That same excitement got the better of me as I forgot to check the actual gun start, time and location for the race. Good thing that as I reached 32nd street the LED-lighted stage of the St. Luke’s Eye Run called out to me from a distance and directed me to good parking on 10thstreet. (see photo to the left)
Aside from parking, 10th street was a good warm up spot and was perfect for that pre-run pose with my better half and other half of the red runners Marielle.
Here are my high’s and low’s of the race.
1. Good route!: It started well with long flats and down hills. Being a late riser for most of the time and a neophyte 12k’er, I needed that kind of course to warm me up gradually.
2. Smart hydration: The water stations were situated strategically, having more stations towards the end. It also served one of my favorite work out drinks Pocari Sweat.
3. Loot bulb moment!: Instead of making the runners wait long in line for the much coveted loot bag, the organizers distributed almost empty bags and made sure the event host, Mellow 94.7’s Chloe, informed the runners to go around, visit the different booths and claim their freebies grocery shopping style. This strategy made it possible for the lines to flow smoothly, preventing death by impatience and dehydration for the love of loot. It also spread the accountability of supplies not just forone booth but for all the sponsors present. Talk about good crowd management. =)
4. Going bananas: Pre and post race support was great! Before and after the race, bananas were being handed out like flyers. Very smart and helpful of the organizers to make bananas so accessible since potassium is very important for post work out recovery. Free water was very much available too and distributed by people who knew you needed it right away.
5. The Cause: Check my previous blog to know more about the cause and why it is close to our hearts.
1. Late gun start: The technical struggles during the pre race programs contributed to this.
2. Communication: Though the claim-your-own-loot-using-empty-bags idea was brilliant, the initial reaction of the exhausted, aching, hungry runners caused a bit of a commotion. Chloe did a good job of pacifying the crowd by explaining the claiming mechanics, but it may have been better if this was explained before the race to set the right expectations.
3. Lack of finisher shirts and loot bags: A perennial problem every organizer encounters. They may have done better to anticipate this shortage during the planning stage, and perhaps prevented it.
Over all, I had a great race experience that morning. The ratio of my highs vs. lows say it. In the end the ultimate prize is knowing that people were to be blessed by your participation and that your consolation is the satisfaction of finishing strong.
Kudos to Without Limits for giving us runners the opportunity to do our little part in giving sight to those who need it.
Imagine one of the beneficiaries running one of your races soon. Now that’s a sight to behold!
Me going strong on my 7th kilometer. If you can't spot me, look for the red shoes!
Finished and fulfilled.
Bottom photo: Awarding of 5k winners