Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's your strangest race reminder?

After the 2007 Chicago Marathon, race director Carey Pinkowski and the rest of his planning team enacted a flag warning system to notify runners of changes to course conditions in the days and hours leading up to and during the 26.2-miler. I noticed a similar flag system when I ran Grandma's Marathon in 2009--a black flag hanging near the mile 21 aid station on a day where temps reached 80 and the cool breeze that typically blows off Lake Superior was nonexistent. But these are weather warnings for snow, ice, rain, bone-chilling cold and extreme heat. Nothing like the following warning a friend of mine shared yesterday morning: First trail marathon this weekend comes with this pre-race warning. yikes. We strongly suggest wearing bright colors for your day in the woods. It is still deer hunting season for archery and muzzle loaders.

I couldn't help but laugh the first time I read it, from the deer hunting season to the comments that followed about shopping Farm and Fleet for some neon orange. But that's no joking matter, especially when I remembered this trail race is taking place in Indiana where, no offense, the runners are in the minority among the hunters, couch potatoes and not-so-physically-active population.

So it got me thinking...are there other races out there with these slightly wacky warnings? And Badwater doesn't count--2010 winner Zach Gingerich already told me about his SAG-ers and Bart Yasso referenced it on more than one occasion. I'm a city girl and the most remote running my legs get are on the northern Wisconsin roads and even then they're paved and lined with houses but lack the water fountains and heavy traffic I get at home. What's the strangest pre-race instruction/warning/rule/advice you've received?

Photo grabbed from at flickr.

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