Last year I ran the Modesto Midnight Half Marathon, and blogged about it here. I swore that I would never run it again, and I didn’t. However, last night was Year 2, and I wanted to go and support Row in her quest for domination on the course. Plus, I really wanted to see how things improved…Yes, wanted to see if the Fleet Feet people listened to last year’s cacophony of voices crying for a more decent race.
Good and Bad. Highlights and Lowlights, just like last year.
Remember when your mother said to not run in traffic? in the dark? with no light? Well, apparently the Race Directors of this race did not listen to this advice.
Highlight #1 : It was a bright, big moon. That’s it.
Lowlight #1 : The race director kept saying on the microphone at the beginning of the race: This is a night time race. It’s very dark. Be safe! Be safe! Be safe! …as if that was his disclaimer to the dangers of a race like this.
Lowlight #2: Darkness. Not only darkness, but in my mind, danger. Here is Laura in front of the Copper Creek Housing Development sign. Literally that was the only light on the long stretch of road in Modesto. There were 4 people sitting in chairs in front, but not an aid or water station to be seen.
Highlight #3: It was so inspirational to get out there with jingle bells, and high fiving runners as they came by. We had our sign, and were waiting for Row. The runners, as usual, are always happy and grateful to see you. They say thank you, and you feel like you have a purpose, a reason for being out there. And I see these people, and I’m so grateful to be there, just like all the times YOU have been there for me.
- The rest of this will not be pretty. There is a girl who runs by with a bloody nose, like all over her hands and arms and needs something, anything. Thank God a man standing there had a Kleenex. But, being overly helpless, I just ran up to catch up with her to give her the Kleenex. Her complaint: Where is everyone? I need help!
- The runners are running with traffic. A few cones here and there. WITH TRAFFIC. No lanes are blocked off. They are running next to cars. So freaking dangerous, I was in a panic. A report was that a runner was down up ahead, but that’s not because he got hit probably. My chief complaint: Where was the race volunteer group?
- As we head back to the finish, cars and traffic are stopped everywhere and runners are being directed diagonally across the street to run on the sidewalks on the opposite side. We just hung our jingle bells outside the car and yelled, and supported. But, it was a cluster.
It’s always good to support a friend. I had a blast. But for Race #3, get off the roads. Add more, not less aid/water stations. It’s dark. It’s midnight. You’re in the club scene, Modesto. You’re having runners run through the party animals and smokers and club goers…with virtually no support on the side of the roads.
Last year’s grade: F
This year: D-
- Beginners’ Marathon Training Schedule, Tips for Full or Half Marathons (webmd.com)
- Marathon volunteers help propel runners across the finish line (theglobeandmail.com)