Latest reviews by Rod
This race was the first in my challenge this year (ten 1/2 Marathons in 2014) and I was very excited to start my year off in Fredericton. I had done the fall classic race last year (Similar course) and enjoyed it. This year there was a large number of participants 2500 I believe which was 25% large than the previous year. This course is about as flat as you can get.. easy and fast with lots of beautiful scenery as you run along the river. It is still one my favorite locations to run.
This year there were a few.. minor annoyances (One being personal.. my new 620 Garmin flat lined 2K into my 1/2 .. this mentally destroyed me for the race. a good lesson on my dependency for that piece of electronics)
.. now for the race itself,
For some reason race management started all races 5, 10, 1/2 and full at the same time in one too small corral (see photo). The only "sorting" was a rough sort based on your pace, some racers had a hard time getting positioned properly because of the tight space. This was a huge annoyance for individuals in the 5k and 10k race looking to PB, it resulted in some of them needing to negotiate their way around the horde throwing off their pace, and the short distance meant not enough road left to get it back on track.
The second issue I noticed (minor again but without my watch it was noticeable and might be due to my muddled race brain) the distance markers were hard to understand once you got out onto the river loop. The KM markers were on orange pylons, easy enough to spot once you knew to look for them, however the distances I kept picking out seemed to be based on the second loop for the full marathoners and not for the first loop the 1/2 marathoners. I will just state both sets of distances need to be displayed and if they were I didn't find them clear at all for this race.
The final miss for this year was the Aid Stations... actually the two furthers out the river loop to be exact (the others were well staffed and Water/Gatorade was readily available). The two last stations on the river loop were completely under staffed and seemed like only junior staff were assigned to the locations. This resulted in no water available for some runners as they came through the station unless they wanted to stop and wait for it to be poured. unfortunately that section was mismanaged for this particular race.. but easily correctable. I expect this was due to lack of volunteers and a big influx of additional runners to the event... add the unexpected 20+ degree sun and the runners were a thirsty lot this race.
All things considered these annoyances would not stop me from suggesting this race or planning to run it next year. The location is beautiful and everything I mentioned that was a miss for me this year are easily correctable for the 37th Annual Fredericton Marathon in 2015. I'm looking forward the run next year and hope to see you there!