Friday, September 12, 2008

Cancelled race = big change of plans!

Well Kirsten and I were planning on going on a fun weekend trip to Washington, D.C. this past weekend to tackle The North Face Endurance Challenge race. I ran the 50 mile race there last year, and had a really fun time despite the incredible heat. This year they moved the date of the race forward by a month or so making for slightly cooler temps, which we were definitely excited about. Unfortunately, that move seemed to also put the race squarely in the middle of hurricane season, and this past weekend just wasn't the weekend to be having a race in that area.

So after what I know must have been an extremely tough decision, North Face decided to cancel the race for the safety of all runners involved. Though the weather may have been a factor in the cancellation, I know the most significant factor was the sudden loss of emergency response support crew, as all the folks that were slated to be on board for the race suddenly were called down to North Carolina to support emergency response efforts there after they declared a state of emergency. So, Hurricane Hanna won out (and rightly so), and we ended up staying here in Seattle for the weekend. Kirsten was especially bummed as she was really well trained and ready for the 50k race. For me, I wasn't that bummed at all about the race being canceled. Although I was signed up for the 50 miler, with my trench feet still just as nasty as ever, I was just planning to do my best at hobbling through the 10k. So in actuality it was probably all for the best that I didn't do that after all. But, Kirsten and I were both the most disappointed about not going to D.C. because we were so excited to see my brother and his family there. My brother and his wife have 1 son David who is about 7, and then 3 boys (Blake, Gavin, and Preston) and 1 girl (Sarah) who all just turned 2! We haven't seen all our wonderful nephews and niece in over a year, and were so excited to spend the weekend with them. But we will work on planning a trip there to just hang out and spend time with them sometime soon for sure- they are all far too adorable not too go for a visit!

Many folks who were signed up for the race this past weekend were really angry with North Face and the race directors, etc., but it seems that once people actually saw the huge storm that came upon Virginia last Saturday, they did an about face and realized it was indeed in their best interest not to run. One group of rogue runners met up anyway and ran the course, and I applaud them for being so tough and getting out there and powering through without course markings, real aid stations, and with atrocious conditions. But I also really respect North Face for making the right call and the tough decision to cancel this race at the last minute. Hurricanes just aren't something to be messed with.

I continue to watch as Ike looms out in the Gulf of Mexico, and my prayers are definitely with all the folks there on the Texas coast as they flee and/or brace themselves for another huge storm. Hurricane season is a scary scary time for folks on the Gulf Coast, and I hold my breath each time another one starts brewing, and always hope and pray for the best.

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