Yup. Had one this morning. Not really but I thought I was going to have one. Here's the story.
After all this early morning trail running with the kiddies, I figured a little "organized trail run" that could be "timed" was in order. I didn't really wanted to call it a "race"... but Jay and myself marked out a 3 mile course (at 3am mind you) and thought a 90 minute time limit would test the limit of these fledgling trail runners.
All said and done we had 14 students, and 4 teachers (including myself). 18 hearty souls ready to hit the trails at 445am!!! Simply Awesome!!!! So with a few minor instructions (stay on the trail, look for signs at junctions, see the glow sticks etc) and a count down by Jay, we were off into the woods on the first annual jingle bell jaunt.
I quickly made my way up to the lead group and hung with them for 2 or so miles. There were 5 of us going at a pretty good clip. At one point, the track/cc star's flashlight went out and he had to slow so I could shine some light on his path. We hung together in the lead for almost a full loop until i took a side trail and told them to "follow the signs" and I'd catch up later.
I had a bad feeling. Someone was going to get lost. I just knew it. I wanted to see how the ladies were doing and in knowing the trail system, I cut some of the course and met up with a few runners. They hadn't seen a few girls in awhile and I got nervous. From there I headed back to the start/finish and asked Jay and few others if they had seen them. Nope. Yikes!
I doubled back in hopes to find them. No luck. I'm screwed. Heart attack. Lost three kids. Going to jail. Losing my job. Getting sued. I'm done.
All this was going through my head as I was running at break-neck speed through the trails. I've never run so fast in my life. Yelling and screaming their names and just tooling around the trails. At this point, I'm not even on the course anymore, I'm way out there. Where could they have gone?
I call Jay. Nobody has seen them in awhile. Its edging closer to 6:15 and they haven't been seen in over 40 minutes. Deathly afraid now, I call Jay again and ask one of the kiddies to drive the main road that borders the trail system. He does to no avail, but checks his phone and the girls had called him.
They jumped the trail near a well-lit neighborhood, hit the roads, found a friends house, got a ride back from there. Jay called me and said everything was good. I went from pissing my pants anxiety attack to jello. I had been running hard now for almost 1:45 minutes with no water/food and just knowing everyone was safe put my body and mind at rest. Wow.
The girls were apologetic when I saw them in school. They felt bad and realized their mistake. I initially thought it was my error in course marking. A little relief was had when I heard the full story. I still think the course could be marked better (better glow sticks next time...if there is one) and maybe a smaller trail system (this one is huge and very confusing).
I learned a lot today in organizing a trail "run". What to do and what not to do. I think i was a little too ambitious doing this in the early hours in the dark. Maybe the daylight would have helped everyone. Maybe not. I just glad everyone is safe now.
As for run mileage, I racked up 12 miles in 2:21. Picked up the course markings after hearing the good news. A wee bit late for work, but had prep first so no biggie. Have heard many good things from many students who came and want to do it again. Just not sure if I want to put myself through this again....