Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday, April 22: 5K in Dunbarton (#132)

The first rain we've had in three months moved in just in time for the Dunbarton Library's Earth Day 5K. A field of 18 runners braved the soggy hills that made up the course this afternoon. Despite the ups and downs, and also having already run four miles earlier today with two of our dogs, I finished in the impressive (for me) time of 28:48.

It was a fun low-budget race. Registration was a mere $5, a breath of fresh air compared to the $30-and-up figures I've been seeing lately. Instead of bibs, our numbers were written on paper with an adhesive backing; we then peeled and affixed them to our chest and our left shoulder. (I was #9; the woman underlined it so there would be no mistaking me. Alas, the numbers fell off in the rain.)

Most impressive was the homemade timing clock being used at the finish line. Made of green lights and particle board, I'd never seen anything like it. The guy who built it told me he'd made it using Christmas lights, which were arranged on a board so they could display any four-digit number, depending on what signals were received.

The display was one continuous strip of six wires, though cut and spliced in various ways. The output was controlled by a component fixed to the back of the board, which also fed info to the guy's laptop. It was just what was needed, with only the rain offering the possibility of any trouble.

Sure enough, coming in to the finish line, I noticed the "minutes" output was covered up by someone's sweatshirt; something had obviously gone awry. Still, it was an ingenious effort. It made me regret rushing out of the house without my camera.

And when I say rushing, I mean it. The race was scheduled to start at 3 p.m.; with less than an hour to go, I was still visiting my mother in a skilled nursing facility in Nashua, N.H. (Dear old mom is recovering from a recent fall.)

Not sure how up you might be on New Hampshire geography, but most people would be hard-pressed to make from Nashua up to Dunbarton in less than an hour. But I swung on the highway, made a pit stop at my house (in Bedford, N.H., about the half-way point) and yes, pulled in next to the Dunbarton Library at 2:50 p.m., with plenty of time to spare!

Actually, more than I expected. Though listed as starting at 3 p.m., the race didn't really begin until 3:30 p.m. With the rain already started, I stayed inside and checked out the modest library's selections. For a small library, very impressive! Good selection of coin books, and some interesting history DVDs. I also got to look at the Hugo Cabret book for the first time.

And it occurs to me that this blog is serving a purpose, even if it's just personal. Without, I probably would have been able to come up with any number of excuses about skipping today's run -- sickness, no time, a dicey Achilles tendon, the steady rain. But no -- this blog helped keep me motivated when I might otherwise have blown off this race.

And that's all from Town #132!

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