Ever been a race no-show because of weather? Just did.

Wild winter weather is sort of getting on everyone’s nerves around here, right about now. We’ve had a crazy season, with temperatures soaring into the 50s before plunging to way below zero. We’ve had more school closures than we can count (especially with the new math techniques they’re teaching kids these days). We’ve had winter weather warnings, travel advisories, and polar vortex scare stories.

I’m not a quitter, and I wouldn’t even call myself a winter wimp. 

I’ve been out there running a fair amount, despite the crazy meteorological stuff we’ve had. Hey, I don’t have a choice. I have a Border Collie and a Lab Mix, who bounce like dodge-balls, if we don’t hit the trails at least a few times a week.

But today I pulled a u-turn, about halfway to a winter race.

Here’s the back story. I’ve been battling the flu for weeks. Yesterday, a blistering migraine joined the mix, flattening me for the day. I was down for the count.

But I set my alarm for pre-dawn. I crawled out of bed in the dark and put on my winter running clothes. I climbed into my car and slogged my way through snowy streets to the interstate for the 63-mile trip to the race site.

This event is part of a six-race winter series that I truly enjoy. I’ve run the thing for several years. And I’ve been within spitting distance of placing in my age division for the series. I was looking forward to doing this one.

After an hour, I considered the clock and realized I would never make the race start at the rate traffic and weather were permitting me to travel. Add to that concept the fact that this particular race had off-site parking and shuttle service, which would delay arrival even more.

There was just no way.

The interstate was down to one lane each way, with cars and trucks creeping along in the tracks of those up ahead. And we were all at the mercy of the slowest vehicle in front of the pack. None of the exit ramps were plowed, either.

I didn’t see a single snowplow the entire trip – until I returned to five miles from my home. At that point, I’d been in the car for 90+ minutes.

And I fishtailed in the final turn, about two dozen feet from my own driveway. Oops! But at least I made it home safely.

Now I am seeing social networking posts and photos of today’s event, with lots of (probably more local) runners sprinting and slipping through the race in the pretty snow. I’m trying not to kick myself for not showing up.

But this time, it wasn’t in the cards.

There is a light at the end of this snowy tunnel.

Even though I missed the race itself, the event director already messaged me. They’re saving me the race packet and swag. I can run the thing as a virtual entry (sans points). That’s one of the things I really like about this series. Management is tremendous and very responsive to participant questions. (I’ll be back.)

And lo and behold, a snowplow is finally making its way down our own street!

Adapted from public domain photo

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