Wow what a day with this oddly organized race. Today’s California Run Festival Half Marathon, Full Marathon, and 50k, is the most poorly organized race I have ever been part of. There are a lot of things that could have gone wrong and probably did go wrong! I’ll break down this items later down in the blog. However, one thing that this race did have going for it, was that the rain broke long enough to run, and the route it self was pretty nice.
Even with all of the craziness that went on with this race, there was still one positive that came about from it. I ran a personal best today in the half marathon with a total time of 1 hour 27 minutes and 56 seconds. Now the down side to this PR which probably will end up being questionable until I run sub this time, is that the route distance ended up being in question. About 3 miles into the run my Garmin shut off, and I am not sure for how long I lost the signal so I had to run and try to fire up the watch again, which eventually I was able to do. At this point the watch was not a tool for keeping my distance or total time, but I was using it to reference my current pace while on the move. The reason the distance is uncertain is that there were NO MILE markers at all during the course! Also some people were saying that the full marathon was about one half mile short of the true 26.2 miles. However, until I can fully figure this out, I am going say that I am hoping that the race director would have measured the courses out correctly when designing the route.
Now for all of the horrible things about the California Run Festival. To name off a number of things that were poorly managed in the race include, water & aid stations, on course assistant, start time, communication, and finish line. Now I understand there are certain things that couldn’t be controlled such as the random mud spots along the course, due to the rain this just happens when some of the route is on dirt. Who would have thought that we would be concerned about rain in the month of June in a race held in Northern California. So with the rain coming down right before the start, then removing the bands with their amps and instruments was also understandable.
So then comes to the complaints about what about those things that were in control of by the race management officials and group. The most important thing, not so much in my distance but for the full and 50k runners, was the water aide stations. Most of the water stations were serve yourself! Yes, if you wanted a sports drink, then you needed to poor it yourself! Also on the website they listed where water aide stations would be and where Hammer Nutrition Gel packs would be available. Because the website listed that Hammer Gel was going to be at certain aide stations I did not pack any on my run, I should have because none of the stations had them. Luckily, I just really needed water on this race, so I was able to just grab the pre-poured water cup off the table during the race.
Another poorly executed part of this event was the late start time. Originally it was supposed to be a 7:15 start time, then I heard runners say that it changed to 7:30 am, but the run didn’t actually take off until about 7:50 am. Yet no one really communicated this to the runners that morning of why we needed to start later. Along with the communication, or lack of, was the volunteers through the course were flagging runners in the wrong direction! Making some runners, myself included to have to make some wider loops through the route to get back on course.
Overall the route was a fun route, and the weather was friendly for runners. However, even with a “PR” on this route, this is the last time that I run this race, until I hear about some major improvements. To finish off the day and reward myself with my PR, I drove back home and logged in another 3.25 miles to stack some mileage for today. Based on my training for the SF Marathon, I should have ran 18 miles today. Assuming that the race route was correct I logged in 16.35 miles today, just a couple of blocks shy of the total miles.