So we were down in Wollongong this weekend for what will be my last race of the season. The Runner is doing one (or two) more but this is my last one. With 5 months until the wedding, and after a conference call with The Mom and The Wedding Planner as well as a dinner with the BFF, it’s time for me to focus.
However, for today, there was one more tri to get through.
It got off to a bit of a rocky start—I won’t lie, this morning I thought the H-Curse might be in effect. For more information on the H curse, please see the Noosa race where The Runner came off his bike, 2 races in Huskisson where there were “issues” and you’ll see that the common denominator is The H.*
*The H is a good friend of The Runner’s from Ireland- they grew up together playing tennis and now do triathlon together but literally every race they do together one of them has a race injury, fall, or major malfunction that affects one or both of them.
Anyway, we had a bit of a late start this morning—totally and completely not my fault. No, really, it wasn’t- I promise. We got to the race a bit late considering The Runner and The H hadn’t actually signed in yet to get their timing chips, numbers or anything related to the race. It was still dark. Very dark. Pre-sunrise dark, and there was a bit of illegal driving to get there but we did get there in the end. And when we got there, there was a queue—a line, for all of my American readers. Quite a big queue (line) actually, of other athletes who needed to register. The race was due to start at 6:30am…. (so early!) And at 5:55, we were in the queue. To be more precise, we were the last people in the queue. And it wasn’t moving at all. The Runner and The H were a bit nervous. Imagine going all that way (Wollongong is only 90 minutes from Sydney, so it’s actually quite close) just to miss the start of the race. I was too tired to register that I had woken up at 5:25am on a Sunday morning for something that might not happen. (Really?? Is this my life?) Thankfully the line/queue moved and eventually we made it to the front with minutes to spare. I wish I could tell you that everything was fine and that was that- but THAT wouldn’t be a great story now would it?
Well….we got to the front of the queue and The Runner handed over his ID and nothing. There were a few minutes of paper shuffling, and then nothing. They couldn’t find his race pack. Time is ticking by, his name is on the list but his pack is missing. Tick Tick Tick goes the pre-dawn, pre-race clock. The older woman who has been handing out packs seems to think there is someone with the same name in the race. There isn’t but she’s given The Runner’s race pack to someone else. To Lucas Madar to be exact. Those of you who know The Runner, know that neither of those names are his- or really that close to his name considering you have to show ID when you collect your pack and presumably Lucas would know his own name and know that The Runner is NOT his name. Now, I will cut Lucas some slack because it is 6:05am and I’m not sure I knew MY own name at the time. If I had been pre-occupied with swimming, biking and running, I probably wouldn’t have taken much notice of the name on the pack. I understand how it happens but….it’s a bit awkward.
The solution was obviously to take the other person’s number and race under that number- which means that when The Runner crossed the line, they announced the other guy’s name and vice versa. It was only really funny when a friend who was in a later race heard The Runner’s name called out about 10 minutes after he had finished. It’s also a bit funny because in transition- where you keep your stuff—everyone is in numerical order . Technically The Runner and the Fake Runner had all of their bikes and gear next to each others. Clearly, I would have had words to The Fake Me… but The Runner is a better person than I am and had bigger fish to fry!
And actually, The Runner had a fantastic race. It was probably one of the best ones that I’ve seen him run and I couldn’t be prouder. He did a record time over the distance and other than a small problem of not turning around in the right spot (he blames me for distracting him), he had what I think is a perfect race. The H curse isn’t broken- he had the wrong name!!! But it was a really good day and I’m really proud of him. He did amazingly well today and as much as I hate the early starts, I love seeing him do well and do what he loves well. Just don’t look up his results, they haven’t switched his time yet and the Fake Runner did a rubbish time!!!
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