5 Race Day Surprises

This week’s theme for the Friday Five is “Race Day Surprises”. Have you ever been caught off-guard (in a good or a bad way) before, during, or after a race? I thought I would reminisce about a few of those moments that come to mind. 
5 race day surprises

1. The perfect finish line treat

I remember that after the first time I ran the Baltimore 10 miler I crossed the finish line and was immediately given a cold towel. This was greatly appreciated on such a hot day! To make things even better, there was also watermelon at the finish. These are now some of my favorite things after a hot run!


2. Surprises in elevation

I usually check out an elevation map before a race, but sometimes I feel like the courses don’t resemble the map at all. The worst thing is thinking “it’s all downhill to the finish” and then being faced with another hill to climb.

brf elevation

3. Beer on the course

I’ve yet to try this, but I have certainly been tempted. One day (probably when I’m not having a good race) I will probably go for it, just to say I did!

Usually I like my beer post-run

Usually I like my beer post-run

4. An unexpected win/placing

There have been a few times when I thought there was no way that I have placed but somehow ended up with an award. There was even a time when I saw another female finish before me, and then found out I got the first female award. I was really confused, but later found out the other girl was disqualified.


5. A planned detour

So this isn’t something I have yet to experience, but I read about it for the Tulsa marathon. Apparently there is a Center of the Universe detour which adds an extra .3 miles to the race! This makes it known as being the shortest ultra-marathon, because it’s actually 26.5 miles with the detour. It’s free and optional, and the decision to take the detour can be made while you are running the race. I probably won’t do it if I’m on track for a PR, but it does sound like a great experience!



What are some surprises you have encountered on race day?

Would you do the Center of the Universe detour?

Have you ever had beer during  a race?


Thanks to Courtney,  Cynthia, and Mar!



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15 responses on 5 Race Day Surprises

  1. I haven’t had beer during a race but I am thinking about the Hershey Park half when they three chocolate to us at mile 12 at the Chocolate Aid Station. It wasn’t a total surprise, I knew something about it but when it happened, I was still pleasantly surprised!
    meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Friday FavoritesMy Profile

  2. I’m not a beer person, but I have had a mimosa along the course during the Gate River Run 15k. There’s a whole strip of houses along the course handing out treats!

  3. The craziest race surprise I have ever experienced was a tunnel being flooded, so the racers started going across the road instead. That road happened to be Lake Shore Drive in Chicago which is 6 lanes wide and very busy!
    Denise recently posted…New Bike Trainer!My Profile

  4. I’ve never had beer during a race but yes, if I ever have a crappy run I’ll definitely grab one just to cross it off my bucket list! Sometimes if I start behind in the pack I’ll win an award even though I finish behind another woman just because the chip times have me finishing first. That cold towel and watermelon sounds DIVINE.
    Suzy recently posted…Blended Family Friday: CrabsMy Profile

  5. I think my biggest race-day surprise was at the 2014 Raleigh Rock’N’Roll half… I checked the elevation profile beforehand, but I think they had to change the course (or else the map was just wrong) because there were SO many more hills than I was ready for! The detour looks fun – I think I’d do it just to say I ran an ultra. ; )
    Hilary @ Embrace the Neon recently posted…Marathon Training UpdateMy Profile

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