Monday, February 8, 2010

Yelping about a run...

Here's what I had to say about the 2010 Surf City Half Marathon on the ubiquitous (and ofttimes controversial) review website -

Rating = 3 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed my race experience and would likely run another Surf City half, but I thought I'd give readers the skinny on some of the bad and some of the ugly.

-Gross bathrooms, as is usual at events with 20,000 participants (not counting spectators). Thankfully they had antibacterial sanitizer which makes your hands happy, but I was seriously wishing I could dunk my whole body in the goop after a harrowing experience at the mile 6 pit stop. Eww.

-The wave start for the half marathon took FOREVER. In trying to be respectful to the faster feet on the course, I found myself standing around for over a half hour waiting for our wave to start. The actual time from start to my wave was 24 minutes, but I lined up early with the expectation that the waves would roll in rapid fire. Hmm, not so much. My recommendation to race organizers would be to schedule out the wave start times so people can guestimate the appropriate "stand in line" time (and so runners can avoid the time crunch paranoia of ducking out for one last trip to the port-o-potties).

-The course was mellow and scenic, but I felt like I was playing Frogger (with racers in place of cars) for 98% of the run. The crowd just never thinned out.

-The stretch of PCH after the "hill" (around mile 6 and 7) was by far my least favorite part of the course. I just kept thinking, where the hell is the turn-around!? I was convinced someone moved the cones and proceeded to spend those two miles cursing under my breath and expanding the plot of the elaborate conspiracy theory I'd formulated while glaring suspiciously at the water volunteers.

-After the turn-around (and after abandoning my plans for revenge against the imaginary cone-moving conspirators), I was greeted with a big fat sloppy slap of sunshine burning directly into my forehead as I bore down on the finish. Another recommendation for race organizers, lose the water stop at Mile 1 and relocate it to Mile 11. The aid stations were a bit sparse in the last 4 miles of the half.

-One final thought- where were all the carbs at the finish!? I was craving a bagel but was surrounded by fruit, water and sport drink. If you are race director, please tell Dr. Atkins to shove his diet plans you-know-where and stock the finish with carbalious goodies.