Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Not as Easy as it Looks (5k story)

I'm not talking about running in a 5k. My friends who run marathons and half-marathons would laugh me off the internet for that. I'm talking about running a 5k event. The planning, organization, and staging of the race. I found that out this weekend when I participated in the first ever Upward Bound TRiO Day 5k Run and Walk at Midland College.

The Bad
I'll start with the bitches and complaints.
The course was confusing. Around the MC loop is only 1.1 miles so they needed to add some detours. (I just wrote out a complete path description. Way boring. Let's just say...) It was two loops, two times around the Chap center and once to the I Street entrance gate. Not a problem if you have knowledgeable volunteers directing runners. And there's the problem. Some volunteers pointed the right way, some pointed the wrong way, and some just let the sign hang at their side, pointing to the ground. A bit of misguidance added almost half a mile to my run.
The coarse was not closed as suggested. I kinda figured this from the beginning. When you have students living on campus working jobs off campus, you're going to have some weekend traffic. That and there was a tennis tournament going on.
The age groups seemed odd. 17 and under, 18-35, 35 and up. And gender was not taken into account.
They ran out of tees. Personally, I don't see this as a problem (because I pre-register)
But the biggest problem of all, NO NUMBERS!

The Good
Now that that's out of the way, it did have many benefits.
The entry was only $15, in advanced or on race day.
A live DJ provided pre-race entertainment and energy.
Before the race, runners were guided through stretches and warm ups.
After the race, there were a lot of door prizes and hand outs. Everyone in my group went home with something.
The bronze medal I won had the date and event engraved on the back. This was a nice touch. I had to take a Sharpie to the ones I've won in the past.
And there were about a dozen oranges for each runner after the race.

The Future

All that said, would I participate in this run again? Sure.
This was their first year, so they were bound to be mistakes.
One being, the backs of the tee-shirts were not covered in logos or company names. I'm thinking that's a missed opportunity for extra revenue.
And that's what it's really all about, raising money for a good cause.

First race in my new shoes. (the box is a pedometer door prize I won)
Nike+ GPS put my 5k time at 24:28
And full race time is flipped to 28:24 (that takes into account the extra distance I ran, and the time I stood at the finish table bitching about the extra distance I ran, instead of pushing stop on the timer.)
I'm not sure what time they call out from the stage, I was busy filling up on oranges.

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