Sunday, May 17, 2009

I love Umstead but HATE "555"

Today was the Inside-Out Half Marathon in Cary. Race starts on Weston Parkway, quickly enters Umstead Park and is essentially an out and back course, with a minor detour as you come back out of the park.

I didn't register early, so to "assure" I would get in and get a shirt, I left my house in Littleton, NC at 3:45 am so I could get to the race by 5:30! I made it by 5:30, but there were no shirts! Oh well . . . I already have plenty of shirts and these didn't look all that great anyway.

But when I got my race number I about died! The lady gave me number "555". That one number is one of the 2 slowest numbers between 1 and 999 (the other slow number equally bad is "777"). With a number like this I had NO chance for a good race. there is NO chance for a good race with number "555"! Why couldn't I have gotten "11" or "44"? No I had to get "555". Okay, I have my own "numberology" philosophy and you may laugh . . . but its REAL!

Weather was perfect . . . a light rain as we were waiting and the temperature wasn't too high. Saw Michael Forrester and Ron Fleming as they were waiting in line for a porta'potty.

When Michael saw me he immediately broke out laughing!! Michael understands. He saw my race number was "555" and ask me if I was just going on home with a number like this!

Not being a quitter, I decided to run the race anyway. I should have gone home.

I decided to experiment with my Galloway intervals . . . normally I run 4 and 1 but I decided to try 5 and 30 seconds. I guess my mind was focused on my number, not good logical thinking. Why I thought this might work in Umstead I have no idea. About mile 6 or so I adjusted back to 4 and 1 and walked the hills.

At about mile 9 as the rain picked up, I was invited to run with two folks I had leap-frogged with all morning: Laura and Steve (both from the Raleigh area). They were running a 2 and 1 Galloway but their 2 was quite a bit faster than is normal for me. Two totally fun folks to run with!! We all stayed together until about a mile to go when Steve ran on and Laura and I continued at our steady but slower pace. Laura and I finished together in 2:30 . . . not great but a fun time.

By the way . . no finisher's medal! So for $45 I got no shirt and no medal! And all they had at the finish was pretzels as everything else was gone by the time I got there! I just hope the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities gets a good check from the race.

I actually felt pretty good today and enjoyed Umstead as always. But if I only had gotten a different race number . . . and if I had kept with my normal plan . . . . oh well . . . there is always the next race!


  1. Hey Frank, good post. I'm sorry we had to miss it, but we have to rest for a Marathon on Saturday.

    I see that 10 miles of it goes through Umstead, which is great. I am not going to miss that next year.

  2. Frank - Can't believe you didn't get in your car and leave with a number like that. My hat's off to you.

    Is Michael striking a pose for this years Medoc medal???

  3. Remind me not to look like such a complete idiot the next time you take a picture.

    Nice write up Frank!


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.