This small, community-focused race offers a personalized race experience while still delivering on high-quality swag! While there were a few setbacks with signage, the race was a great time!
I signed up for this race with my friend, and this time we opted to run with a few other running buddies, bringing our total group to 5. 4 of us ran the 10k, while the other friend ran the 5k. When we arrived, the main parking lot was full and there was a volunteer with a sign showing a map to reach a nearby overflow parking lot. While the volunteer and his map sign were helpful to start, there was a lack of signage around the area, save for one solo sign declaring "Additional Parking Ahead." We were instructed to park in a business park parking lot, but we ended up circling around the area for a while because the signs kept leading us down random back alleys toward gated off lots. Eventually, we got fed up and ended up parking in the next open lot we could find, hoping we weren't parked in an off-limits spot. (Ultimately, we were fine.) From there, we had a bit of a walk across an intersection and over a bridge to reach the starting area. Because of our parking delay, we ended up cutting it pretty close to the starting time, but fortunately we had just enough time to get our bibs and stretch a bit before the race!
This course was a very straight-forward course...in theory. All 5k and 10k runners left the starting line and ran left along the bike trail path before making a U-turn and returning down the same path. 5k runners returned to the finish line while 10k athletes passed the finish line and continued on the path before reaching a final U-turn to return to the finish line. Here's where the problem came in. Unbeknownst to all the runners, the course's two aid stations were situated at the U-turn points, but there was no announcement or signage to indicate this, and the volunteer's themselves weren't aware of this either. So, this resulted in many runners, myself included, running PAST the water station and continuing down the path. Thankfully the runner ahead of us calculated the distance and realized the mistake, which alerted many runners to turn around (so technically we ran about 7 miles instead of 6.2!) On the way back, someone had notified the volunteers of the error and they were able to guide the remaining athletes to turn around at the proper spot. By the time we reached the 10k turnaround spot, we, along with the other runners around us, had assumed the next aid station would be the turnaround, however when we asked the volunteers to confirm this, they seemed unsure themselves. Between this, and the parking issues, I would say the one thing this race desperately needs to invest in is more signage.
I signed up for this race expecting it to be a small post-race affair, but I was shocked to discover a very nice post-race festival instead! Runners received a large medal as well as a their choice of a shirt arm compression sleeves, or socks (runners selected their choice at registration). Multiple booths were set up offering a variety of goods and services, and the race organizers set up a "passport" game in which athletes visited each booth, received a stamp on a provided card, and then completed cards were entered to win prizes. All athletes also received a free beer! It should be noted that, while this race was not what I would consider to be "pricy," it does cost more than an average 5k/10k, and this partly goes toward hosting a high-quality festival. We all walked away with so many freebies and swag selections that we had to get a bigger bag to carry it all! Honestly one of my favorite perks of this festival was the professional photographer taking free (included I should say) photos at a Halloween-themed photo opp. We had a blast getting pics!
- Give yourself a BIT of time to get there because the parking instructions weren't super clear.
- This course is a down-and-back, so watch out for runners coming from the opposite direction.
- If there aren't any turnaround signs present, ask the aid station volunteer (or better yet, a volunteer at the starting line) to confirm where the turnaround points are.
- Bring a bigger bag if you scoop up a lot of freebies and swag!
- Wear a costume!
While we may have run a bit more than a 10k, this race provided a really nice blend of small-town vibes with a high-quality finish festival that honestly rivaled some larger races I've attended!