We had a heat wave this week — the worst one so far this summer — and it really took a toll on my speed. However, I do feel like I’m ready for whatever weather I have to deal with for my summer marathons — one next week and a double in August.
At least I managed to get my runs in — all 40 miles this week. But the 2013 Stroehmann Back On My Feet 20in24 Challenge was a weather casualty — a DNH (Did Not Happen). I’ve been fortunate so far to avoid the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish), and I only had to DNS (Did Not Start) twice due to stress fractures. But this is my first DNH.
While I understand the reasoning behind the decision, the process was terribly bungled. Although the weather forecast did not change throughout the week, the initial decision and announcement was not made until noon on Friday — one day prior to the start of the event — to limit the ultra to 12 hours from 7:00 to 7:00 on Sunday only rather than the normal start of 10:00 AM on Saturday since the heat wave was expected to break through Saturday evening. This would also push the Midnight Madness (the event I registered for) to Sunday morning at 7:00.
The website was updated at noon and emails went out to all registrants. I went ahead to packet pickup which started at 5:00 PM on Friday. I arrived a few minutes early but they were already handing out bibs and bags so I picked mine up and headed back home. Apparently around 5:00 PM the city informed the race organizers that the event would have to be cancelled completely. Nothing about the forecast seemed to change dramatically between noon and 5:00 PM. This appears to be a case of bad decision-making leading to many very confused, disappointed, and angry runners.
It is definitely disappointing to have an event cancelled, but it is always a risk we take when registering for any event. But making whip-lash decisions within a five-hour period is inexcusable. And I doubt this was the fault of the race organizers or the Back On My Feet Foundation who have to work with the city for permits and permissions. There is some indication that the race may be rescheduled for fall, but that is a very busy running season and it is unlikely that many registrants will be able to fit a new date in their schedule. It is too bad because this is a wonderful event and a very worthy cause. I hope it doesn’t detract from registrations next year.
As it turns out, today was not the worst day this week for running, and I personally think it could have been run safely and successfully as originally scheduled. But, then, I wasn’t consulted!
Next up for me is the PA Grand Canyon Marathon on Sunday, July 28. I am looking forward to a taper week with hopefully cooler temperatures and lower humidity! (Please?)
Slow Workout Week (40.5 total miles):
Mon – 5.21 miles – 12:54 pace
Tue – 5.17 miles – 12:37 pace
Wed – 14.07 miles – 13:29 pace
Fri – 6.03 miles – 11:23 pace
Sat – 10.02 miles – 11:02 pace