The 5K I chose to run was the first of its kind at the first annual Depot Days in Concordia, so there weren’t many runners. We ran alongside the 10K people, and before the race started, I only knew two ladies who were running the 5K. One of them was definitely a runner, so I thought I could follow her if I got lost. I had glanced at the map and it looked pretty simple. The 10K people were to run past the 5K turnaround and then down a long gravel road before they turned around. My nerves about running a road race kept me from really focusing on the map and making sure I knew where I was going.
So, off we went, and I stayed at the middle of the pack for the first few miles. I had forgotten my stopwatch that morning so I wasn’t sure how fast I was going. By the time we got on a long stretch of highway the people in front of me had pulled ahead significantly. At one point as I looked ahead, I saw a couple trucks parked on the side of the road filled with young baseball players who would get all the funds from this race. They were cheering each person on and I thought they would also be handing out water. I saw “the runner” come back from behind them, so it didn’t look like she had turned around at the trucks. I then assumed I needed to run further to get to the turn around point; therefore, as I ran past the trucks of baseball player, I failed to notice the markings on the pavement–“5K Turn Around.”
I ran on to the end of the pavement and the lady in front of me continued down the 10K route. I turned around and met a few 10Kers coming my way. I asked them if they were in the 5, and they told me I was supposed to turn around “back there”–at the trucks. I yelled, “Oh no!” and we all had a little laugh. I thought to myself, “How much further have I run?” I decided to count telephone poles–10 one way; 20 total. In the country that would be 2000 yards. Yikes! Over a mile? This is going to be horrible!
As I ran back through the course I told the people at the trucks that I should have turned around here, and it looked to me like they had moved the trucks away from the turn around sign on the pavement. Or maybe I didn’t remember what it looked like the first time? Oh well.
I finished the race in 43 minutes and as I crossed the finish line I told them I went too far and they calculated it was about a 1.2 miles further. When they handed out medals I got 2nd in my age group (of 2!) and another medal for being an overachiever! Dad and I drove the course I ran, and sure enough, it totaled 4.2 miles. I had never run that far in my life!
I guess it is safe to say I go the extra mile.