The 2016 BTN Big 10k was held on Saturday, August 6. There was both a 5k and 10k option; 10k start at 7am and 5k at 8am. This was my first year doing this race. I'll be honest with you... I'm not very knowledgable about college sports, but that's ok, because the event is still fun if you know practically nothing like me ;) Here are the Pros and Cons in my opinion:
+ Option to pay for packet mailing, or packet pickup was from Tuesday–Friday from 8am–10pm at Fleet Feet Old Town. Plenty of days and long hours.
+ Ability to have someone else pick up your packet, they just needed your confirmation email with the QR code. Could be scanned on mobile or print out. I picked up two other people's without a problem. Quick service.
+ Pick your favorite school at registration. Can't pick? You could go for a general BTN Big 10 shirt.
+ Corrals were A–H for the 10k with about 3 minutes between corrals.
+ I hear it was a new course, and I thought it was nice. Went from Columbus to Randolph to Lower Wacker back down Columbus, to Congress Parkway, to Michigan, up Roosevelt, down the LFP lower portion, turn around on the upper LFP portion, finish on Columbus (farther south than the start). Starting out on the street is nice because it gives more room for runners, meaning less crowded.
+ At the finish you got water, towels you could dip into ice water, bottled water, and go to your school area for your medal (the ribbons were specific to school). You gave them the tag off your bib for medal redemption.
+ Goose Island 312 (not my favorite, but drinkable and better than a certain other beer that's normally the option). Amylou Sausage (savory or spicy options). Again, a tag on your bib for redemption.
+ Sunglasses from your school of choice (each school had it's own tent and backdrop for photos). Tag on bib for redemption. Loved this, since I was afraid they'd be all out when I finished, but having to give a tag meant that people who didn't race weren't grabbing them, and that it was only one per person.
+ Great post-race party. Music, bags, cheerleaders, mascots, lots of photo ops.
+ Free photo downloads.
+ Race results were up quick.
+ Live runner tracking.
+ Easy access via driving or public transit.
+ Great atmosphere - super fun and mostly friendly rivalries happening.
+ Loved how long most people stayed at the after party. We stayed till the end (11), and it was pretty packed until about 10:30.
+ Communication from RAM was great. Plenty of emails with updates on packet pickup, race times, course, etc. About a week or two before event they put a participant guide up on the website which has most of the info you could need (course, corrals, parking, aid stations, etc)
+ On course amenities included 3 water/Nuun stops with portapotties.
+ 2 slip and slide opportunities.
- Though photos were free, I only had a few at the finish line. Didn't seem like there were any photographers on course, which would have been nice, since it was a nice day and had some great scenery.
- The lower part of the LFP by the lake is very torn up with lots of pot holes. Wish the city would fix it! I know this isn't the races fault, as it was definitely a good idea to utilize both the lower and upper parts of the path, but something to watch out for if you run down there.
I had an AWESOME time with my friends. Two of them ran with me, which was a nice change of pace. It meant we took a ton of photos, and not all selfies, which was nice to have for once haha. Also, it was cool to have so many people stay post-race to enjoy the day. Fun times had by all :)
Link to my blog post (a bit longer and more personal): http://www.heatherrunsthirteenpointone.com/2016/08/btn-big-10k-recap.html