Greyhound for a day

20th Sep 2008 · · Link ·

Quite the odd experience being in a 'human race' at a Greyhound track.
Never having done this before I was trying to follow the instruction of people around.
The six of us were led into the middle of the track for the 'parade', no idea what that was, but I was soon to find out.

Each runner is put on the track individually in front of a banner where the TV cameras can let the audience decide on if they are to bet on you, one of the single most humiliating things of my life, waving like a nonce to a TV camera (I was the only one to ask where the camera was so I could wave, others randomly waved in different directions).

Next was the handicapping, now in normal dog racing the dogs are put into 'Traps' numbered 1-6.
1 being on the side of the track and having the advantage moving on down to Number 6.

I was in the striped t-shirt, and unbeknownst to me, was labeled number 6.
This became more apparent on the starting 'grid' when I was at the back, some 50 yards from the number 1 place runner.

Number 1 was a 10 year old kid, number 2 was a 10 year old kid, number 3 was a 15 or 16 year old slim girl wearing spiked running shoes (if only I had known), 4th was an overweight guy who was obviously in it for a 'laugh' and 5 was a father figure, possibly between 38-42 and 6th was me.

The outlook didn't look good, especially as I had to make up 10 yards just to catch up the guy in front.

A flag was dropped and off we raced, racing on wet sand is by far the most difficult thing to do, but I managed to keep out of the 'foot holds' of the people in front but still could not make any head ground, around the bend we went to the home straight. Still with me in last place, this was not good.

Luckily for me my stamina held out and I managed to catch up the 5th and 4th place guys who were by this point in the race next to each other.
With 10 yards left to go I actually passed both of them on the outside of the track (no footholds from previous runners so easier to run)

4th Place was totally not worthy of my 4-1 odds that had been written on the bookies (why I'm not sure, and I don't know of the other people's odds').

So starting in 6th finishing in 4th was not a bad result I think, I was never going to beat the kids but the large guy and the elderly guy was a possibility.

No ill effects from the running except from a bit of a sore back, but that might be due to golf today :)

Suffice to say, I'm disappointed in my position but also realistically happy with my position.

Oddest experience of my life so far methinks :)

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