Cinco de Julio Cuatro Miler 2011 Race Report


Location: The Bluestone, Columbus, OH
Distance: 4 miles
Time: 1:01:50
Gimmick: Well, this is supposed to be a Cinco de Mayo race, but this is the same company that does Cap City, which was 5/7, so they made it Cinco de Julio this year.  I think the theme was hot?

What, you don't normally find randoms on motorcycles to pose with?

This was, by far, the worst race I ever run.  On our way home, we saw a temperature display that said 90 degrees.  I know the race organizers can’t control the temperature, but who actually thinks a 6 PM race in July is a good idea?  I think this would have been a lot better at 8 PM or in the morning.  Or in May when it is normally scheduled.  Or in June when it was scheduled originally.

The real problem, though, is that the course had no shade and there was only one water stop at mile 2.  This was made even worse by the fact that there was no cold bottled water left by the time I finished.  I know I finished towards the end, but that’s still totally ridiculous in this heat.

Fearless Leader in his sombrero took first. However, the sombrero was not on his head when he passed me coming back (I was somewhere around 1.5 miles, he was at 2.5, I think). Is there a sad last sombrero floating around Columbus somewhere?

The course was an out and back in downtown Columbus.  Somewhere around mile 1, we saw a woman screaming out her car window at the traffic officer because he wouldn’t let her turn while there were runners on the course.  I almost died laughing, although I heard later that some woman actually did ignore the officers and scared some of the other runners.  I do think the race had a lot of traffic cops, which was really good and totally necessary.

At mile 2ish, LeDawn and I stopped to walk through the water station.  When we started to run post-water, we realized that we were both way to injured and hot to run the whole race.  We walked about 1.5 miles and then did an 11-12 minute mile until the end.  Our fingers were massively swollen and the lack of cold water really, really sucked, especially since I heard from someone else that the bartenders at the Bluestone were refusing to serve water unless we paid for it.  Water should be free after a race.  Actually, water should be free period if people are willing to drink tap water.

Ledawn’s husband, David, met us at 3.75ish with water, which was really cool!  I’ve never had someone run me in, but this time I definitely needed it.  Husband claimed he is going to try running in the car on the way to the race, so maybe he can run with me for some of these crappy races.

David, LeDawn, and I about to run past Judi (who was already done). David is my superhero!

So, this is my first race I’ve ever had to walk and it made me feel crappy.  I’m ok with being slow, but I’m really not ok with feeling like I can’t run.  I heard later that almost everyone took a walk break because of the heat, but it still bugs me.  I’m glad LeDawn and I got to hang out, though, and I’m glad I didn’t die of heatstroke.

This race at least had medals, although they say “Cinco de Mayo” on them, which kind of bugs me.  Someone on Facebook said the medals are recycled from last year (there is a 2011 on them, but it looks like it could have been soldered on later).  Husband says that I’ll be glad to have the medal later once I’ve had time to not be miserable and upset (I think I might be more than a little bit hormonal right now).

So, I think I screwed up hydrating (again).  This time I ODed on the sodium (Gatorade and Nuun before the race, a salt pill at the beginning, an energy gel in the middle and Nuun during the race).  My fingers usually only swell like that if I eat too much salt.  I was confused by the time of day and the heat and tried to overcompensate.  Also, I had a migraine from dehydration from being outside earlier in the day and I was trying to make it go away.  Can someone please tell me how to stop screwing this up?

Editor’s Note: I wrote this last night while still very emotional and upset.  I’ve decided not to change it, because I really did feel this way and I am still quite upset about the water situation.  That’s really unsafe and poor planning on somebody’s part.  I’ve normally had great experiences running races with this company, but this particular race was not up to their usual standards.


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Gear, Medical, Race Recap. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Cinco de Julio Cuatro Miler 2011 Race Report

  1. Wow, that is some seriously bad race planning. I can’t even believe someone would consider holding a race at 6PM in the middle of July. With no shade?! And running out of water? That’s completely inexcusable.

    I’m sorry you had such a crappy race. 😦 Hopefully your next one will be much better!

  2. KimberlyKim says:

    On top of the lack of water on the course, I am appalled that they wanted to charge for water at the Bluestone! 😦 Major fail. Even if they did have to bust out the bottled water, big deal for them, you just ran a race in 90 degree weather. I am sorry. Don’t get down on yourself – most races are not scheduled at 6 PM for this very reason. You DID it and are here today to talk about it. Good for you!

  3. Raquelita says:

    Holding a race at 6pm in July in Columbus is really poor planning on the part of the race organizers, as is only having one water stop and running out of water. If I were you, I would write to the race organizers and complain. It is a dangerous position to put runners in, and they should acknowledge that and make sure that it doesn’t happen at future events.

    I know you’re disappointed in your performance in this one, but you finished under really difficult circumstances. Count this one as a victory.

  4. TriGirl says:

    Yech, that sounds like some of the least ideal race conditions…but you finished anyway! Way to go!

    I don’t know how your body is (sounds sensitive like mine), but for a race of that distance I would probably stick to mostly water with maybe the occasional hit of sodium if i was sweating a lot from the heat

  5. Alicia says:

    Holy WOW! It really does sound like a lot, and you should write a constructive letter to the organizers so it doesn’t happen again.

    Be proud of yourself for finishing and making smart choices.

    And during such hot races, I find it helpful to pour water on myself. Take a drink then dump it right on my head. If you think of it in advance, wet a handkerchief and put it on your head with a hat over top. With this length race I also stick to just water, but with the heat, it’s about keeping your core temperature low. Try a slurpee or slushie ahead of time.

    I can ALMOST understand having only 1 water stop but not running out of water!! That’s shameful on a 90 degree day! And no sprinklers, hoses or hydrants?! Awful!

    But again, be proud of finishing and the lessons learned. Someday, I swear, this will be a crazy, can you believe what I did to run, story. 🙂

  6. Judi says:

    We didn’t die of heat stroke, therefore, we are WINNING!

    I didn’t hear that they were charging for water!? That’s nuts given they ran out of bottled water.

  7. Kim (Book Worm Runs) says:

    Eeek!! That sounds like terrible terrible planning…6 pm in July?? Ugh! I certainly know what it feels like to be disapointed and upset after a race. {{{Big Hugs}}} I hope you were able to get some perspective after a good night of sleep, I know that always helps me 🙂 I think you did an amazing job so remember to give yourself a big pat on the back for getting out there and finishing!! 🙂

  8. Kara says:

    A 6pm race in July? Awful! Way to go on finishing anyway!

    You will eventually figure out hydration, probably by winter 😛

  9. That seriously sounds awful!! I can’t believe someone would drive through a race!! People are nuts.

  10. Abby says:

    Man, I’m sorry to hear that it was such a crummy outing. Sounds like the race organization has some reorganization to do before next year if they want to keep people coming out – no excuse for lack of water in a summer race!

  11. Michelle says:

    I’m sorry to hear they organized it so poorly. Granted, Cap City had a miserable finish last year. The last mile was like a cattle shoot, they went from a street wide race to a small bike path. But there is no excuse for running out of water, that is just appalling.

    How to stop screwing up hydration? Make sure to drink water constantly, not just when thirsty. I’ve had issues with this recently (getting awful headaches) and I need to remember that a glass of water is necessary even when I’m sitting comfortably inside.

  12. Sara says:

    I’m sorry this was so horrible, Sarah! I did like reading your review – it was well thought-out and organized – it didn’t sound emotional to me – just honest!

    I have walked during every race this year. Does this make me a failure or a bad pace coach? Probably! 😦 I feel like a gigantic loser!

    You, however, do a great job and I admire you for it! 🙂

  13. Sam Walton says:

    sounds like not much fun at all!! good job for pushing through.

  14. elohorn says:

    I totally empathize with your feeling upset about not being able to maintain the stamina you expected. I always go to the gym wanting to beat my fastest mile time, or run my longest conditioning, but a lot of days I don’t, and I still get a great workout 🙂

  15. I am so stupid spoiled and only run on the treadmill in the heat. I admire you for racing outside at ALL, but you seriously pummeled that race!

  16. Mandy says:

    I am with the others. Running out of water for a July race is inexcusable. Like you, I generally think this company does good races – but they purposely rescheduled this one for this date and time – they should have been better prepared. Especially since it was in the 90s all week, so the temperature wasn’t a big surprise.

    I have to admit – hearing all of the stories post race – I’m glad I didn’t make this my last pregnant race as I’d thought about when it was originally scheduled for June!

    Walking doesn’t make you a failure – it makes you smart. A 90 degree race will require certain adaptations. Good for you for finishing in these conditions!

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