The first day of April is ideal for tricking people. Today I was tricked into running around the streets of Barcelona as part of the annual 10k race, Cursa Bombers.
Since my office is located close to the starting point of the race I planned to store my sweatshirt, the legs of my pants and my GSM in the office while I was running. So I rang the bell, waiting for the porter to let me in. No answer. I waited for a few minutes and rang again. No answer.
Plan B. I headed for the garderobe of the race. That is, I started to wander around trying to find it. After some walking around, i found it. I joined the queue and hoped it would be fast. The race was about to start in five minutes. The queue moved fast. In the beginning. When I was about to be served the queue stopped. There was panic among the garderobe staff. They had messed something up in the bag labeling system. Instead of accepting more items, they just stood there scratching their heads trying to figure out what was the problem. Since the race was about to start in a couple of minutes I decided to head for the starting line with my stuff.
On the way to the starting line I tied knots on the sleeves on my sweatshirt. Stuffed the legs of my pants in one sleeve and my GSM in the other. I tied additional knots to close the storage. Finally I tied the sweatshirt around my waist as I arrived at the starting line just in time for the beginning of the race.
The journey from the starting line started better than the journey to the starting line. I was more or less able to follow the plan I had made beforehand. The plan was simple. Run the firt 5k at an even pace of (5:30 min/km) and then increase the pace a bit for the last 5k if I felt like it. I felt like it.
A few minutes after having run through the 9k gate I could see the next gate. The finish line? Already? I was fast. Since I had the energy I decided to go even faster. I ran through the gate at full speed, stopped the clock and started slowing down. As I was switching from running to walking I noticed that I was the only one stopping. The others kept running. What was going on? Was this not the end? Was this some sort of April fool? Did I miss something?
At the same moment I realized that I had indeed missed something. The finish line. I recalled that on the map of the course the finish line was around the corner. I was not there yet. It was thus not surprising that the other contestants continued running. I was the fool. I mistook the starting line for the finish line.
I started running again. Ran around the corner. There it was. The real finish line. I picked up some additional pace and managed to get myself over the real finish line.
Despite almost having messed up the end game I managed to finish the race in a decent time — 51:36 — a few seconds better than I had planned.