My thoughts while listening to other runners strategizing before the start: "Geez people, it's just a fun run. Chill"
My thoughts while getting bunched up at the turnaround: "Move it or move aside! Sheesh, this isn't a Sunday stroll!"
My local run club had our first race of the Tortoise and Hare season last Sunday. Weather was beaut. It was a short fast race - 4K, so about 2.5 miles.
Tortoise and Hare races are sort of "backward". Instead of a mass start with finishers trickling in, T&Hs estimate everyone's finishing times, then we start accordingly. Slower runners start first, and several waves of runners follow. We are spaced at 30-second intervals. If the estimates are accurate, we all finish at nearly the same time.
It usually works out quite well, the club's algorithm for predicting finishing times is based on previous T&H races and has proven to be pretty accurate. My start time was 20 minutes into the race, and a few speedster waves started after me. We were pretty bunched up by the halfway point and continued to take on mass toward the finish.
The club does a T&H each month from September through March, supposedly to keep people running through the winter.
Here's the start of my wave, all of us looking a little bored?
It was fun to race again with a good turnout. Next month is a 10K, just in time for Halloween. Hopefully it won't snow.