I would have to say that this has been a very interesting week of mishaps, screaming children, and full size dogs tucked under airplane seats. Yes, you heard me right… But let me get on with the post to fill you in.
My husband and I traveled to Florida for what should have been our fourth 1/2 marathon and our security nod of the year to receive our RunDisney Coast-to-Coast. We were looking forward to it and come race week watched the weather reports, watched what we ate, drank plenty of water, even took heed to the weather advisory (high) for that evenings race.
The first signs that something wasn’t going right was the transportation from the hotel was over full with passengers. I think more spectators were hopping on buses and driving in with their family than need be and it caused an issue. Another issue was the transportation wasn’t flowing as smoothly out of the parking lots as years past. We got there with time to spare but barely as bag check was minutes away.
We checked our bags and the wind started to pick up. Wind out of nowhere and raindrops that made some runners freak out. They are raindrops people and if you ran last years race it was nothing compared to the dumping we got then. The wind though was crazy and chilly. It went from 80+ degrees and 90% humidity to somewhere in the 70s and windy. Then there was the lightening. Great. Nothing like a little lightening to spook people. The announcer started ushering us to our corrals, or we thought that is where we were headed, but in fact we were being evacuated from the area and needed to get to the ESPN buildings. Ok, yea 14,000+ people all at once trying to get there was madness. Where did they put us? A stadium. Some apparently made it to the field house but I was ushered into the stadium. My husband found me but he was outside under an awning because he was in a different corral and we had said good luck already earlier. Crazy. So we sat. And we sat, and we sat for up to an hour. We couldn’t hear the announcers, we met new families, and we watched some really dating people run the bases, go in the dugouts, and go out on the mound of the field.
The natives were getting restless. At that point I was beginning to think that we weren’t going to race but it was to start at 10pm and t was just then 10, so there was still hope. If only the weather would cooperate.
Finally we got word to go back to our corrals and that we would start at 10:45. We were also told that it would be a shortened course and no longer a full 1/2 marathon. I was disappointed and upset because I had trained for this run, my times were getting better and I felt confident that I would improve, but with all the setbacks so far in the day it was probably better that the course was shortened. The race started at 11:00pm. My group wouldn’t go for another 22 minutes. I was beginning to feel tired and no longer as excited as I was 2 hours prior even if we had transportation issues.
When the gun and fireworks went off everyone was slow to start but once people got moving there was so much pushing and shoving. People were not as courteous as they were 2 months prior at Disneyland. When you slow to walk get over and let others pass. At this one people just came to full stops, or three elbows as they ran past, or even cut you off so you couldn’t get past them because you didn’t want to slow your pace. You could say excuse me until you were blue and people just didn’t want to budge. I think part of it was they were upset, and the other part was that they need to hold an etiquette course for all runners prior to packet pickup. If you don’t go through it-no packet. People got hurt out there because of others and that isn’t fair to them. What if they can’t run again? What if this was this first experience and it is now ruined? I just think people need to show more consideration.
The course ended up being somewhere around 6.72-7.23 miles. No one has officially said yet what the race distance was but we got our medals out of it. I guess we need to put Wine and Dine 1/2 half marathon on the medal. My time wasn’t improved either. After everything, it stayed the same as a 10k time would have been. I’m not disappointed though because my knee was swelling, I’ve been having calf issues, shin issues, and it was muggy out there. It’s all good- I’ll take it.
My second notation at the beginning was creaming children. Ya know when you are at a theme park for a couple days and your child has grown and off to college or your children are well behaved, well we experienced some children this week who ruled the parents. The best one by far was in front of us on the plane to Atlanta. This child, we will call him “the little monster”, screamed and screamed and then would be good and then screamed. Now this was not an infant, nor was it a child of two or three. The little monster was at least four or five. He was horrible. No filter at all, wouldn’t sit down in the seat, wouldn’t be quiet, wouldn’t listen and slapped his mother or the woman who appeared to be his mother. The only thing she did when he did that was say ,’hey’. Um… Excuse me but no. You need to nip that in the bud right away sweetheart. She had no control. He continued his screams and they weren’t even about anything. He wasn’t in pain, he wasn’t crying, he wasn’t being restrained, he just screamed. Now I had my headphones in with music on and could still hear the child. My husband who has noise cancelling headphones could still hear the little monster. So the children in the theme parks were annoying at times but this- the little monster was the devil.
The third thing I mentioned was a full size dog tucked under the seats of a plane. You read the correctly- full size. On our second leg back we didn’t see the dog at first until the girl in front of us got up to move and the guy needed to move and all of a sudden there is a big black lab tail wagging. Now small dogs are always on the plane in their little carriers but a full size dog? I know there are seeing eye dogs, comfort dogs etc but none of those badges are on this dog- just a leash. My question for airlines is what if a person paying full fare around them is allergic to a dog? I mean really allergic what happens? I don’t think it is right to have animals in the main cabin area. I love my dog but that is what traveling by car is for so you can make appropriate ‘pit stops’. I don’t know what is happening to the air industry but there is something new everyday.
Ok that is all I have for a weeks excitement. Evacuation, shortened run, little monsters, and dogs on planes. Have a nice day.