A few weeks ago, when I was visiting my mother in Alabama, I was on a post-race high and impulsively signed up for the Stonebriar Spring Sprint – not even thinking about the fact that the Fairview Half and 5K, practically in my backyard, was being held the same day. Oh well. So, on April 5 I got in my car, passed all the blocked-off roads in Fairview, and headed over to Frisco for my race.
A little backstory. Three days prior, I had visited Run On McKinney to pick up my packet and found out that they did not have any race shirts in my size (adult small). If this were a plain cotton shirt I would not have cared one bit, but the shirts were tech shirts and I really wanted one. I can always use another tech shirt to train in. Anyway, the ladies at Run On told me that I would probably be able to swap out my adult M for a S. OK, cool.
Anyway, on to race day. I got there about half an hour before the race and came to the registration table, shirt in hand, ready to exchange. They didn’t have any smalls. Oh well. I took the (extremely large-cut) shirt back to my car.
The race: It was a good crowd and everyone seemed enthusiastic. I understand this is the first year of this race, and they managed to put together a nice vendor fair with free shaved ice and treats from the local Corner Bakery. I took off at a steady 8:00 pace, being sure not to venture too far into 7:00 territory, lest I lose steam. The course had one 180-degree turn, which I hate.
The most notable thing to happen, however, came as we were in the middle of mile two – a very tall gentleman fell right in front of me. And I don’t mean “fell” as in tripped a little, or stumbled. No, this dude went flat on his face right on the road. People started dodging him. In a split second, my brain did this little calculation: Help him or go on to preserve my time and pace? Of course, the right thing to do would be to stop, but in the heat of a race, sometimes common decency goes out the window. In the end, I yelled “Are you okay?” and extended my hand to help him up, made sure he was able to stand and looked mostly uninjured, and then went on without another word. I saw him later a few paces behind me. (I found the gentleman after the race and he told me a kid darted in front of him, causing him to stop short and lose his balance. Darn kids!)
My final time ended up being 25:11, well ahead of my previous race time of 26:26 and even better than the race before that, the Allen Eagle Run. Would I have gotten a better time if I had not stopped to help my fellow racer? Possibly. But at least I can sleep well at night knowing I did the right thing.
I didn’t really take any race pics except this one: A shot of everyone crowding around the printed race results (which were already online at that point).
UPDATE: I did a little polite complaining on the race’s Facebook page and the good folks who put on the race have informed me that they do, in fact, have a size small shirt for me. I’m going to get it tomorrow. Way to go, organizers!