On Sunday, August 10th I ran in the Komen Race for the Cure 5k in downtown KC. The irritating sore throat I had on Friday had evolved into a full-on head cold by Sunday morning. This dictated my race strategy for me - just run easy.
I got there with my friend Erin around 6:45. I was looking for a bunch of people before the start but managed to find nobody. There were 25,000 people there...makes it tough to find anyone. Around 7:20 I headed up to the start and nervously placed myself in the 7 min pace group. I didn't think I'd try to run that fast, we'd see.
Right before the race started Jon found me, then about two seconds later we found Jeremiah. Jon wanted to run sub 20 minutes which is actually pretty difficult on this course. There's a long steady uphill in the middle and a pretty sudden uphill towards the end. Jeremiah was going to pace Jon to a sub 20 minute finish. I, stupidly, decided to keep up as long as I could.
We got going in short order and Jon took off way too fast for me. I wasn't wearing my Garmin, again, so I didn't know how fast we were running. Jeremiah said somewhere around 6 min miles...way too fast for me. So, I let them go and fell into a massive crowd of people.
I kept a good pace, faster than I should have, for the first mile of the race.
Right around the one mile mark I was coming up on a lady and a guy running near each other. The course was pretty packed and I was planning on running in-between them. There was plenty of room for someone to fit between. As I came up to them the guy moved over to the right fairly suddenly, completely cutting me off. Now, I probably should have slowed but, I didn't. I tried to cut behind the lady, thinking I had the room. I didn't. She kicked my shin, loosing her balance and almost knocking me over. I stayed up, she didn't. She went down, hard, face first. It was terrible. I was thinking "no way this just happened".
I stopped to try to help her. She didn't move for a few seconds which kind of scared me. I immediately noticed her shoulder was bloody, road rash. She got her head off the ground and me and some other folks helped her up. She had a pretty good gash above her left eyebrow. I didn't see any other obvious cuts on her face but she was wearing her sunglasses so I don't know if they were covering something up.
There was an ambulance not very far behind us and I offered to walk her over there but she said I didn't need to go with her. She walked off, and I ran again, completely devastated at what had happened. That pretty much ruined the race for me. I felt horrible. I know it happens a lot and it probably happened more than once yesterday but that doesn't change how bad I feel.
I just ran after that, I didn't care, I wanted to finish. There was several bands along the course, few spectators save for the start and finish. Nice morning, pretty cool. I finished in 22:01. Sigh.