Here is my race review of the O’Fallon Firecracker 5k.
They held packet pick up at the Big River Running Company, located in O’Fallon. They had a little red carpet set out and though the store is kind of small, it didn’t feel crowded or anything. I was able to grab my t-shirt and bib in a matter of a few minutes. There wasn’t much in the means of “race swag”, but the t-shirt was still cute. I opted to get the regular cotten shirt, although you could upgrade to a tech tee for an additional $5 at registration.
The registration for this race was $25 dollars for early registration, and then I believe it went up to $30 if you registered day of.
It was held at a ball park, so there was plenty of FREE parking. The only downside was that you had to walk up and down either a long handicap ramp or a few flights of stairs and a bridge like walkway. You could either hang out inside the stadium (read: NO PORTA POTTIES!) or hang out outside. I didn’t really venture into the stadium so I can’t tell you if they had anything to eat in there before the race started.
It started right on time at 7:00 which is always a plus, so it didn’t take to terrible long to cross the starting mat/line.
The course was on paved streets for the most part, in a fairly uninhibited part of the city. There was only one major incline, and it wasn’t too bad. The fire department had set up mister/sprinklers a few miles in to the race, which if it would have been a billion degrees, I would have ran under. But since I was already wet from sweating and the rain, I didn’t feel like getting any soggier. Some people did seem very appreciative of them though!
Since it was a 10k and a 5k, we all started at the same time, but the courses split off and joined back together at various points. It was kind of odd to be passed by the same person a couple of times, especially when you know you didn’t pass them to start with 🙂
Course support was minimal, as far a spectators go, but the aid stations were very well manned by volunteers. Also, at several points along the way, there were volunteers standing and holding signs to let you know where to go. And the mile markers were clearly designated as well as spray painted on to the streets.
The last bit of the course is on the warning track around the field, so it is a clay/gravel mixtures.
As soon as you were done, you could walk up some steps and they handed you ice cold bottles of water, as well as a little reusable shopping bag thing. There were several vendor booths set up, including a chiropractic one. I didn’t linger very long because I was beyond tired at that point and really wanted to head home. They did have from what I saw in pictures, free Chik-fil-a, beer, and various other eats for runners only. Which meant if you wanted to enjoy those, you either had to eat them there or take them outside the “runners only” area if you wanted to mingle with family and friends who didn’t run the race. Plus it was fairly congested up there. Next year I will definitely have to check it out.
All in all, I think it was a wonderful race. Definitely good if you want to get your feet wet in the world of race/running. I would give it a 8 out of 10.