November 5, 2014

How to lose your running buddy during a night race

Back in November of 2012, it was time for our first Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  We were so excited about the course, which included the Osborne Family Lights in Hollywood Studios and for the after party with rides, food and fun in Epcot.  What we did not prepare for was to become separated during the race.  It was an epic fail, and so disappointing for both of us.  Christine had trained hard for a PR race, and I was the pace car to get her to that magical number. Little did we know that early in the race, a water stop would be the place where we lost each other on the course. Without a plan, we ended up only reuniting by chance in Hollywood Studios, about 6-7 miles later.

Here are some of the things you can do if you too find yourselves separated from your runner, or group of runners during a big race.

*  Sit at the side of the road and cry  Yea, I thought about this for a nanosecond when I first lost Christine.  Tempting, but not a good option.

*  Get on the balloon lady bus and meet your runner at the finish We are too competitive and want to earn the race medal so this would not be an option for us.

Okay, kidding aside, here are some constructive ideas on how to keep together throughout a night race:

*  Have a plan  As organized and race crazy as we are, it never occurred to us that we could get separated during a race. We now plan to meet each other at the end of a water stop on the right side of the road during any race!  It is especially important for night races, because lighting can be spotty and darkness makes it more difficult to see the runners.

*  Carry Cell Phones  I normally carry my cell phone only when training or during a day race.  I am already a terrible phone photographer, and my night photos are awful, so I left my phone at the hotel during this particular race and so did Christine.

*  Wear bright colors  Wearing something that stands out in a crowd can help your friend find you.  It was because of these crazy sparkle skirts that another runner happened to see Christine pass her and when she saw me talking to a cast member while on a walk break, said, "oh, I saw her. She is up ahead.".  




* Wear a glow in the dark bracelet or shirt  The dollar aisle at Target sells packs of the fluorescent bracelets and necklaces during the fall Halloween season.  These are perfect for night races and you can see a purple one on Christine's wrist.  Unfortunately, it did not help me find her in my frantic state.

Night races offer different challenges and we hope everyone running Wine and Dine this weekend has a safe and happy race experience.  If you have any tips for keeping up with your group during a night race, please do tell!


21 comments:

  1. Oh how sad to lose your running partner in the middle of the race! I would have wanted to cry but no way would I have stopped lol!

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    1. Mindy, I did stop at quite of few places which was why I had to run very fast for a few miles once I knew Christine was up ahead.

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  2. Sorry to hear that you lost each other during that race. Good that you found one another before it was over. Vegas I will be running by myself but my sister and mom are running the half together. Hope they don't lose each other. -L

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    1. Hopefully they have a plan Lacey and they will be fine.

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  3. I haven't run a big race with anyone yet but am thinking of it for next year so these are great tips! I would never have even thought to have a plan for what to do if we lost each other.

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    1. Clearly we did not either....it never crossed our minds.

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  4. Ahhhh...this is why I was so worried about losing Dan & Pat during NYCM! I DEFINITELY would have sat on a curb and cried (and almost did too!).

    I actually lost Jenn when we were running together during W&D I think two years ago, but we both had phones so we found each other at the finish! And great idea to have a plan in place for going through water stops - that's where I lost Jenn too!

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    1. It was hard to hold it together, but our reunion in HS was great, just before the Osborne Family lights!

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  5. I always have my phone because I'm pretty sure that we have a codependent relationship. ;)

    Joking aside- a meet up plan at the finish is always great. My phone broke at Princess one year and it was pretty hard to track down my friends afterward.

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    1. I think my phone will be with me at all future runDisney races Jamie!

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  6. Those are some great tips. I'll have to mention the water stop one to my mom at our next race. Maybe I'll bring one of my Road ID blinking lights as well, just in case.

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    1. Bright lights and a plan are a perfect idea Heather!

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  7. Oh, losing your running partner would stink. So smart that you now have a plan in place.

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    1. Better late than never Abby. I will probably always have my phone when I am running with a friend!

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  8. How sad that you got separated, but great that you found each other. Jeff and I have been separated in a race before and now we always run with phones. Great tips!

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    1. Thanks Jen. It was such a bummer, but finding Christine in HS was fantastic, just before the Osborne Lights which we enjoyed so much together!

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  9. Next year my friend and I are hoping to run a half together (same pace yayy) these tips will come in handy!

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  10. The problem with that (as if there aren't plenty with this scenario) is not knowing whether your partner is ahead or behind you. How would you know whether try gallop ahead or wait it out? Phones are a must!!

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  11. Oh and I forgot about the bright colors! That can be a problem too. Runners, as a group tend to wear some pretty bright stuff so how do you stand out? And during a Disney race? Don't get me started... LOL

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  12. Oh such a bummer!! I can imagine it would be hard to not lose each other at night. I've never done a night race, so don't have any experience or tips!

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