This is a new race, so I am going to cut it a little slack.
1. Plenty of water/Gatorade stations- This is a given, but I recently did a half that’s been around for 5 years and they ran out of water at station two, so, I appreciate when that doesn’t happen.
2. Parking- I have been to races at Qualcomm before and you’d swear you were going to a football game with all the traffic. I had no problem getting in or out. And after a race, this runner wants to get to the shower ASAP, not sit in a never ending line of cars.
3. Out and Back Course- I appreciate an out and back race because I don’t have to deal with a shuttle full of sweaty runners (I include myself in that category!). This was also great because you got to pass everyone on the way back and see their costumes. At one point I saw a gingerbread man killing it after the turn around, which was inspiring. I mean, if he could do it, why was I slagging?
4. On time Start- Many races that have been around for years can’t manage that, and that will drive a runner crazy. Start on time, people! I don’t want to stand around for an extra 45 minutes! I am going to be running 13.1 miles! Isn’t that enough suffering?
Sorry, got a little carried away, there.
Anyway, now for some areas of improvement:
1. Six miles of parking lot. It’s not so bad to run in the lot at the beginning, but at the end when I am tired, it is tough to zig-zag endlessly through a parking lot… So much parking lot. So, so much parking lot. It was like the Never Ending Story… But with a parking lot.
2. Mile Markers- It took me awhile to figure out that the weird flags were mile markers, especially because the mile number was tiny… and it’s hard to read small numbers with sweat in my eyes. And the flags either disappeared after mile 10. Or maybe someone stole them. I also saw a lot of 5k-ers wandering around aimlessly, so the turn for the 5K wasn’t well marked.
3. Better sound for the emcee. I was at the front and I couldn’t hear a thing. But from what I could tell by his gestures, he was awesome.
4. Giveaway- A trucker hat instead of a t-shirt is a no. Runners prefer tech tees, but even a cheap, cotton t-shirt would have been better. It’s rare that anyone looks good in a trucker hat. So, if you’re ever a race coordinator and you ask, “Hey, should we give racers a trucker hat instead of a tee?” That answer is a “no.” It’s an emphatic no.
In the end, I got a massive medal and had some laughs some amazing costumes. It’s unlikely that I would run it again, but it was a good first try for the coordinators, and if you’re into running in a costume, I say give it a try next year.