One of the downsides of getting faster while racing local is the potential traffic snarl. If you finish in 2:15 but everyone has 3:30 to complete the race and said race is on the same roads you need to drive on to get home… you see where I’m going with this.
I ran into this exact trouble the first time I ran the ZOOMA Half Marathon. It takes place in the streets of Annapolis and the surrounding area, and it more or less locks up the larger majority of the finish area. It took me forever to carve myself a path that had taken me a mere ten minutes and 2.4 miles that morning.
When I signed up to run ZOOMA again, I vowed not to get tangled in this same snarl. I had a cunning plan: rather than rely on Google Maps, I would download Waze. This GPS app uses data from users to determine the fastest and most efficient route, so of course it would know the best way to navigate the race-stoppered roads, right? Think of all the users reporting the blockages!
Therefore I hopped in my car post-race with a hopeful heart. I fired up Waze and drove off.
AND GOT STUCK IN TRAFFIC FOR A MILLION YEARS.
|NOT BLOODY LIKELY|
Why, you ask? Why wouldn’t Waze reroute you around all the closed roads, you ask? I’ll tell you why: the users reporting said closed roads consisted of… me. Not a single road had been reported as blocked.
So I started blocking them myself. I’d drive up to an intersection, reported it as closed, and Waze would reroute. Repeat. Repeat FOREVER.
Well, not forever. Eventually I had driven around for such a long time that I finally happened upon one that the police were in the process of clearing. I followed a motorcycle cop over the Severn River Bridge to freedom and brunch.
Nothing that ends in waffles can be all that bad. But if I wind up at ZOOMA next year I might just walk home.
Have your efforts to drive home ever been thwarted by your own race?
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