Zürich city run—rain, rain, rain

Posted on March 4, 2012 with tags running.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the Zürich marathon, so they had a new category: 10km “city run” (at least, I think it was a new category). So I went along, thinking 10k would be a nice Sunday run.

But oh, even the famed Swiss organisational skills fail some time. And when they fail, they fail hard.

First, if you have 3 events all going on at the same time (marathon, team run, city run), please, please mark the road appropriately. The finish line was marked only marathon and team run, so I didn’t even knew when I finished, I only realised “well, that must have been it” when I reached the place where I gave back the transponder chip. This marking issue was on-going for the last ~500-600 metres, as I thought I was lost when running along a road marked (again) only with marathon and team run and almost exited the road to look for my actual trail. Of course, if I had remembered that the finish is common to all three categories, all would have been good, but don’t ask me to remember such stuff at the end of a race.

Second, clothes storage. They had clothes storage organised nicely, in railroad freight cars, 500 people per car. This went well, except that they underestimated the number of people registering, so the last car had well over 700 bags, which created a huge bottleneck for this single car, which of course was where I also had the clothes (as I registered late). So I run for ~1 hour and then spend 30 minutes getting my clothes back.

This wouldn’t have been an issue, if the weather would have been fine. But it started raining seriously 500 meters into the race, and by the time I finished I was already fully drenched, just in a t-shirt (thanks fully with long pants) and waiting in the rain for 30 minutes was… painful. I think also unhealthy, due to the abrupt switch from running to just standing in the rain. I haven’t been so cold in a long while. By the time I got home my hands were shaking so hard I couldn’t unzip my jacket (and I couldn’t stop shaking, which is not a good sign).

So yeah, I learned a few things. Try not to use the clothes storage if you can (it was the first time I used it), especially if you can pick up the stuff they give you a day early (and I could have gone to the race directly dressed) and I hope the organisers learned to provide better conditions just in case it rains. Which in Zürich happens, well, quite often.

People were joking in the line: “1 hour running, 1 hour picking the clothes, 1 week sick”. I hope I won’t get sick (a hot tea after a hot bath can do wonders), but still, at least my voice will sound like after whole-night partying.

OK, rant over. What about the race? It’s nice (except the very dark overcast & rain, as said), through the centre of the city; as a friend says: “Running on Bahnhofstrasse is cool”. Otherwise, 10k seem to go quite quick nowadays ☺. Having ~1,600 people all in red t-shirts was funny, especially if you’re trying to look for friends. It was a very diverse crowd, you could see more varied people than in the other races (where more running-focused people seem to come); here there were all kind of people, children, teenagers, adults and so on, no per-category start or such.

As to myself, I still am bothered by some small injuries, so I can’t enjoy the nice result I got: 47m26.4s, for a 4m.44s/km! Yay! Of course, the reason I run so fast was because I was cold and needed to run to heat up. Also, again a flat race. I should start getting friends with hills. And due to the fact that it was a more diverse crowd, for the first time I didn’t class (in my age category) around the ~66% down the list, but around ~44% only (~13 minutes slower than the winner). Yay!