Last month, there was a ‘long distance’ running race at our university. A friend of mine helped me to sign up and I asked her how long the race would be, what the route would be etc. Because my regular training route is a 10km lap around campus. But she didn’t know and couldn’t find out any concrete information about the details of the race.
Race day came and it was only then that I found out that the men’s race would be a 4km lap around some of the university buildings, yet the women’s race was only 2km. I wasn’t very happy and asked why the girls should run half the distance of the men, they told me that it’s fairer like that because most girls don’t like running…well this girl does! I asked if I could join the longer race with the boys and was told ‘no’.
I was also told there would be prizes, which were separated into ten 1st class prizes, ten 2nd class prizes and ten 3rd class prizes for the top 30 finishers, and all participants would get something, even if they weren’t in the top 30. My goal was top 10. What would my prize be, cash? food? running kit? vouchers?
I did a bit of a warm up and got ready, there were about 120 girls racing. After the whistle went, I dodged in and out of people wearing all sorts of strange clothes – Toms shoes, some wearing rucksacks, most in jeans and hoodies – and quickly got to the front of the race where I planned to stay. There was one other girl in front of me (the one who won the 1500m in the athletics meet) who ended up winning the race.
I came second! I crossed the line and took my voucher for a 1st class prize to the desk, where I got given a big bag of stuff. I sat on a bench, eager to open my bag of goodies and see what I had won:
- a 2l bottle of laundry detergent
- 8 big multipacks of tissues
- a bottle of shampoo
- an animal keyring (a dalmation in my case)
It was by far the strangest prize I’ve ever won at a race but actually quite useful as I had recently ran out of washing powder and tissues always come in handy. Actually, when I won 3rd for the 1500m, I also got a tube of Korean toothpaste alongside my medal, so this school promotes staying clean and exercising.
What strange prizes have you won at races? What do you think about the men’s and women’s races being different lengths?