race bibs: a cautionary tale

it’s been driving me nuts. my results don’t show up at all for the bill dodge memorial 15k somethingorother run from over the weekend. that’s the problem with new technology. they give you this dumb little timing thing that is responsible for recording your result. how do you even know it’s working? you get a beep when you go over the mat, but there are many runners crossing at once, so it’s hard to know whose beep is whose. whoms? besides, all sound is drowned out by the constant drone of the huffamoose. dammit. so what went wrong?  

 i was staring at my bib today. it’s my rest day and mo’s working, so the bib is pretty much the closest thing i have to a friend here. the timing apparatus is one of those gizmos that’s stuck to the back of the bib so you don’t have to wear a chip on your ankle that results in the guy at the finish line taking off your Road ID by mistake, leaving you to drive home with the chip still on you  and a lifetime ban from tejas trail events. dammit.  it’s a routine bib, except for the raffle ticket stapled to the front. the registration lady warned that I MUST LEAVE IT THERE. i think this is the racing equivalent of the “do not remove under penalty of firing squad” tag on the mattress. not to mention the admonishment that i must KEEP THIS COUPON. you know it’s serious when it’s written in all cap. all was well till i flipped the bib over.  


as i look at the back, my first reaction is that i’m surprised we have enough people in south tejas who speak only french that the bib requires a warning in their language. or maybe this is a move to show solidarity with france in the wake of the recent attack. i bow my head in a moment of silence, except for the drone of the huffamoose, which has at least switched to a vaguely european accent.

but then i see it. a drawing of a safety pin with an X through it. (mo, who is more graphically inclined, insists it’s the universal symbol for NO PENISES and likely was left over from a women’s only race. mo is weird.) underneath it is the stern warning DO NOT PERFORATE THIS TAG, because it will render the device useless. and exactly 3 centimeters (yes, i have a centimeter ruler which gives measurements in a vaguely european accent)  from the warning to not perforate this tag, THE STAPLE ATTACHED BY THE RACE PEOPLE PERFORATES THIS TAG!!!!!!

so basically i never had a chance. they gave me a timing device that would not work just so i could have a one in 2,000 chance at dinner for two at Lobster Charlie’s. And my dinner companion would have been the race bib that did me wrong, since mo is working. i might have mentioned that already. there should be more songs about race bibs doing you wrong. maybe for the huffamoose reunion tour.  i have never been so mad about my race results not showing up. but at least now i know why. no offense, lobster charlie. and so, it’s as if i never even ran the race.

oh, well. this is WAY better than my previous theory, which was that my results didn’t show up because i slept through the alarm clock and didn’t wake up till an hour after the race was over. case solved, scully. now the only question left is how long do i have to KEEP THIS COUPON …


About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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One Response to race bibs: a cautionary tale

  1. pscapp says:

    I’m willing to bet that the backside of the raffle ticket says something like ” Congratulations, you may already be a weiner.”

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