I ran a St. Patty’s Day race this weekend. Just for the luck of it. It was a little 6 miler in Anaconda, MT that one of my girlfriends was driving over from Helena to run. So what the hell? What’s one more race in the cold and snow? So the Hubs and I loaded up the snowmobiles, got in the truck, and drove over too. The in-laws have a cabin up at Georgetown Lake which is about 15 miles away from the raging metropolis of Anaconda. I guess I’m a sucker for small town races; at least it probably seems that way to all of you. Nevertheless, I was excited to see my girlfriend and also keep up on my running.
The race was Saturday morning. Everyone was to meet at the Locker Room Bar to register and get bused out to the starting point. Weird. But ok I guess. Neither of us were sure where exactly the Locker Room Bar was in Anaconda, but when a town has two main streets, you can bet it’s on one of them. And it was. Score.
Here’s about where the Goat Show begins. I guess if I’m going to do these small town races I better just get used to it, right? Or at least entertain all of you with it. So let me just recap my morning for you:
- 10:05 Arrive at Locker Room Bar in Anaconda.
- 10:15 Register for the 6 miler. Learn that it is in fact a 10k. Excuse me, but that is 6.2 miles. Not 6. Why do race officials feel like it’s ok to skimp over extra mileage? When you’re running anything extra makes a hell of a lot of difference. For example, I signed up for a 1/2 marathon trail run a couple of years ago only to find out it was actually a 14-miler. Excuse me? Really? Even the shirt said “Half Marathon finisher.“ I’m sorry, but a half marathon is 13.1 miles. I ran 14 miles thankyouverymuch. Maybe no one else cares. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. Give me credit for all of the .2 and .9 miles I’m running! Sheesh.
- 10:16 Learn they “ran out” of race t-shirts. Mine will be coming in the mail when they receive more. That’s the risk you take with race-day registration….but looking back, there’s no way this shirt is ever getting to me.
- 10:20 Attach the “race tag” to my coat. It’s not your typical race number tag. Oh no. We have a special little 50/50 looking ticket that you’re supposed to safety pin to your coat zipper so it can flap in the wind against your face for 6.2 miles.
- 10:30 A guy walks through the bar proclaiming “Finish your drinks (um what?) the buses are leaving for the starting line!”
- 10:40 Board the school bus
- 11:00 Arrive at the starting point….which seemed like a very, very long bus ride by the way. Are you sure this is just a 10k?
- 11:05 Really have to pee, but decide that since the race was supposed to start at 11:00, I won’t stand in line at the bathroom. Besides, we should be starting any minute now.
- 11:15 Hmm. Weird. Why aren’t we starting? Really gotta pee here.
- 11:20 Decide “to hell with it!” I’m going to the bathroom! And why haven’t we heard anything about starting?
- 11:25 Notice some sheep looking down on us from a nearby mountain. I think they’re wondering why the hell we have all been standing there for 30 minutes jumping around in the cold. Stupid humans.
- 11:35 Ok really starting to get cold here people. The sun may be out, but I’ve been standing out here in 20 degree weather for about 35 minutes now. Just waiting. Doing nothing but having to pee and wondering when the race is starting. In fact, starting to get a little angry about this.
- 11:37 Hear mumblings through the crowd that we’re waiting for another busload of racers. OH. Well nice to finally hear something. I was beginning to think that this was just a mean trick.
- 11:47 See a group of people take off. Yep. Just decided for themselves that they’d had enough and were going to start. Part of me was longing to go with them because this is ridiculous!
- 11:50 The bus arrives! Yahoo! Get those people off and LET’S GO! I’m cold and maybe have to pee again!
- 11:51 One person exits the bus
- 11:52 A second person exits the bus. Then a third.
- 11:53 A fourth person gets off the bus. The bus leaves. That’s right. The bus leaves. We waited fifty three minutes for four people! I’ve never been so annoyed in my life! More than likely, these four jokers were drinking in the bar…missed the first bus and then had to make the bus driver take them out again. It was unreal. A real fricken treat. Wow.
- 11.55 See the four newbies running down the road to warm up.
- 11:56 Restrain myself from tackling the four people that made me wait an hour to start this race and then have the audacity to think they get to warm up.
- 12:01 I see some commotion around me. People are moving forward. What’s this? Are we going? I didn’t hear anything? What the heck? I turn to The Hubs and he says “GO!” Oh. haha. I guess we’re fricken starting. As I run past the start line I finally hear this old man saying “Goooooooooo!” Awesome. I can’t decide if this starting technique is better or worse than Seeley’s Sarah Palin with the rifle (read about that here).
- 12:50 Get offered a beer by a group of people walking and wheeling a keg from the 5K start. Politely decline.
- 12:51 Cross the finish line.
- 12:55 Redeem my free beer damnit.
Oh. And the flyers for this race said “Very fast downhill course.” I’m pretty sure I counted at least three hills in there. Can you tell I’m slightly bitter?
But you know what? Goat show or not….I guess it was fun. I mean, Anaconda is a town of about 6,000 people….and this was their biggest race ever with about 780 registrants. What do I expect? This ain’t no Bloomsday. Besides, I got a good run in….got a free beer….saw some old friends….and it was sunny! Gloriously sunny. Living in Missoula you don’t see the sun much, so it was just a real nice surprise. (That was for you Kirt).
I didn’t get too many pictures this time, but I wanted to get you a shot of the Locker Room (the Bar the race started and finished at). Gotta love those dive bars.
Anyone else have a small town race I can sign up for? Just let me know if I need to show up on time, or if I can sleep in a bit. Mmmmkay? Cuz next year I’m certainly not going to be rushing to Anaconda for the St. Patty’s day run!
Oh, and yes I did mention snowmobilers earlier in this post. Here’s how we spent our Sundee:
I also took a shot from the road as we left Georgetown Lake. This is one of my favorite vantage points….I think you’ll see why.
And my house still isn’t clean. Sigh….