A ‘Make the best of it’ race: The Bison Bash 5K

With a triathlon being staged at the same time, the Bison Bash 5K was definitely the JV event on the bill Saturday at Ouabache State Park. (I'm in an orange shirt, hidden behind the starter's megaphone. )

With a triathlon being staged at the same time, the Bison Bash 5K was definitely the JV event on the bill Saturday at Ouabache State Park. (I’m in an orange shirt, hidden behind the starter’s megaphone. )

This is what I get for running what turned out to be the “junior varsity” event Saturday at Ouabache State Park.

The Bison Bash 5K was delayed six weeks to give the park’s trails time to dry out from this summer’s record flooding and was ultimately combined with the Bluffton Triathlon. But the trails were still too wet to support a race and the course wound up being re-routed onto pavement except for maybe half a mile.

Miles weren’t marked, the finish-line clock was malfunctioning and I wound up losing my T-shirt because the start time was moved up at the last minute and I didn’t have time to get my race packet back to the car.

Still, it was nice to finally run my first race of 2015 – even if, as Colleen later observed when she saw a photo of the start, there are more runners at a typical middle school cross country meet than showed up for this 5K.

After the turnaround, there were only two runners in sight. I passed one and might have picked off the other if the finish line hadn’t snuck up on me. I still don’t know my official time, but the guy who finished a dozen steps ahead of me said his watch showed just over 29 minutes.

Could’ve – should’ve – done better. But the up side is that my hamstring gave me almost no trouble whatsoever.

And after finally getting a look at that triathlon, I have to say it definitely looks like a worthwhile and even fun race. I’ll have to get an insider’s view from my cousin’s daughter Jessica, who’s now done this event twice. (One scene for the highlight reel: A cyclist, re-entering the park as I was exiting on my way home, zooming around an Amish horse and buggy with maybe 2 feet to spare.)

Given that it’s only forty bucks and I could ride my bike there, if I wanted to, I really ought to pencil that race in for 2016. Ideally we’ll have more normal weather next summer and I can do both the Bison Bash and the Bluffton Triathlon, six weeks apart like they were supposed to be before Mother Nature intervened.

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