October 14, 2017
Let’s get this out of the way early: I will not do this race again. I would advise others to avoid it as well. I’ve never wanted my money back after a race until this one. I was offered half my money back, but scoffed at that. Not worth it, really.
FWIW: Yes, I know this was a fun run. I’m totally not “that guy” to throw a fit at a race. But I kind of was today. Not proud of it, but it was bad, you guys.
When an event is so poorly organized as this was, there is no excuse. Don’t organize a race if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t volunteer to help at a race without asking what you’re supposed to do. Don’t send volunteers out onto a course without (correctly) telling them what to do.
Let’s rewind. I was having a blast pre-race. It was, after all, it was a costumed run — and it was Luigi time.
Inside Norsemen Brewing Company before heading out into the street.
You know the flagpoles at the end of each level? No? Whatever, it’s funny.
Okay, enough goofing around. It’s time to run…
Okay, one more. That mustache only lasted a few miles, FYI.
With a really low turnout, I thought I’d have a shot to win. I knew right away I’d win this thing, so I just went out and figured I’d enjoy some miles. I’d won 11 races before and figured a 12th would be fun. I don’t run to win — until I have a shot to win. Because, well, why not?
I would’ve led this thing pretty easily start to finish if not for… Well, keep reading…
So, back to the organization.
The Facebook page event that synced to my iCal indicated the race would start at 8:30. I assumed that was the actual start time — which it was. However, the race registration page showed 5:30 p.m. on Friday night.
Two separate emails went out to participants. One on Thursday. One at 11:22 p.m. Friday night — the night before the race. I saw this one at 1:30 a.m. when Kami woke up, which woke me up (baby day coming soon, you guys).
Neither email — I repeat, neither email stated what time the race would start. How can that be? The emails reminded us what time packet pickup started and what time the costume contest would start. Race time? Anyone? Bueller? Nope, nothing.
Anyway… the race wound up starting at 8:35, so close enough to what the event had listed, I suppose.
The start/finish line was … a gutter. Okay then.
Not like there was a super cool painted stretch less than 20 yards from that gutter or anything…
This would’ve been perfect for a start/finish line. But nobody asked me.
Rainbow Road, anyone? Luigi? Sweet, right? Sigh…
I jumped out to a pretty healthy lead early and despite my tendency of starting too fast, I actually stretched the lead a little bit. I was ahead by nearly half a mile when I approached a volunteer. With two dead ends and only two options available, I asked which way I was supposed to turn. She shrugged and said “I don’t know.”
No explanation. No effort to take a guess. Just “I don’t know.”
Most of the runners ran 7-plus miles. Because I was in first and went quite a bit further out of the way than most, I wound up at 7.6 miles. An easy win turned into an annoying seventh place. The girl who won (and actually ran the 6.2 miles) felt guilty. My time at the 10K mark was 3:02 faster than her “winning” time.
Oh well. I chatted with some other runners — including one guy named Ed who I’ve seen at a couple other races. He’s probably about my age and won third place for his dynamite Super Troopers costume.
I was cooling down and ready to move on. Until I got the following excuse…
“That’s why we put the route map online.”
Are you kidding me? The co-RD legit tried to blame runners for the lack of information they gave to their volunteers? No. Not okay. I was steaming once again.
He pulled me aside like he was upset with me — eventually offered me half my money back. Whatever, dude. Not even worth it.
Race benefactor. Non-profit or not, I don’t know how they can feel comfortable taking people’s money after a debacle like this…
I received a wooden medal — that was pretty cool. It says “10K finisher” (lol), but we received them for overall placements, apparently. I was told I was the second place male, but I know there were a few guys ahead of me by the time I finished my lengthy venture around the streets of north Topeka.
Bib, shirt and handmade wooden “medal.”
Anyway… at least I got a few good miles in before the storms hit. Last race pre-baby. I’ll have to just enjoy the casual solo runs for a little while — which is fine, because I’d been enjoying them lately anyway.
Until next time…