Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BGR! 10k race recap

A few weeks a go I posted about Colts Back to Football 5k and how they did everything right. Well, this race was the opposite. Before I continue, I have three caveats:
  1. I plan events for a living (well its part of my job). I have helped plan large-scale sporting events and ancillary events as part of the larger event. 
  2. I attend an average of 15 conferences each year (as an attendee or speaker). Not only do I understand what it takes to plan and execute an event, I also have a lot of experience participating in them.
  3. I have participated in at least 20 races of varying distances.
The remainder of this recap shall be called ... the BGR! 10k: Let Me Count the Fails.

There weren't enough event volunteers. The 5k and 10k races had two different starting lines. Not the problem. The problem was that no one knew where the start lines were. We congregated at the Charlotte Westin asking each other for directions. Where are your volunteers? Fail.
I ran into these ladies trying to find the start line
Someone beautifully sang the national anthem, like only a Southern Belle could. Quick question. Where's the flag? Fail.

At the photographer's request, the start/finish banner was backwards. Not so bad, except everyone was lined up facing in the wrong direction. Fail.

The clock is not on. Where is the time-check knob when you need him?
There were no corals. Remember how I said that people with strollers and slower runners/walkers like to get up front to "get out of the way?" Well, thats exactly what happened here. Faster runners were forced to bob and weave (such a waste of energy) for the first mile. If you have to stop to walk within the first quarter of a mile, you have no business in the front. Fail.

Before the race
Along the course were mile-markers with race clocks. Great. However, they wrong. All wrong. At mile one, the clock read an hour and twenty minutes or so. What? I crossed the start line about 30 seconds after the gun. There's no way a mile took an hour. I planned to run the first mile slowly, but not that slow. Upon closer look, I realized that the clock was actually frozen. How are runners supposed to gauge their time and pace? Miles 2 and 3 were also frozen. Mile markers 4, 5 and 6 had no clocks at all. Fail.

There were no medical tents. Let me say that again ... THERE WAS NO MEDICAL TENT! I can't even begin to fathom this one. Between miles 3 and 4, I noticed a few ladies on the side of the road. One looked like she had a cramp and her friend was helping her stretch. The other lady was sitting alone and seemed to be grabbing her ankle in pain. I looked at my watch, checked the scenery to take note of her location. I said to myself that at the next medical tent, I will let them know that someone needs help. That next medical tent never came. Seriously people?! I'm pretty sure the waiver doesn't cover gross negligence. EPIC FAIL.

Around mile 4, I could see that the 5k course and 10k course had merged. That wasn't a problem until the last half mile. There were a lot of walkers in this race and a lot of first-time racers which made the last half mile very crowded. Not only did I have to bob and weave fro the first mile, now I have to bob and weave to the finish? This was not the race directors fault, per se. I will charge this fail to the game.
coming home to the finish

The finish chute was super crowded. I finally get past all of the walkers strolling to the finish and the ladies posing for a picture at the finish line (I swear if I had the energy I would have drop kicked a few of them. I mean Who. Does. That?) and cross the finish line myself. Fail.

My time wasn't that great. I ran a hilly 17 miles the day before
Runners and walkers were congregating at the finish line congratulating each other, getting their medal, grabbing water and taking pictures. The finish chute should not be crowded! Runners should be guided out of the way. The only reason to stop in the finish chute is for immediate medical attention. I was so tired, hot, thirsty and lost. It took me a five minutes to find water. I finally asked someone who told me that it was on the ground in a baby pool of ice. What? Just fail. Fail. FAIL.

Those were the major fails from the race. There were more, but I'm tired of being negative. One final caveat: This was MY experience. Others may have had a different experience. I hope yours was better.

A few positives:

  • The race medal was cute. I really like it.
  • The race t-shirt was a nice Brooks running technical tee. I can't wait to continue my marathon training in it.
  • It was inspiring to see so many beautiful black ladies running, walking and being healthy. 
  • I saw quite a few very good-looking officers on the course. Hey boo, hey.
  • Packet pick-up before the race was very smooth and included timing chips.

after the race. it was hot and humid out there


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