This past Saturday I participated in the inaugural Run.Live.Learn 5k. Run.Live.Learn is formly known as the SCC Wellness festival. They typically have a small expo and a 10k and 1 mile fun run. This year they decided to add a 5k element to the event and change the name.
This is my review of the race/event and are my own honest opinions.
Packet pick up was held the Friday before the event at the St. Charles Community College Admin building. They also offered race day pick up, but only between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., I believe, which made it a little inconvenient if you were a 5k participant, since your race didn’t start until 9:30. I picked my packet up Friday night, and there wasn’t a line to pick up. They did tell me to check my shirt because they were “running small”. I may have missed it during sign up, but they were giving out both women’s and men’s fit shirts. The women’s fit was very snug. But we had the options to swap out the shirt for another size or style which was nice. In your packet you got your shirt, bib, and three raffle tickets to use for the drawings, as well as a few coupons and race flyers. They also included safety pins which is nice.
Since the races are held at the college there is plenty of parking, so I wasn’t concerned with getting there overly early. I was able to park fairly close to the college and didn’t have to walk very far at all. The expo was held in the Student Center, but I did not know that 5k participants were supposed to go see everything before the race, which would have been nice. The 10k was just finishing up upon my arrival, and the fun runs were slated to start right after.
I hung around and stretched through the fun runs and at about 9:15 started to make my way over to the starting area. They had a few booths set up handing out Chik-fil-a, Qdoba, and smoothies, which was nice, however I saw lots of people walking around with three or four sandwiches, and they did not have bibs on. I feel like this area should have either been kept separate for runners only, or placed in a different area to prevent over crowding.
The race was supposed to start at 9:30, and did not start until 9:50, making it 20 minutes later than it should have. A big no-no in my book. Runners have certain pre-race rituals that they like to complete and when a race starts no where close to on time, this can really cause issues for some people.
The course was strictly around campus and never ventured on to public roads which was nice. It was also a double-loop course, my first time running one. It didn’t bother me too much, as the course wasn’t all that boring. It was slightly challenging, with a couple of rollers, and some interesting turns.
It was also completely sunny. On black asphalt for the majority. So regardless of what the air temperature says, it feels hotter. I spoke with a couple of people who said they saw an aid station set up with cups of water, but I never saw it. So to me that’s no on course support. Which would have been nice to know so that I could have brought my own water bottle. I did see a tub which may have had bottled water in it on my second loop, but by then I was so close to the finish I didn’t waste time stopping, since it was un-manned.
That was a mistake.
Once finished, I walked over to the post-race table to grab a water and was told they didn’t have anymore and there were water fountains inside. There were still participants on the course, and they were already packing everything up. After grabbing a sandwich, I headed inside the building to hopefully find an empty water fountain. Luckily for me, two maintenance workers for the college directed me to another area that had iced bottled water. So thank you college maintenance workers! I hung around to see the raffle drawing, and possible hear the results. Which never happened due to a timing chip malfunction. The results were finally posted today, and winners can either stop by the college or have their award mailed.
While I understand that this is the first year they have done a 5k race, I feel with their previous experience in putting on 10ks, there shouldn’t have been as many issues. 5k runners and walkers need course and finish area support no matter how slow they are. Don’t have an event to include everyone if you are not going to support everyone. Also, start the race as close to on time as possible. If there is anything that annoys people more than start a race late, especially 20 minutes late, I’d like to know. Do the 5k either at the same time as the 10k, or start it directly after and hold the fun run stuff last.
While I wasn’t thrilled with this race, I do understand that it was the first time it had been put on. I believe there is room for improvement, and would probably come back and try it again next year, since I enjoyed the course. For the price ($20), I think the course and shirt were nice, however support could have been a little better.
All in all I give this race a 6 out of 10.