Here's a little Pre-Post-Script:
Follow this link to an article about the race earlier today, which includes a short video segment with race coverage at the bottom of the article. You'll see what I'm talking about below.
That's right, I skipped the darn thing! And I'm actually proud that I did! Why? I'll tell you why: 2 to 3 inches of fresh snow fall, more coming down race morning, freezing temperatures, 25mph Northerly winds and city streets covered in salty, slushy, dirty, snowy, YUCK.
I don't even care that it was only a 5 mile race. The event has grown beyond convenient proportions in recent years. 32,500 people signed up for this year's race, and even if the weather had been better, it still would have been a pain to get downtown, walk over to Grant Park, wait in line at the gear check, stand around in a corral for 30 minutes, run a little race, wait in line at gear check again and then work my way back to the CTA for the 30 minute ride home again.
Maybe I could handle it if the weather had been sunny and in the 50s, like it was just two days ago, but no way was I going to try to endure the inclement weather AND try to surf the unpleasant logistics of a race that has grown beyond its bounds in the first place.
Just. Not. Worth it.
I've already had more than my fair share of races in the past few years whose forecast turned unexpectedly extreme on race day. More than half a dozen events where the heat soared 30 degrees hotter than normal, or there was fresh/unseasonal snow on a race course. I don't need to go through it again.
Deena Kastor was in town to run the Shuffle again this year. She was here in 2005 and won the race. It was part of her preparation for the Chicago Marathon that October which she came back for and also won. Today was going to be her first race since the marathon at the Beijing Olympics last August when she broke her foot 3 miles in. What a pleasure for her to wake this morning and see a city course filled with snowy, icy, slushy streets! For her first race after breaking her foot? Joy! Rapture! As of noon, no results are up on the event website. Maybe she was smart and bailed like I did. I laid in bed this morning at 7am, while I was still debating, thinking that very thing: I wonder if Deena's even going to run?
I'm doubtful I'll sign up for this race next year. I've done it four times before, and I really love the downtown course It's a tour of the loop and the one nice thing about the race. But it's awfully expensive for an 8K. The official t-shirt is El Cheapo because they're trying to trick runners into spending more money on the over-priced stuff at the official merchandise booth. The logistics at the race start are overwhelming, and there's not even any glamorous little medal for the finishers - because it's only an 8K. I think I'd rather go for a run around the neighborhood, or find a little 5K in the 'burbs.
Naturally, the forecast tomorrow calls for bright sun and temps in the very high 40s.