. Saturday races
Rather than spending entire weekends stressing about upcoming races and eating every carb in sight, why not get the racing out of the way bright and early Saturday morning, AND THEN eat (and drink) every carb in sight.
This tweet was originally prompted by the realization that I might be proceeding immediately from my next PR marathon attempt to the airport. Where is the fun in that? If I’m going to run hard for 26.2 miles, you’d better believe I want to spend at least as long as I was out on the course celebrating my effort.
2. Pint glass bling
Screw medals, give me something I can use for a purpose other than overloading my already full doorknob with more useless neckwear, especially if that something will hold my celebratory post-race craft brew.
The best race SWAG I’ve ever received was at the end of the Umstead Marathon.
Each runner was handed a pint glass as they crossed the finish line, etched with the race logo and holding a folded piece of paper with MapQuest directions to a nearby brewery, ready to fill the bunch of race pint glasses with cold beer as runners trickled in to start refueling and celebrating.
3. A course built for a spectating party
I am sick of encouraging (/forcing) friends and family to travel to cheer me on at races, only to have them wait for four hours in the same spot, and then maybe miss me completely as I run by in a blur of hot pink for 17 seconds.
(cough cough BOSTON cough cough)
The best races that I’ve spectated (Houston) or run in (Vermont) have conveniently looped around the city hosting the race, making it easy for race cheerleaders to dart from spot to spot, catching their runners numerous times.
As a spectator, it’s thrilling to be able to see your BFFs (like Amy and Meb, obviously) run by 8-12 times, and as a runner, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept myself running strong by counting down the miles until I see a familiar face again. The more times I see my peeps=the faster I run.
4. Out and back sections of the course
When I register for a race with friends, I want to experience the event with them. Bumping into people at the start line is fun and all, but the day is so much more enjoyable, when race courses contain out and backs that allow you to spot your running friends and give them a little hoot and fist bump.
5. Gender specific race shirts
Ladies: can I get an “AMEN?”
I have one cotton shirt that’s so hideously oversized, that I’ve been able to loan it to my male running partner when he needed a change in clothes after a particularly sweaty run.
Less potato sack, more fitted. That’s all we ask, RDs.
6. Finish line party
And I’m not talking soggy cardboard boxes of pizza atop folding tables with one drink ticket worth of crappy light beer. I’m talking party party. Full on music, dancing, beer, a soiree so irresistible, every racer wants to take part.
Grandmas Marathon did this oh-so-right by setting up hours of live band music in a tent by the finish line that stretched well into the early AM hours. (Also, they put on a Saturday marathon. Sense a theme of success here?)
7. Freezer pops on the course, watermelon and chocolate donut holes at the finish line.
Screw pizza. Forget gu. There is major room for improvement when it comes to course side snacks and finish line refreshments. Let’s start with freezer pops, watermelon and chocolate donut holes.
Feel free to offer your own suggestions. I hear the queen is a fan of snacks.
8. DJs at every mile
The premise behind events like the Rock N Roll series is solid, but from my experience, it’s consistently poor in execution. Every time I’ve run one of their races, I’ve used my own music to ensure my race is fueled by the likes of Rihanna and Eminem, not some garage band that kind of sort of definitely sounds like shit.
When my brother and I ran VCM this year, we would pump a little “Call Me Maybe” whenever we were in need of a push from Carly Rae. People LOVED it. Other runners would slow down or sprint ahead to join our Top 40 mid-race dance party.
When I am Queen, I will have DJs every mile, or even every half mile, since my kingdom is clearly going to be a nonstop running party, motivating runners with the jams that get your legs excited. You know, like straight up pop and 80s power ballads, and maybe a country song or five.
YOUR TURN. What would YOU do if you were Queen (or King) of the races? Keep in mind this is completely hypothetical because I’ve already called dibs on the job. But don’t worry, I’ll hold Open Office Hours and get your input on the reg.