That red blob was headed straight toward Columbus. I had been watching it on my phone all morning and it was concerning...
So... looking back... could things have been changed??? Not really. And here is why...
-Could the race have been moved up earlier? Not really... it would be next to impossible to let all 14,500 runners know and get them there in time because some were driving in from out of town. Plus this means shutting down roads earlier and less spectators because they may not know of the time change.
-Could the race have been delayed? No, in fact this is less plausible. You still have to let everyone know the race is delayed. PLUS, if the decision was made right before the race start then you need to find a spot for all these people to find shelter from the storm. This also means WAY more OT for police stopping traffic and roads being shut down for even a longer period of time.
-Could the race have changed dates... to Sunday? Possible, but a lot of hurdles. Getting the word out would be an issue. Plus course volunteers and police might not be able to work the following day to help secure the course. Same for hydration station volunteers. Then what about people who were flying or driving out of town later Saturday after the race? Then the issue of shutting down the roads on a Sunday morning and making sure the police have the day off to help.
There is no way the race organizers could have let the race continue any later than they did. Shortly after I got to shelter the skies opened up and there was a LOT of lightning. They needed to take action to get people to safety and they made the right call with calling the race. The bad part is that some runners were stranded on the route and not able to make it back before the worst of the storm. If someone was struck by lightning and the race was allowed to continue then it would have been a HUGE problem. We all are safe and can run another race.
This doesn't change my feelings toward the medal. It's a beautiful medal, but I don't feel like I earned it. I didn't run the distance I signed up for. I paid for the race, I crossed the starting line, and I crossed the finish line, but I feel cheated... almost because I CHEATED by cutting the course short. So it is almost like I am letting myself down. It would be awesome if there was a "rain check" or a discount for returning runners for next year. I know I am not alone in the feeling of lack of closure.
So does this bring closure? Maybe mentally. Could things have been changed... not really. Runners needed to get to safety. The organizers made the right call to get people off the course.
Now there is the bag check issue with gear taken 20 miles away for pick-up because of the rain... but I didn't have to deal with that, so I don't want to chime in on that. Either way... a decision had to be made with the race and storm coming... And in the end... we all get to race another day.
Andrew Buck Michael