I did this race the day after I did my disastrous 10 mile run. Not the best idea, but I had EVERY intention of taking things nice and easy. The morning started off nice and cool, so I opted out of carrying my water bottle. That may have been the best, worst thing that happened…
I normally give races a bit of slack when they’re smaller. Things aren’t as fine tuned or over the top as more heavily participated races, so you have to expect different things. I don’t believe I’ve EVER ran a more poorly organized race than this one.
The first turn wasn’t marked so everyone missed it. That was rather amusing to see all the people go from point A to point B, including myself. Saying “go around the tree” doesn’t work so well when you’re in a wooded area, just saying… I think that spray paint or a cone could have helped with this, or a ribbon around said tree.
Then about mile 1 the joggers and walkers split. So each went a different direction, or so we were told. The sign was picked up and MOVED by a volunteer as I was making my turn. We were informed that they had been sending people the wrong way. By good graces I was running by someone who had set the course up, so she stopped to argue with the volunteers. Turns out, the turn was the proper way to go. The alternate route which a number of people were sent on added an extra half a mile. And that would have just sucked.
The water stops were few and far between. For this race not being in its first year, I expected a lot more. All of the other races I have ran over the years, there is a certain volunteer etiquette when it comes to working water stops. The volunteers hand you a cup filled with some form of liquid, that way if you’re one of the people who doesn’t slow down to walk, you can grab it and keep going. That did not happen at this one, which wouldn’t have been so bad, but the first water stop wasn’t until mile TWO! Typically they’re every 1.25 to 1.5 miles in a race. Sometimes less if the weather conditions aren’t favorable.
I was severely missing my water by the end. The course was hilly, open, and sunny. Needless to say I was quite pleased with my time of 36 minutes, especially after my ten mile run the day before!!