On Saturday, August 10 I ran the North Ridgeville Lions Club 10K in North Ridgeville, Ohio. Also known as: the race where I came in DEAD last.
Official Time: 1:16:42
Age Group Placing (F 25-29): 7/7
Overall Placing: 90/90
When I arrived at the race, knowing my tortoise-pace, I was hoping the field would be somewhat large. It was not. When the race started I held out hope — and told myself it wouldn’t be that bad. Around Mile 2 a 70-year-old man passed me and I established myself as “last place in the North Ridgeville Lions Club 10K.” Shortly after that I realized I was being followed.
Was there another runner behind me? Maybe I wasn’t last. Nope.
It was a police cruiser. A cruiser that would then follow me for the remaining 4-miles of the race. I was literally was running from the law. I spent about two of those last four miles with a scowl on my face over the utter absurdity that was going on. I understand keeping runners safe. But following me 100 yard behind? In North Ridgeville, Ohio? A bit much.
(And I say this as someone who has run more than 40 road races and understands what typical police safety consists of on a course.) But then what really upset me was when I was told to run on the side of the road (also for my safety). I run in the middle of the road during races. I’ve read, and truly believe, this helps avoid IT band issues from running on uneven pavement.
The only good to come from my anger, and from being followed, was I was not tempted to stop or walk at all. I kept an even pace the entire time. When I reached the finish I received a loud cheer from the crowd. Upon crossing the finish the announcer immediately began to announce awards.
I’m not sure what was more embarrassing, the police cruiser following or knowing the entire crowd was waiting for me at the end of the North Ridgeville Lions Club 10K.