This is my review of the 5k I ran on Saturday.
This is pretty much the only time I have ever not gone to early packet pick up. I picked mine up on race day, because I just didn’t have time to make it all the way down to the Mills, just for that. And I didn’t even know that’s where I was supposed to go until like 3 p.m. on Friday. There was NO race communication at all, which is something I think is very important. At least one email to participants saying something along the lines of, “Hey, don’t forget you registered for this race on such and such date and here’s what you need to do…”. Not that hard really. But packet pickup went smoothly (for me) because I had just gotten a regular cotton t-shirt and not the fancy tech shirt you could have upgraded to for an additional $5. Apparently somewhere along the way, someone didn’t order enough mediums, so they ran out. People weren’t exactly happy about that.
Also, they touted that they had an awesome “goody bag”. I don’t really count a box of cereal, a roll of lifesavers, and a bunch of flyers awesome. Yes the cereal was pretty good, the lifesavers were my favorite flavor (wintergreen), but I was expecting a bit more for how “stuffed” the bag was made out on the website.
The Race & Course
One pretty unique and cool thing was that instead of a starting pistol or siren, they used a cannon. A BIG cannon. I felt the percussion rock my car when they test fired it, and it also set off a few car alarms. I also felt it move my clothes when they started the race and set it off. I didn’t realize how close it was to the starting line. I did have to bob and weave a bit through the walkers, but I also start pretty far back in races because I’m slower and I don’t want to get in the way of someone faster than me.
The first aid station was a little close in my opinion, but I also understand why it was there. Because there was also a 10k and it was a double loop course for them. But maybe not have it going the first time through, and open it up a little later. People doing the 5k portion can most likely make it through on one aid station stop.
The course was really nice. Not the most scenic course, but there were a few bands playing at various points, and it alternated between shady and sunny. But since it was a little chilly, the sunny parts were very welcomed! It was also a very flat course, with not one single incline that sticks out in my memory.
One thing that really bugged me, and I’ll address it more once I’m done with my review, the sheer amount of people who cheated on the course. Bad news.
Once you got ready to cross the finish line, the announcer/DJ called out your name when you finished, which was really nice. Another thing that was awesome? They gave out finisher’s medals. They are the only 5k/10k that I can think of who do that. I would honestly pay the extra 5 dollars on my race entry to have one. They really make the race special. unfortunately, the guys in the finish area lost power, so the finishers arch fell down, but it was still nice. There was good crowd support by the finish, and they had a pretty nice little aid area set up with snacks, drinks, and post-race stretching/massages. Results were posted very quickly, so you could see right away if you needed to stay for award ceremonies. Things seemed to be running a bit behind because of some earlier course issues (flooding) but since results were posted and you could see where you stood, it was nice to be able to make the decision quickly.
All in all, I thought this was a really nice, well put together race. Big River Running always does a great job managing races. I have yet to be to one put on by them where I have been disappointed completely, as I have in the past with a few other races. This is a great race, and the entry fee isn’t too bad ($25 I think). Plus you get a medal, which is always fun and the shirt design was pretty sweet too. The course is awesome for a fast race or a PR.
I would definitely do this race again next year, and on a scale of 1 to 10 I give it a solid 9. Put this race on your schedules for next year folks!
A Note to the Cheaters:
If you don’t have the preparation and the stamina to do a 5k without cheating, or you don’t have the morals, perhaps its best if you just come along to spectate the course and cheer people on. It’s really disheartening to watch grown people intentionally cut the course short because “they don’t feel like”. It’s not just about you cheating yourself, you taking a spot away from someone who has really worked hard to get where they are, and because you cheated, they don’t get their true recognition. Also, it’s pathetic. Grow up and be the adult that you are. I’m sure you children and grandchildren are super proud to know that you cheated.