It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but running the Great Chocolate Race yesterday, all I could think about was doing a review!
I didn’t get into Disney’s Wine and Dine and knew I needed 10 training miles this weekend, so why not run a 10 mile race? AND it’s themed to chocolate? Can’t get much more perfect then that.
Well I was wrong…
The race seemed to spend a lot of money on advertising as everytime I was on Facebook I saw an ad for it, I just wish they had spent that money on other things…like runner safety 😔
Here are my thoughts:
1. Proof read your race emails – obviously copying and pasting from an earlier email without removing redundant info makes you look like you don’t care.
2. Make sure the info in your emails matches what’s on the website. If the website says the 5k starts at 7:15 but the email says 7:05, which one is it?
3. If you’re going to have the first 3 miles be the same for both races, make sure the fast runners start together, or spread out the start times enough that makes it safe for everyone. The 5k started about 4 minutes after I did, on the narrowest part of the course, meaning the fast runners for the 5k ran into oncoming traffic so they could run around the big crowd of 10 milers.
4. Deliver what you say you will. If your email says you will have 6 water stations, but only set up 4, that’s an issue. Runners plan out these things as part of their race strategy. Luckily it wasn’t too hot and I brought a bottle of water. Not sure if volunteers just didn’t show up to man the other 2, but I much would’ve rather had those setup then the extra volunteers on the course cheering.
5. To continue on that – we were told there would be hot chocolate afterward. It was very nice for them to email us last night to apologize for their vendor not coming through, but in 70+ degree weather I would’ve appreciated an apology for not enough water stations as opposed to no hot chocolate.
6. It was great that there were cones everywhere to guide the cars, but with no signs, I saw at least 3 cars go into either the runner lane, or into oncoming traffic. Not safe!
7. Before the start please have lights so runners aren’t walking around in pitch black! I stood next to the curb for about 5 minutes and saw 4 people trip. Luckily they just stumbled and weren’t hurt.
8. If you’re going to have that much brick, please prepare people! I thought the OUC course was bad, geez! A photographer tried to point out to me that the course was on the bricks not the sidewalk…too bad!
9. Some areas we ran through were kinda sketchy, but some were nice.
10. Cops were everywhere! This was a huge plus!!
11. The bling was huge! Getting a mug was an extra unexpected bonus. Was a little disappointed that the 5k medal was the same as the 10 miler.
12. Priced way too high! I think with the early discount it was still $55-$60. Not worth it.
13. A sign or people directing traffic to leave would’ve been nice. After I did a full loop in the grass lot, I followed some other people onto the road about 10ft from where the runners were finishing. Again, runner safety should be re-evaluated for next year.
14. Supposedly free pictures are coming. That will be nice.
Overall, this was one of the worst races I’ve ever done. If I ever do it again, it would be the 5k for fun with friends. They would really need to address runner safety and changes they make for future races for me to ever consider this one again.