why i don’t race in rain

In September of 2008, I stood at the starting line of the Lewis + Clark Half Marathon in St. Charles. This would be my 3rd half marathon and I had trained hard the entire summer hoping to PR and finally get below 1:50. This would be my first race since my first marathon in April and I was ready to rock this half.

I had anxiously been checking the weather all week. Rain was in the forecast for the entire weekend, but Saturday remained beautiful and I was hoping the rain would hold off just a bit longer.

Boy, was I wrong. Did I mention I was standing at the starting line in a torrential downpour?

Remember Hurricane Ike that went through Galveston, Texas in September 2008? Well, you think that living in St. Louis you would never have to deal with a hurricane. A tornado, maybe… but a hurricane? Never.

Unfortunately, after Ike made landfall in Texas on September 13, 2008, it swung it’s way up into the Midwest, bringing its hurricane winds and rain along with it the next day, Sunday, September 14, 2008.

Hurricane Ike Path

Hurricane Ike Radar

Hurricane Ike Satellite

[Image Source]

The morning of the Lewis + Clark Marathon and Half Marathon.

To this day, I still ask myself why I toed the starting line that morning. It’s not like it started raining after the race had started. Nope… I woke up to that rain and still chose to brave it out there. The rain pierced my face like needles and the wind gusts made it hard to stay on my feet. Plus, very few spectators chose to stand out in this weather, making it even more difficult to stay motivated to keep pushing toward the finish line.

I had been looking forward to seeing some coworkers who would be at mile 8 working the medical tent. However, when I reached that point, they weren’t there, making it even more disheartening to keep going. When you expect people to be cheering you on at a certain point and they aren’t there makes it tough.

I still had 5 more miles to go and it was getting difficult. I couldn’t feel my face anymore, I was soaked to the core, and freezing. I figured I ran this far already, I might as well finish.

Little did I know that part of the course was flooded, branches were down on the Katy Trail, and the conditions just didn’t seem to be getting any better. As I came up to Mile 10, I saw the finish line up ahead. What was going on? I still had 3 more miles left…

In order to keep everyone “safe”, the race directors decided to reroute everyone, marathoners included, to end the race with only 10 miles under their belt.

Although I was happy to be done with the horrendous race, I was still disappointed not to have the chance to PR since I somehow, despite the conditions, was still on goal pace. I finished the 10 miler in 1:50, and it’s still the only 10 miler I have ever run. It took me HOURS to get warm again, but it taught me that I will never RACE in rain again.

Which brings me to this morning and waking up to this:


Remember that 3K I was planning on doing a few weeks ago? Yup, sticking to my guns on not racing in rain (especially when I didn’t pre-register and wasn’t going to be getting a shirt anyway). So, instead I spent 60 minutes on the treadmill and staying dry.

Anyone have a race I can run next week? Only if it doesn’t rain or snow though!

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