Wednesday, March 5, 2014

80's Retro Run 5k

I had a really fun time at the 80's retro run 5k, but I feel like it was in spite of the race.  Clearly, I wasn't a big fan of this one.

Fun with dad!

For starters, it was in Frederick, Maryland.  This one was my fault but I didn't check where Frederick was before agreeing to do this with friends.  It was further than I thought.  It took 45 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to get back.  That wouldn't have been a big deal if the race had been well run.

As a sign of the poor organization, they didn't send information about packet pick up until the Wednesday before the Saturday race.  And packet pick up was only on Friday from noon to 6 pm, or the morning of the race if you paid an extra $5 six hours during the time most people are at work is just not enough for packet pick up.  If that's all you're going to do, you should not be charging for same day packet pick up.  And again, it took me 45 minutes to drive up there and 45 minutes to get back. I got a cotton t-shirt, sunglasses, and the bib.  And this is totally a little thing, but they didn't even have safety pins for the bibs.

The race was supposed to start at 10am so my dad and I left around 8:30 after a quick breakfast at home.  By the time we parked and got to the start, it was around 9:30 and there was just kind of a mob of people hanging out by a DJ and some food trucks.  My friends showed up a couple minutes later and they had to pick up their bibs.  One of them even mentioned, is there anyone to notice if we don't have bibs?  Sadly, she was probably right that no one would have noticed.  I hardly saw  any volunteers or workers the whole time. The lack of support was really surprising.
Fun with friends!

Next, the course.  It was at the Frederick Fairgrounds.  And it was horrible. There were a lot of switchbacks  and even concentric circles at one point.  It was clearly not enough area to get the 5k in in a reasonable way.  It was confusing at points as to whichever direction to go. Also, the terrain was rough.  It started out and ended with paved areas but the middle of the course included grassy area, a horse racing track, and lots of muddy spots. The varying terrain was difficult and I was worried about my dad at some points.

You can see how ridiculous the course is here and the elevation changes as well. I started runkeeper late so that probably explains the 2.95 miles instead of 3.1 But given how badly the race was organized, I wouldn't be surprised if the course was short.

So that's it. We ended up having fun, the 80s music on the course was cool, and there were a lot of fun costumes that people wore. But the logistics and organization were poor. I sadly wouldn't recommend this one to anyone unless major changes were made. And in fact, I probably wouldn't recommend a race at this venue at all.