Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free to Breathe 5K Raleigh: WTF!!!???!! 4.34 K and Everyone Gets a PR!

OK.  Where to start?  I am trying not to childish about this event, but The Free to Breathe 5k was a waste of time.  I don't care about the money because it went to a good cause, but I would have been better off just donating the money and skipping the race.  The major issue was that they did not mark the course properly and neglected to post a volunteer at the most confusing part of the course, and the police officer directing traffic sent the runners in the wrong direction (which was not the officer's fault), and the course ended up being short around 3 or 4 tenths of a mile.  Honestly, there was only one difficult part of the course for people to know where to go and the organizers had not one person standing there, no cones, not a single sign!!!  Just B.S.!  I realized the course was not going in the direction laid out on the map, but thought maybe there had been a last minute change.  But, I realized that they had just made a mistake, when I ran to the second mile sign in around 4 minutes!!!  But I shouldn't have expect much when you consider that this is the Map the event organizer provided in the pre-race packet:

Who thinks that this is acceptable?
All they did was photo copy a campus map and draw on it with a sharpie!  As soon as I saw this I should have known not to register for this race!!  But, I was looking for an event nearby that fit in to my schedule.  Never again. 

warming up before the race
 Honestly this thing was just an all around mess from the start. The advance packet pick was poorly organized. They didn't have shirts in either XL or 2XL available at the advance pick up, which was annoying because I had driven across town to pick up a packet that was nothing more than my race bib. Someone did send out an e-mail apologizing for this, but at this point, it does little to salvage my opinion of their event.  Luckily, Hiro wasn't running, so she could hold my t-shirt and other promotionals while I ran otherwise it would have made things even more of a mess.  I saw lots of people that need to get there stuff then take it to their cars before they ran.  Also, they scheduled the first night of the advance packet pick for election day, which was just poor timing. Honestly, I didn't really mind this little stuff, but messing up the course annoyed me to say the least! What was most frustrating about it was that everything else to to with the race itself was well done, except having a person, some cone, or a sign at the most confusing part of the course. They had cones everywhere else, the start was orgainzed well with people holding signs showing where runner's should line up based on thier speed, and they had people at the mile marks calling out the times as you by. But, they just failed to put anyone at the point where the course is supposed to run a panhandle. Honestly, that's just crap! I was running pretty strong up until that point, but once I noticed that the course was messed up, I really didn't try to push myself because I knew that everyone was getting a PR out of this race.

Me getting a PR (also me pissed off)
 Hiro was so excited because she thought that I had just crushed it and ran the best race of my life, but she soon found out that I was not a happy camper.  I am not the type of person that gets angry easily, but this race made me mad.  I trained and expected to run in a 5k today, if there had been some sort of freak snow storm, or a power outage messed up the timing, no problem, but someone failing to make sure  that the course is run correctly just makes me nuts.  I am not the type of person, who can laugh this one off . . . at least not yet . . . because I know how much time and energy that I invested in running this race, and I feel like the organizers just didn't care enough about what the participants put into the race.  I may be wrong, but that is how I feel.  It just seemed to me that they didn't care about us as runners.  The crappy maps, messed up advance packet pick up, and a course being run wrong don't let me think otherwise. 

Looking forward to running in a 5k . . . oops.
I wonder if this has happened to any of you or how you would feel if it had? 

BTW: If offered a refund I would reject it outright.  Like I said, this has nothing to do with money, I happy that the money I paid will support a worthy cause.

I will post my official distance and time once they are up, but it honestly doesn't mean that much to me at this point.

4.34K my time was 22.05, but I didn't really push this.

1 comment:

  1. Ooohhh NOOOOO!!!! I'm so sorry that your race went to h*ll. It totally sucks. No matter what they offer, there really is nothing they could do to "fix" it because you'll always have this race time on your record. That's how I would feel...kinda like they've ruined my future PRs. BLAH!!!

    Hey actually that's one thing they could offer to do--strike the race from the records.

    Interested to hear more about this. If there is any updates, please post.