- 3 miles/5K, 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
I came into town for the weekend and ended up doing the 5K and the Half Marathon, since I came from the west coast. Here goes the half:
Places to stay: I stayed at the Hampton Downtown. A few parts were a little meh, but it was close to the start. There were some other places close by and a host of hotels by the finish to stay as well with shuttles going back and forth race day between the start and finish
Expo: open 3-8pm on Friday and 9-6 or so on Saturday. No race day pick up, but I did see some being handed out on race day. Bibs organized based off last name so when I went to get bibs on Friday, it was a bit of a wait and a cluster. Everything for the bib and shirts were jammed together and needed spaced out because once you got your bib, you were cutting across lines to get out. You could have someone else pick up your bib, but they needed your ID. Plenty of vendors and freebies at the expo and your typical running stuff. Needed a bit of work with signage on where to go, as there were other events going on in the Broward County Convention Center at the same time.
Shirts: seemed a little cheap. I got a women's medium that was smaller than my women's small 5K shirt. Wish the quality was better and the sizes were true to size.
Race morning: Walked to the start and got there no problem. Race time was fun 6 AM because of the heat/humidity. Plenty of port o potties at the start, but all had lines, so despite going at the hotel, I waited until the first possible break off to go.
Race itself: flat course, which was nice. The first few miles were down Las Olas Ave with plenty of shops. The first 3-5 miles were dark since we started so early. By 3 miles, we were running along the beach, I only wish there was a breeze. We took the beach for a few miles before turning down a side street and ultimately through a park area. We left that shortly around mile 6 and went down some various streets that had road work going on and actively moving cars (not always a fan of). Just before mile 9, the half and full races split off and the half marathon turned back towards the beach. We ended up doing the last 4 miles and change along the beach. Little to no shade during this particular race.
I had no problems getting through the start of the race, but a few friends of mine got caught up 1/4 mile into the race because a train came through. It got to the point where anyone stopped by it actually got restarted because they were waiting for 20+ minutes, which would explain why there were two separate times at the finish
Aid Stations: every mile or so. Most but not all had electrolytes, some also had gels. They were a bit of a cluster, I felt like most were filling water/electrolytes as runners were coming through and that there was limited set up before the race, so people were piling up waiting to get something to drink
Medical: I only saw 1 tent for medical for the half at mile 8/9
Weather: 80s and humid today, which I've been told is unseasonably warm, but I felt it the entire way
Post race: plenty of food, vendors, etc. Massages and ice were also available, but i was to the point where I needed nutrition and a shower. Good bling given and shuttles to take you back to the start
Overall: kinda on the fence about this one. It's a flat course and along the beach, but not sure how much heat and humidity I can deal with, especially with no shade. Packet pick up needs to be reworked, too much back up trying to do things by last name. Assign numbers, let us look up the numbers and spread it out. The shirts also looked cheap and sizes varied between races. My 5K small is larger than my half marathon medium and doesn't seem to have good quality with it, so I won't wear it. The water stations were a huge issue this year, it didn't seem like enough was set up/poured ahead of time so volunteers were pouring fluids as runners were coming through and led to people on top of each other and a boat load of congestion. Days like today would have been good for sprinklers, wet sponges, or something to keep runners cool- I saw a few people down and needing transported off course. Good finish line, though again congested. Feel like there needed more places for runners to go