On Saturday, I ran the Hobble Creek 1/2 Marathon in 2:08, knocking 12 minutes off my personal best!! Whoo Hoo!
While the course is fast and beautiful, this was the most unorganized races I have ever run. I realize that it takes a lot of work to put on an event like this and I can excuse unorganization in the first or second year of the event (it takes a couple of years to work the kinks out), but this race has been going since 2005. Here are just a few things I thought were whacked:
Packet (Number) Pick Up:
While most races are on Saturday in Utah, you are generally required to pick up your number the day before the race. Most races keep their packet pick up open until 8:00pm on Friday giving people the opportunity to pick up their packets after work. Hobble Creek's packet pick up went from 1:00-6:00pm in Orem (45 miles from SLC)! Who can get to Orem after work in rush hour traffic if you are 45 miles away! They did offer race day pick up which is good, but for only 15 minutes. Not much time when 1/2 the people could not get their number the day before. My friend had to take off work to pick up her number (and mine as there is no way I would have made it to Orem by 6:00pm).
Changing the rules for packet pick up in the Race Bible the day of pick up is a dirty trick!
If you are going to have a bag drop, let people know or at least have extra bags for people to drop their gear in. Standing in the canyon at 5:00am (2 hours before the race starts) can be (and was) freezing! People left their warm jackets in the car, not knowing there was a bag drop! I'm glad I found a extra garbage bag in the trunk of my car, but nobody had a pen to write my name on the bag at the registration table. I used a ball point out of my purse.
Bus to the Start:
Picture this, a school bus filled to capacity waiting to be shuttled to the start of the race. The bus driver turns to the crowded bus and asks "Does anyone know where to go?" He was not kidding. They never gave the drivers a map.
Starting a race 45 minutes late on a 100 degree day is not good. The last 3 miles were brutal due to the heat.
T-shirts were given in this race only if you finished the race. The race closed 3 months ago. 1/2 the people did not receive a shirt as the only ordered the shirts 6 weeks ago and all M & L shirts were stuck in customs. LAME!!!
The really sad part about this is, this race sells out every year on the day the registration opens, so the race directors probably doesn't give a crap if things go wrong. If I don't run this race next year, there will be someone happy to take my place. Without all the crap, the race itself was fun and beautiful and I got a PR.