Thursday, September 13, 2012

[Not so] Awesome 80s Run Race Recap

Well I really hate to say this but I ran the most poorly planned race of all the races I have participated in so far when I got back from Hood to Coast, on September 1st. 

It was the "Awesome 80s Run" and I ran the 10K.  It was a huge mess.

First let me start by saying that I was not ready to race anything so soon after HTC; my legs were still very sore and I was tired but I signed up and it was close to home so I went.

The race was at the Rose Bowl.  I have done many races there and usually the start is at 7 or 7:30 am.  This one: 9 am! In the summer, in Southern California.  I don't understand that.  They had a 5K and a 10K at this party event.  When I got there it was already pretty hot.   It was very crowded, lots of people dressed up in neon colors and wearing things that were way too tight...and people on roller blades..with a bib...hmmmm was hoping they would not line up with the runners...

I had a bad feeling right from the start. 
They had the 5K runners go first.  Makes no sense to me when you have a 10K to do that.  That start was a ZOO.  No order.  Nobody to make the usual announcements  "walkers in the back" "line up on this side of the street" "cross the blue mat" etc.... The start was not "moving"...they made people wait and wait and wait between "pretend waves". 

The Race Director kept blaming the city of Pasadena for the delays.  People were standing in the middle of the street where the start AND the finish line were.  Well.....what do you think  happened ....the first 5K winner  showed up BEFORE all the 5K runners had time to start. RD started to panic a little..telling people to move out of the was a joke. 
9 am came and it was supposed to be my start...well there were still many 5K runners who had not started yet.....and it was getting really in over 90 degrees hot. 

See here all the people waiting...those were all 5K people
and this was taken when the winner was coming....

I was getting a little annoyed with this chaos.  I told Bill I would just go with the next wave of 5K runners and do the 2 loops and be done with this joke of a race.  The race director came to the mic again and said something like "10K runners, please be patient...bare with me, I know it is hot, I am hot too under my costume (was dressed like MJackson)!" What? Is this a joke....he was telling us who were about to run that poor him was hot too...I am sorry but I thought this was ridiculous.  "My hands are tied it is the city's fault" Blah blah blah.

Well the 10K ended up starting nearly 40 minutes LATE.  People had been waiting for a long time in the sun and the heat.  I drank almost all my NUUN before starting the race.

It was all a joke.  Super Loud music.  The RD introducing his wife on the stage..."Look at her she just had a baby!" Well that is great and all but meanwhile we are all waiting to start a race.  To me this was just a party not a race.  I expected costumes and music but also a race!

So I ran the 10K.  Kind of.  I did not care anymore by the time I finally started.  It was super hot and they had no water for the 10K runners.  The 5K runners took all they had.  Also nobody was there to direct the 10K runners after the first loop, some did not know where to go.

Jonathan chased after me and I stopped to to give him and Will a high 5!

On the last one...Bill was telling me he thought I took a wrong turn...I went back on my steps to make sure...nobody was there to help the runners.

On the water topic:   Here's what I think.  For a 10K in the summer in SoCal, that starts at freaking 9 am, it is reasonable to expect one water station WITH water. 
The course goes around a golf course and many runners (including me) went off the course during the second loop to get water there.  This is NOT OK.  They also had no water at the finish.  They had nothing there..  some people were not feeling well at all at the end.

On Facebook..they got a lot of complains about the logistic of this race and the lack of water.  The responses from the race director were not professional in my opinion.  Some have said he deleted negative posts...that he blocked people from the FB race page.  This is not OK. He is taking everything very personal and it looks like he forgets that we, the runners, are his customers, that we pay for the races.  He does have a lot of loyal fans....they came to his rescue on facebook and things got pretty nasty there.   I ended up "un-liking" the page.

I do think the guy means well.  I also think he should be a party planner not a race director.  He has good ideas but his focus is on all the stuff around the races...the medals, costumes, music...etc and it is not on the actual race.  His group was behind the Hollywood Half Marathon and this race had some issues as well.  I thought..let's give him another many did...but nothing changed.  I think those events are great for the walkers because they have a fun vibes ,but for the folks who want to do well in their races I would say to not waste your money.  I know I won't anymore. 


Kate Geisen said...

Disappointing. And those are some pretty major issues. Thank goodness it was one where you probably shouldn't have been racing anyway rather than a race you're really trained for. I'd be REALLY annoyed at that.

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

That bites! I have done several 10ks where the start the 5k first. I think it is a little stupid too. Especially when it meant all the 5k people got to the expo part first and took all the fun freebies and I was one of the first 10k people done, there was nothing left. :(

Sorry you had a crappily organized race! At least you looked good!

Boston Bound Brunette said...

NOT GOOD! I think this race took place the same weekend as Disney so I am glad that I didn't sign up. I thought about it because I thought the medal was really cute. I heard lots of bad things about the Hollywood Half and now this one so I am staying away. Sorry that you had to go through all of this. This guy really needs to figure this whole race event thing out before he puts on any more races.The water issue is just unacceptable!

Canuck Mom said...

Very sad to hear this. Something with this theme should be better organized. A race can be fun and well organized. Not good on the RD's part and he should take the criticism and learn from it.

Unknown said...

Bummer! It looked like so much fun when I saw posts about it... guess I'm glad I didn't get to be in LA that weekend! :)

Sorry for your poor experience. :(

Gracie said...

Water should be #1 priority for a summer race! Or any race, really.

Michael said...

Wow, that sounds like the worst race ever! I've had issues at races where they ran out of water maybe at one stop but would have it at the next. There is absolutely NO excuse for that NONE!! Esp on a hot day! I'm usually a total sucker for a gimicky race like that, and would have signed up in an instant. Too bad it was so disappointing!

Unknown said...

Whoa. And I almost was gonna fly into Cali for that one! oof.

Jennifer K. said...

I thought about doing this one, but I live in Orange County, so driving up to Pasadena would have taken me twice as long as running the actual race. After reading the FB posts, I was glad I opted out. I was signed up for the Hollywood Half, but I decided not to run it at the last minute because it was so close to the LA Marathon. That was another one I was glad to have missed. I should have known better when I tried to sign up at an expo and the girl at the table (who I believe was the RD's wife) sat there and talked on her phone instead of helping me. Then they wouldn't take a credit card. Clearly this organization has some learning to do. I'm sorry you had a bad time.

Jill said...

I wonder if this was like the Retro Run I just did (I had a small glip about it on my last post)....the race I did sounds logistically in the same mess - no water on the course, no water at the end, no food at the end and the course was extremely short. But this "race" wasn't timed and was considered a "fun run" - which are treated so differently I guess. At least that's what I was told so I just went with it. EVERYONE was dressed in 80s attire, there was only about 10 out of a sea of 800 who was dressed to race, so I think these things are becoming a lot more popular. Sorry you had such a miserable experience...hope you're recovering from the relay!