The Law Mother Sees Risk and Keeps on Running

Lawyers make everything worse.

I’ve heard that a lot over my 18 year legal career. And it’s not because I’m a bad lawyer. I’m not. Ask my favorite law school classmate. I still sleep with him all the time.

In case my attempt at humor landed with a thud, I’m talking about my husband folks.

No, the reason why I’ve heard that saying a lot over the years is because I, like most lawyers, view the world as a cesspool of risk and conflict.

I’m the lawyer that tells you that it doesn’t matter if your potential business partner was your frat brother and was in your wedding. If you want to go into business with him, you better get all the details worked out in writing BEFORE you sign any checks.

Why? Because when the proverbial s@#t hits the fan (and it will) and real money is on the table, it’s not going to matter how many nights you watched him sleep after a kegger to make sure he didn’t choke on his own vomit, it’s every frat brother for himself.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to spend today’s post warning you about all of the risks and potential conflicts you may be encountering in your personal life and business dealings. I would be happy to discuss them with you during my normal office hours at my hourly rate.

Kidding. No, not really ;-).

What I am going to talk about is a personal experience of risk this weekend that almost fried my poor little lawyer brain.

Skydiving? Mountain climbing? Scuba diving?

Nope.

Running a 10K race in August in Texas.

I’ve talked about it before, but in the last couple of years I have taken my running up a notch by entering local races. Mostly 5Ks and 10Ks, but I am training for a half marathon in December. I can hold my own in the 40-something-slow-mom-squeezing-into-Lululemon category.

Here’s a few of the medals I’ve managed to collect in the last year:

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I’m not sharing my medal collection to brag (though I am proud of them). Before I start my story, I just want to make it clear that I am no newbie to running a race in Texas in the summer.

Here’s my story of running in a cesspool of risk.

My race for this past weekend was a 10K (6.4 miles).

The race entry fee was not cheap, which is not unexpected given that holding a race in Texas in the summer is more expensive than any other time of the year. You need more hydration (water and sports drink) stops (which in turn increases the need for port porta potties), medical types on standby for those overcome by the heat and humidity, etc.

I’ve ran a few other races this summer with similar price points. They all had water/sports drink stops every mile, a couple of bathroom stops, medical types scattered throughout the course, and unlimited cold water/sports drinks at the end of the race.

Pretty standard for a race in Texas in the summer.

In fact, I’ve never paid to run in a race, anywhere or anytime of the year, where I needed to bring my own water or sports drink to consume during or after the race.

Apparently the organizers of this weekend’s race didn’t get the memo.

Only two water stations on the entire course, offering a Dixie cup of water to each runner. If you do the math folks, that works out to about 8 ounces of water for an over six mile race. Bathrooms along the route? Nope. Medical types? If they were there, I never saw them. By the time I reached the finish line, I was bordering on heat exhaustion (and I wasn’t the only one).

So then I cooled off with a cold bottle of water and a sports drink?

Nope. The only beverages offered at the finish line were warm water (the bottles had been left out in the sun) and get this, craft beer. At 9:30…in the morning.

Not a great racing experience to say the least.

So several gas station purchased bottles of Gatorade later, I took a look at the race organizer’s website.

Perhaps there was some warning that you were expected to bring your own water/sports drink that I missed? Nope.

Warning about how to deal with excessive heat? Nope, though there was a warning about the possibility of “severe weather.” In Texas, “severe weather” means lightning, flash floods, and tornados, not heat and humidity.  Expressio unius est exclusio alterius. No, that’s not from Harry Potter. It’s Latin for “the expression of one thing is the exclusion of the other.” In this scenario, it means since they warned racers about severe weather, they were implying that racers didn’t need to worry about the heat and humidity.

How about the waiver and release? I’m always railing about carefully reading waivers and releases, right? Yes, and there was one (a fairly generic one I had to click through during the registration process). And that was the last I saw of it. No e-mail copy, not on the website, no where to be found.

Not a great sign.

If I was a betting man, I’d put my next race entry fee on the race organizer’s getting a call from a lawyer representing someone who did get heat exhaustion.

Maybe next weekend I should try something less risky, like B.A.S.E. jumping.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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