First off, I want to review the actual race itself. Then tomorrow at some point I'll post about my experience.
I can't say enough about how amazingly well done this race was. It was put on by Columbus Running Company, the store that created Cbus Pacers (the group I run with on Saturdays). I feel bad saying this but I kind of wasn't expecting much since this was a smaller race organized by a (very)small store (after the race S. said to me, "Once I saw what the mile markers looked like, I thought 'Yeah...there won't be any water at the water stops...") The mile markers were these little plywood A-shaped things that looked about 75 years old with painted on numbers, heh. But both he and I were heartily proven wrong.
These guys pulled off a race that was better run than pretty much any race I've ever done. It was at COSI, the science center downtown. I feel really bad about being skeptical. They've outdone all the major race companies, as far as I'm concerned.
- We parked like... RIGHT THERE, not a huge distance away like usual with downtown races, because COSI has its own lot. This meant I had time to run in and exchange my shirt for a smaller size and run back out to the car.
- There was NO LINE at the restroom because we could use the restrooms inside COSI... this also meant NO porta-potties!! (and if you know me, you know my special aversion to porta-potties... I never used one at all before until I became a runner) So no lines, quick to run in and out, and clean bathrooms that didn't make me feel dirty. This is a major points-scorer.
- The shirt - a nice Mizuno tech shirt. I had to get an X-Small so it's a bit snugger than I usually like, but definitely wearable. It's dark blue and awesome.
- The race started on time.
- There was water and gatorade at each stop and it was organized--you always knew where to get which
- The course was clearly marked, and at the one point where it was a little confusing there was a row of like 8 volunteers pointing you in the right direction
- They had a person with a digicam taking photos at the start and finish, and they uploaded them for free (you just have to dig through and find your own)
- Volunteers were all super energetic and fun
- There was a free pancake breakfast after; S. and I couldn't benefit from that since he can't have gluten and I don't eat dairy/egg, but... it was a nice community building gesture on the part of CRC and the volunteers
So basically all of the things I've disliked about previous races didn't happen. So CRC did an amazing job--I'm not even sure how they did it, maybe just with all of the volunteers.
This race rocked. I wish I liked 10ks more and I wish I was prepared to run a HILLY course (ugh) but more on that tomorrow!