The secret to running an amazing race: show up late

I don’t usually stray far from the Sciences and into my personal life on this blog, because I wouldn’t want anyone to get the impression that I have a life or actually do stuff. But not today. Today I wanna talk about one of my favorite things: running.

On Thanksgiving I ran the Detroit Turkey Trot 10k race with some friends (couldn’t make it home to be with my awesome family this year, unfortunately). It was a cold and foggy morning, perfect for a race starting at 7:45 am. Knowing that over 20 thousand people would be in downtown Detroit just for the races (there was also a 5k and 1-miler), we peaced out of Ann Arbor at 6:00 to make sure we’d get to the starting line on time. But in a combined assault of incompetence, the City of Detroit and The Parade Co. made sure this would be impossible. After crawling from I-94 into downtown, we got the car parked with about 10 minutes to drain everyone’s bladder (it’s important to be properly hydrated for physical activity) and join the 7500 other runners doing the 10k. Race organizers had the foresight to make sure there were a whopping 10 Porta Potties near the starting line, perfectly adequate to serve the 20,000+ runners and onlookers; it was a long line.

My race bib, next to my sexy dinosaur poster and classy Kokoschka tiger-cat.
So much product placement.

So, we finally got to the starting line about 15 minutes after the race began. FORTUNATELY science and technology were on our side, and some benevolent genius thought to invent chips that go in one’s race bib (right) so that one’s official time does not begin until one crosses the start line.

Being young and brash, we were hoping to start with the faster “comet” or “Wave 1” group, which started earlier than the other waves. Having to start the race some 15 minutes later than scheduled, you’d think we’d’ve been off to a bad start – FALSE! Because our wave got a head start on us, we ended up running alongside the slower waves, meaning that we spent literally the entire race passing people. Unlike every other race I’ve done (where I started on time), no one passed me for all 6.2 miles, which was a real morale booster. This ended up being my fastest 10k (and really the fastest of the brief history of all my races)

Nothing makes you run faster than feeling like you’re a fast runner. So if you want to have an amazing race (not the show), start late.