Saturday, November 19, 2011

The McWilliams Frankenrace

I'd like to point out some good and some bad points of the various races that I competed in, maybe between them an awesome frankenrace can emerge that would suit me right down to the ground.

Run For The Hills; Farmington Hills - My very first 10k and only it's second year. Packet pickup was quite annoying as I had registered the week before online but they didn't know anything about me. The course was well sign posted and marshalled, although it could have done with at least one more aid station. Pre and post race they had a good selection of snacks. They had a graduated start with the best paced people at the front all the way back the walkers and me at the back. One thing I didn't like about the course was that you could see the finish line from quite far off, which I found quite demoralising, as it feels like it took an age to get there. Got a tshirt and bought a tech shirt.

Milford Labor Day 10k - Packet pickup was at Bakers, which went very smoothly, they even had a small expo where you could buy running gear, etc, and what with it being at Bakers, I even managed to grab a quick beer. Getting to the start line in the morning was a nightmare, but once there, it was very well organised. We started the race to the theme tune to Rocky, which got me chuckling. At mile 1 someone was shouting out your first mile pace, which was kinda cool. The course was beautiful and very challenging. Crossing the finishing line you got given your medal, a bottle of water and the snacks were right there too. Once we grabbed a seat we could help ourselves to free beer and, as a runner, I got a free lunch as well. Kinda cool tech shirt & a medal.

Detroit Zoo Run For The Wild - By far my biggest race so far. Packet pickup was easy, we went the previous day. It was quite a walk from the car park to the starting line, which was a little annoying. The course was very flat and very nice to run around & extremely well marshalled. According to my Garmin, the race wasn't quite a 10k. The finish line was a wee bit confusing for some I guess, but it was nice finishing at the gates of the zoo. Post race, it all fell apart, I struggled to find water and we had to go into the zoo to get any snacks, which was expensive and annoying. Got an ok tshirt.

Oakwood Red October Run - Jings, this was a cold one. I picked up my packet on the morning, which went flawlessly, They had a small expo which kept us going for a few minutes. Find the race start line was challenging. The course was flat and not much to look at. Random people joined the run on a couple of occasions, which was bizarre. At one point a race marshall asked the runners to stop so he could let a car through, which got me furious. The last mile or so was a pain as we finished on the same course as the slow 5k walkers and they wouldn't get out of the way. Post race snacks were good. Got a long sleeved shirt and a medal, I also bought a nice t shirt and baseball hat.

Detroit Free Press Marathon; leg #3 - It was a helluva event, but I have never felt so neglected either before or after a race, no pre or post snacks or drinks, and a really disappointing post race party. The live music and offers of free beer along the way were fun. Really nice tech shirt and medal though.

Plymouth Wicked Halloween Run - Damn cold morning. Packet pickup, parking were a doddle. Pre race we just kind of milled around. The pre race Thriller performance was a nice touch. The start line wasn't quite wide enough and the promised graduated start failed to materialize, which meant that it took a long time to get started and when started the race was really congested for the first mile. Course was very pleasant. Post race I got handed my medal and a bottle of water, I then had to queue for 10 minutes to get a snack, which kinda sucked. I found out later that not all of the medals were colored, but mine was. The tech shirt was cool.

Outrun Hunger - A last minute decision and it's first year. The course was nicely done and very close to home. I ran this one with Iona. Didn't get anything, no electronic timing either.

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot - Getting in to the park was hellish, we had thought we had left plenty time but ended waiting in line for about 40 minutes. Packet pickup and startung line organisation was a breeze, once we got there. The course was very picturesque. Between the 5k & 10k races I had about 30 minutes to kill, I spent most of it waiting in line for the bathroom. Snacks were available between races. Received two shirts, one for the 10k & one for doing the Iron Turkey Trot (5k & 10k races), the post race medal was an unexpected surprise.

Detroit Turkey Trot - Really busy, and I mean really, really busy. The starting corrals were a little confusing, but we found it ok. The course was as good as it could be considering that it was downtown. One thing I didn't like was watching people run down the road that you are running up, as it just goes to accentuate how slow you are going.The end was bedlam, and we didn't even try and get any snacks as it was just too busy.

My perfect race, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, The McWilliams Frankenrace
  • Online registration
  • Plenty parking
  • Previous evening packet pickup as well as on the day
  • Put some stuff in the packet, info on upcoming races, free samples
  • Customized tech shirt,
  • Electronic timing, in bib
  • Pre & post race expo
  • Pre race snacks
  • Graduated start based on pace
  • Cool route with plenty marshalls and no bloody cars
  • Mile/ kilometer markers would be nice and make them accurate
  • Make the route the distance that it is supposed to be
  • If there is a simultaneous 5k, have it start approx 1/2 hour after the 10k
  • Live music around the course as well as at the end
  • Medals for finishers
  • Post race snacks, with free beer
  • Free lunch for finishers

No comments:

Post a Comment