You know how sometimes races will offer discounts for next year’s race if you register at this year’s expo? I usually take advantage of that for the 3M half because I pretty much expect to run it every year, so I might as well grab the discount. I mean, I know the date way in advance and just work around it.
We’d already planned for K (and hopefully also J) to come to Austin for the 2017 race, so when I saw they were offering the expo discount online, I persuaded K to register–fair game since that’s how she got me to register for her hometown race. So yay, it was official.
At the end of the school year, we inducted new members (including my own child) into our school’s National Junior Honor Society chapter, of which I am co-sponsor. We divide up many of the sponsorship tasks–I manage community service efforts and communications (i.e. I run our Instagram account, ha) while my co-sponsor is in charge of the D.C. trip. As this school year wound down, she decided she wants to go during the Inauguration–make it a true once-in-a-lifetime event for these kids. We normally try to avoid crowds (we used to go over the Presidents’ Day long weekend, but a couple of years ago we changed the dates because it was much less crowded a week later) so I was not thrilled with this, but it’s not my project. I figured the tour company would tell her it was the worst possible time and couldn’t be done, and we’d go back to our usual weekend in February. Except they didn’t. It will be a very different trip from the previous six I’ve chaperoned, but it’s a go for Wednesday January 18 through Sunday January 22.
I’ll give you three guesses the date of the 3M half, and the first two don’t count.
Panic ensued in my brain when I discovered the conflict. K and I had already registered–it’s not like we were in the negotiations phase. And even at a discount, half marathon registrations aren’t cheap. But this trip is part of my job. Not only that, of all the years I’ve traveled with NJHS, this is the one my kid would be attending as well. WHAT DO I DO?
Had this occurred last year, I’d be out of luck. Historically, 3M has not offered refunds, and while I had could have deferred in 2015, I heard that was not the case this past year. So the good news is that a new company has taken over ownership of both 3M and the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon, and they actually offered a few options. As long as we contacted them before the first week in August, we could get a partial refund, we could defer to 2018, or we could transfer our registrations to the Austin half, which is three weeks later than 3M.
Deferring to 2018 was off the table–too much could happen between now and then. So the question was whether we should take the refund and maybe have her come for the 10/20 in April instead? Or switch to Austin? Pros and cons to both. The 10/20 has the potential to be warm (and we were over that after the Medina race), plus it requires a much longer training cycle for K. Not a huge deal for me, but Ohio winters present a challenge for outdoor runners. On the other hand, I haven’t run the Austin half in a few years because the course is un-fun, with a big hill at mile freaking 12. But they’re promising a new course design this year.
So today I officially switched our registrations to the Austin Half Marathon on February 19, 2017. Ironically, that’s the weekend we’d normally be gone for the D.C. trip, so it’s kind of a poetic karma thing.
I’ve run 3M four years in a row, and three of those have been PR races so I know I will miss it. I’m particularly glad I achieved my big goal this past year–at least I don’t have unfinished business with that race. And it will be nice to run Austin again, especially with K. I am crossing my fingers that the course will be … friendlier than the last time I ran it.
Eventually I have to figure out how J and I can fit in our annual Washington D.C. Asscrack of Dawn 5K on a new date when I will be staying at a different hotel, though. But… one problem at a time.