Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Does Running So Far Prove?

Action shotMy latest column is out. My dad's favourite line is: "I love me some Powerade."

Unfortunately that line is a lie. They gave us Lucozade, but I felt it would slow the pace of the column to reference Lucozade and then have to explain that is a sports drink that is apparently for people who like to eat candy while running. Cripes that stuff is sweet.

I also didn't mention my time in the column, which was around 1:54. That's a few seconds more than I ran in Fargo a few years ago, but I'm not particularly bothered because I had been suffering a pretty bad cold in the week before. At the starting line I was still coughing like someone's granddad.

The run itself was enjoyable, winding from City Centre down to the Bay and then up into Bute Park. In my column, I make a bit more of Butetown than was actually the case. The boy I referenced in the column followed up his taunt with: "All day, my old son! All day!"

My guess is that he was simply shouting things for the sake of shouting.

Going up through Pontcanna was the best part, because there were people cheering us on in Welsh. My favourite supporter was a curly-haired girl who looked to be about 4 years old. She was jumping up and down and shouting, "Da iawn! Da iawn!" at the top of her lungs.

Unfortunately, the race was "organised" by retarded people, so the moments before and after the race were filled with frustration. I'll bet cash money that any one of the regular readers of this blog could have done a better job on just a day's notice than the mental midgets who apparently have been putting on this run for several years in a row.

Here's a question for you: If you had an event that some 10,000 people were attending, how many portable toilets would you have at the start line? If your answer is "more than 10" you are better qualified than the Cardiff Half Marathon fuckwits. All of the men simply pissed in the street. I saw several blokes making no effort to stand near a wall or bush or behind any sort of barrier. They were pissing in disdain.

The race ended within the walls of Cardiff Castle. There's a certain romanticism to that, but take a look at this aerial view of the castle grounds and tell me how many gates you see. That's right, two. Two gates.

So, here's another question: If you were using one of those gates to allow the thousands of people to stream into the castle grounds, that would leave you with how many exits? If one exit for 10,000 people sounds a bit silly to you, you are WAY ahead of the incompetent ass-hats that charged me £21 ($42) to take part in their clusterfuck. They were trying to use the other gate -- a space that is only about 8 feet wide -- to allow people both in and out.

Oh, but that's not all. They didn't ask the police to block off the road that runs in front of the castle. That left only the pavement as the method of dispersal. The pavement is probably 4 feet wide and on any given weekend (like this one) is usually crowded with tourists and shoppers.

Things came to a standstill inside the castle walls. Those of us who had finished the race found ourselves trapped -- exhausted, dehydrated, cold and not at all prepared to stand in a crowd for 40 fucking minutes. The child bride was close to fainting.

The organisers insist they'll learn from their mistakes, but these mistakes are so basic that they shouldn't have occurred. It's the sort of thing that may very well drive me to write a sternly worded letter to the Western Mail.


Monica said...

I think we're already at the age where we rationalize "I'm doing this to prove I STILL CAN." How depressing.

Unknown said...

I'm still glad that you got hit with the egg and not me. I mean, where would have I washed my clothes? What was the name of the pub we were drinkin' at that night?

Rob said...

I know the people who organized the race, and they're actually very nice people. They tried really hard, but they were distracted by caring for their retarded daughter, who was in hospital the time.

The above isn't true, actually.
I made it up because there's something wrong with me. Sorry about that.

Chris Cope said...

That was nice of them to let their daughter organise the race.

Anonymous said...

Nice bib number

~the editor

Bugail Aberdyfi said...

Yeah I was surprised by what happened at the Castle. It looked like a great place to finish the race.

You're lucky you didn't do the great Welsh run. Well organised but so over the top. They had the salvation army play brass version of Hawaiian-five-0 at the last stretch of the course.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with experience organizing a race knows the finish line/meet and greet shouldn't take place in a fully enclosed area!!!

At least it wasn't 80 degrees like it was for both the Twin Cities and Chicago marathons . . was it?

Neal said...

This reminds me of the last race I ever ran up the side of Pike's Peak. Hundreds of runners mixed with hundreds of tourists at the top of a mountain and there was no way down.

Trevor said...

i was reading along and hit this line "Unfortunately, the race was "organised" by retarded people" and didn't so much as laugh, but snort like said retards. i'm not a snorter, so this is even funnier for me.

i don't believe the people sitting about me in this quiet little coffee shop felt it nearly as amusing as i did.

guess they had to be there.