Name of the race: Get Gored for Good 5K
Where: Providence, RI
Date: April 24, 2016
Time: 10:00 am
Distance: 3.6 miles
Terrain: Downtown Providence city streets, mostly flat
Entry fee: $35
Swag: Cotton t shirt
Post-race Food: Dunkin Donuts, coffee, and water
Weather: 53 degrees, 45% humidity
This past weekend Ben and I went up to Boston to celebrate our nephew’s third birthday! The last time I saw him was back in November, so it was fun seeing how much he has grown and learned since then. Right before we left for Boston, as usual I perused Running in the USA to see if there were a race nearby. I found Get Gored for Good 5K that billed itself as the Providence Running of the Bulls. They promised roller derby skaters dressed as bulls who went after you. This sounded so cool, despite the fact that this was a fun run. I’m not one for fun runs, personally, but I loved that this run was something different from the usual runs.
The roller derby skaters had helmets decorated with horns and before the race, they were penned up, growling, and behaving very bull-like. So great! The race started late and I was glad when we were finally off. We ran around the downtown streets of Providence. I didn’t want to start off too fast, so I restrained myself to running the first mile in 7:45. The second mile I slowed down too much and ran it in 8:30. The third mile, I picked up the pace and ran it in 8:05.
The course was not a simple out-and-back nor a loop route. There were portion lapped around itself and this caused confusion. At one point, the lead runners were mislead and missed a turn. I followed them down the wrong way, but luckily not for long. They rushed out and corrected us slower runners. I felt bad for the girl who had been ahead of me. I had been chasing her for at least a mile. She ran down the wrong way with all the other front runners. Because I was farther behind, I didn’t go down as much and quickly got myself on the right path. She was now much farther behind me and I never saw her again.
Now for the fun part: the bulls’ goring! At different portions of the course, the roller derby skater bulls formed two lines and you ran in between them. Each bull held some strips of cloth dipped in washable red paint. As you ran through, they whipped you with the paint-drenched cloth strips. You now have been gored! I thought this was hysterical.
Originally based on the website, we had thought the bulls were going to chase after you, but I realized that this wouldn’t have been safe for runners. Ben was disappointed because he really wanted to run and dodge roller skating bulls. Although I think this would have been fun, the city streets aren’t the best place for that and you would need a closed course for safety.
There were three places were we ran through the line of bulls and got gored. I was very “bloody” at the end.
Remember how I said the route was confusing? Well, toward the end of the race, I and several other of the faster runners suddenly found ourselves behind several slower runners. Because of all the turns and stuff, many of them accidentally cut the course short and now they were ahead of us. Again, because this was a fun run, I didn’t care that I was now behind several people, and I had to weave in and out to get around them.
Before the start of the run, Ben read that the run was 3.2 miles long. Because this was a fun run, I shrugged off the extra distance. This was not a USATF-certified course. So I was expecting and had prepared myself for extra distance. As I ran, I waited for the finish line. At 3.2: any time now; 3.3: okay, surely it must be now, I must have ran bad tangents and I ran a little extra from the missed turn; 3.4: ugh, I’m tired, when is this over; 3.5: oh, dear Lord, this is going to be closer to 4 miles than a 5K; 3.6: FINALLY!
Before I started running and being serious about it, I didn’t know why runners cared so much about whether the distance was 3.1 or 3.2. What did the little extra matter so much? Well, now as a runner, I care very much. The course wasn’t a little long, it was really long. We found the official course map, and yes, it really was supposed to be 3.6 miles long. Ben shook his head and said, “Why, call it a 5K? It’s not a 5k.”
I shrugged and answered, “This wasn’t organized by a runner. 3.6, 3.1, it’s all the same to a non-runner.”
Get Gored for Good truly is a FUN RUN. That’s it. Don’t expect anything more than that. It’s not a race. I went into it simply because I thought it would be fun to “run with bulls.” I got what I wanted from it and was satisfied with my experience. If you live in the area and want a fun running experience, Get Gored for Good is perfect. If you want a race for runners, go elsewhere.
Ben and I weren’t able to bring Bandit with us to our trip to Boston, so Bandit had a sleep over with Hilary from East Coast Appetite and a member of Prospect Park Track Club. Hilary was one of the first people from PPTC that we met (at a totally different event funnily enough). I dropped Bandit off at Saturday noon. She took a shine to Hilary right away, so I knew Bandit was in good hands. They were busy with lots of socialization time with other PPTC members. Bandit lived up to her billing as a velcro dog by attaching herself to Hilary or snuggling other young PPTC women (Bandit has a thing young women, preferably blonde). Based upon the photos we got, Bandit had a wonderful time. Thank you, Hilary, for taking care of Bandit!!!!!