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Subject:  Race Report: Run Hard Lexington Half Marathon Date:  11/12/2018  8:57 PM
Author:  WhiteHatBobby Number:  23946 of 23960

Run Hard Lexington Half Marathon IV
Fourth attempt
Time: Disqualified past the 8km point

I added this race to the schedule in 2015 to replace the Governor's Cup, which was not held that year (it is now a late spring half), as part of the Road to Kiawah that included two half-marathon prep races. Last year's 2:25 and change was a good prep race, especially with this being my later half prep race (the Revolutionary Run Half in Kershaw County replaced the Famously Pink race as the first of two prep races after last year's disqualification during the second kilometer for making a wrong turn -- was not told of the disqualification until after crossing the finish line, I was given no time).

But this year, Lexington was cruel. Having seen the problems in the past two years since the race was moved to the baseball stadium by parking on the south end of Ball Park Road, I misjudge a turn on the way to packet pickup (packet pickup is not feasible for me typically on Friday because of work) and lose 20 minutes trying to get to the parking lot, arriving with four minutes to spare. There was a short line and I have to wait, but the 7:30 AM gun goes off and I'm still waiting. After picking up my bib, I assure myself I'll return to pick up the shirt after I receive my medal for finishing the race. I warm up in the restroom and stretch, only to see the timing mat had been removed and I was headed back to the start line to be counted.

Then disaster strikes. The 10k race means the gantry is moved back about five meters. The mat is gone, so I am in trouble. The fast runners are likely to find me to be a hazard so I am forced to start with this wave and disobey instructions given. They told runners to go straight at Leaning Pine (which is the 10k route) while I turned right (half route). At the 7:45 AM gun I go straight and by 7:56 AM I turn right on Leaning Pine. Nobody followed me. There were no runners ahead of me -- and it was not until past the 2.2 mile point I saw 5k runners through the loop. But by then they had lapped me (they skip one part of the Leaning Pine route). At the end of Ball Park Road, there was no help from the policeman, and no runners to see. I ask where they had gone on US 1 (a left turn) and make it.

Up the climb on US 1 comes the trouble. Not a single runner for the whole mile on US 1. A few cars come into the lane closed to traffic and barely have to dodge traffic, but I was at least 15 minutes behind the last runner that took the start and was now getting into what should be pace mode, but I was alone. No runners behind, no runners ahead. Go to Pisgah Church and into Lexington High School before turning to Olde Farm Road for the four-mile mark. Then we return northbound on US 1 where I have to again violate rules for safety. I retreat to the far right southbound lane running northbound because of numerous motorists who have failed to heed instructions. Police ask I move back to the correct lane and make it to Charter Oak Road. On the third water stop at Mile 5 everything seems normal. Banana and water a bike patrol pulls me and says that's it, my half was over. I could not believe it. It was barely 80 minutes into the race and just 10-12 minutes to halfway. I hope to make it to the next mile post but police stop me and "locked" me into the squad car at 8:55 AM.

My day was done, with an official Disqualification.

Furious as the police returned me back to the start line, I detach my bib and furiously throw it back at the stadium while other runners in the half were finishing the race. I wanted to kill myself and had visions of "O mio babbino caro" and even "Suicide is Painless" -- the latter which was coincidental because the local theater company had a performance of a play inspired by a movie and later television show that used the latter song as its theme -- and I remember the show myself in the youth.

Left town after paying the fee, not getting the shirt, medal, or even a time, just a disqualification.

P. S. If you're picked up by a race official is that a DQ, DNF, or DNS? It seems the official was suspicious of me because I did not trigger the start line transponder and thought I was a bandit. Or was I legally banditing because I did not take the start?
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