What's with all the lead bikes?
I wish I knew. I also wish I knew why not one of them knew where we were actually supposed to turn around.
One more comment on this race. I frequently hear people singing the praises of USATF certified courses. Some people are even so adamant that they refuse to run non-certified courses for fear of inaccurate distances but put total faith in any race that proclaims “USATF Certified”. Well, certification is great but it's only the first step. The course also needs to be set up properly on race day and the runners have to be led along the course properly.
I'd rather run a race on an uncertified course where I trust the race directors than run one on a certified course where I don't trust the race directors because measurement of the course pre-race is only one of several variables that go into ensuring the runners are covering the advertised distance. As far as I know, the Al's Run course is not certified but I fully trust them to ensure that the course is the correct distance and I fully trust them to lead the runners through the right course. I do not trust the organizers of some races held on certified courses to properly set up the course and/or lead the runners through the course.
That said, I did trust the organizers of Saturday's race and the result of that trust was a roughly 2.5 mile “5k”. I'm still debating whether I will again trust them in the future but you can bet I will make sure I get my hands on a course map before the race if I ever do go back. If nothing else, if I get led off course again, I can know immediately roughly what effect that will have on the distance I will be racing.