Monday, June 9, 2008

"need for speed relay" stopped in progress because of extreme heat!!

was i in westchester or chicago?? all of a sudden it was "deja vu all over again!" i stood there at exchange point 8 with my daughter, katie, and listened incredulously as race officials suddenly announced the need for speed relay was cancelled! within minutes emmy finished the 7th leg and, instead of handing over the baton to me, turned it in to the scorekeepers. it was brutally hot - 92 degrees when i left my house and ran the 9/10th's of a mile to village hall, the exchange site. but was that reason enough to cancel the race?

i was speechless, angry, frustrated, disappointed - pick your own adjective. the situation was worsened by the less than truthful explanations initially proffered. the cancellation was blamed on the threat of thunderstorms, and lightning in particular, we were told! later, the official explanation was found in a press release:

"Due to the heat, the race was terminated early at the recommendation of local health authorities, but numerous teams were already in the final stretch of the 9-leg, 50-mile course, and many racers successfully crossed the finish line. . . ."

the difference between my chicago marathon experience and this one: i had just finished the marathon when it was cancelled - i hadn't even begun my leg of the relay when this event was stopped cold (excuse the pun).

emmy, heading into the exchange.

running conditions were horrendous. our team, "trying to catch the wind," was about an hour behind our projected schedule.

emmy and katie

after the cancellation katie and i ran home together. pat drove emmy back to her car in white plains. we had thought about heading down to new roc city for the post-relay party, but upon reflection, i really didn't have much to celebrate.

exchange site - just before the relay was stopped

apologies in advance for the downbeat tone of this post. in retrospect, the only thing worth cheering about is the money raised to help children of domestic violence. the good work those contributions can accomplish, in and of itself made it all worthwhile!

for more upbeat coverage:
check out emmy's brief race report and photos.
check out anthony's race report and photos.
check out nyflygirl's race report and photos (with links to some of her teammates' race reports as well).

here are the official results (including breakdown by individual legs).


JohnnyGo said...

Despite being called at the end, it was a great event. I am curious though, to hear more details about why the race was canceled. I looked at the press release you linked to, but I don't see any mention that the race was stopped at all. Am I blind?

rundangerously said...

johnnygo, that quote is from the first paragraph of the press release. it was also announced, i'm told, at the post-race party at new roc city.

congrats on getting in your leg of the relay!

Scott said...

Bummer it was halted...

Pam said...

Johnnygo - I was at the post race "party" and heard the following paraphrased quote from the race director "the ONLY reason the race was cancelled was because of severe dehydration issues back as far as between legs 4 and 5; weather was NOT a factor. Westchester Medical Center specifically requested that the race be shut down."
Frank - I'm sorry you didn't join my family and I to celebrate our fund raising goal being met, the incredibly strong performance of 7 of our team members and new friendships being built. But, I get it ... it was a long hot day and the party truly wasn't worth the effort. I look forward to many future, better run events together!

AnthonyP said...

Total bummer. I was lucky that I got to run 2 of the legs, but the heat was brutal

CTmarathoner said...

I was really bummed out that you and Pam couldn't finish --but if the medical authorities say to stop, then the race directors have to listen. Part of the problem with such a long relay is that it includes untrained and beginner runners who are not conditioned to run in the heat or for more than a few miles -but I applaud them for joining a team and for participating bcause that's what it's all about...

DawnB said...

sorry you didn't get to run the leg with your daughter. I know you were looking forward to it. But I'm pretty sure it was for the best they stop the race.

I've never run "cook you Buns"
would be a very scary week, XC tue, speed work wed, cook your buns fri. Norwalk 3 miler on sat, new canaan 1 miler sat even lets see should I be doing something sunday LSD, I'm a mad woman I tell....(God please help me not to follow the above schedule this week :)

Just_because_today said...

Disappointing but the rd thought they were doing the right thing to prevent any misfortunes. Think about how you would have felt if someone had actually died due to the conditions of the day. More than likely it wouldn't have happened but...sometimes it's better to be safe.

Just_because_today said...

can you make the word verification easier to understand??? MG, sometimes I have to guess at the letters!

rundangerously said...

thanks scott!

pam, when katie and i got home - after only 9/10th's of a mile - i was drenched in sweat and didn't feel up to socializing. i was very proud of the 7 legs our team finished! but not getting to run a leg was a real downer for me.

thanks anthony! great job out there!

thanks emmy!

thanks dawn! wow, forgot that saturday kicks off the norwalk summer series!! will miss the 3 miler (and jim's new 1 miler) on saturday!

i like cook your buns b/c of the post-race bbq :D

myriam, i know where you're coming from as a race director. but, i have mixed feelings about stopping a race already in progress.

nyflygirl said...

i finally posted my longer write-up, including my thoughts about the race being stopped...boy, let me just say, it was a very good thing our time was no longer official, but i would have gotten us DQ'ed anyway for cursing :)

Hindsight-it was probably a smart decision...but in the scheme of things, there are so many "what ifs..."

rundangerously said...

great rr, nyflygirl! i updated the link to your full report.

Kevin said...

Man, that is crazy. they should have let you guys finish. Love the deena kastor photos in your other post.

Pam said...

Frank - not getting to run was a real downer for me as well. I was looking forward to hoofing 5.7 miles with you as my guide :). Next time for sure!

Meredith said...

meh, that totally sucks, i would be pissed and ask for my money back ;-)

It's funny that ultras never get cancelled for that type of weather, look at KM 100 this weekend, and i ran two 50 milers last year in 100F heat. Thunderstorms would have felt nice, eh?


rundangerously said...

thanks kevin! did you really just tag me :D

pam, hopefully before the nyc half at the end of july!

thanks meredith!