Thursday, January 24, 2013

And now...my least favorite races...

Last week's list of favorite races would not be complete without its counter - a list of my least favorite races. I'm always glad to have done a race once, but these are ones I will not do again. Well I'll never say never, but there would have to be some changes for sure.

5. Virginia Beach Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon
I love the concept of the Rock 'n Roll series, and someday I may even give this one another shot. But when I ran this race in 2007 I was not impressed. At that time they had cotton t-shirts (which I know has since been changed). It was insanely hot Labor Day weekend in Hampton Roads, and the water and Gatorade was lukewarm. The finish was a bottle neck on the boardwalk and a total cluster. The best part was doing a race with my sister. It was pretty much the only good part. It just wasn't an experience I'm eager to repeat.

With my sister and dad after finishing the Va Beach half in 2007
4. Ele's Race, Okemos, MI
Last summer I ran the Race for Ele's Place, and I hated it. The race starts at the sprawling Jackson National Life campus. We ran and out and back through the parking lot and down some back roads surrounded by cornfields. As we were driving into the colossal parking lot before the race, there were signs saying the parking lot would be shut down for several hours. We barely got to leave after the race before the parking lot was closed; otherwise we would've been stranded there for hours. Ele's Place is a fantastic cause; it's race could use some work.
Finishing my tour of the Jackson National parking lot.
3. The Crim, Flint, MI
I know a lot of people who love The Crim. They run it every year. There aren't a lot of nationally renowned 10-milers, and this is one of them. I don't really get why. I do love downtown Flint, and I liked the challenging course. But I HATED that walkers and runners started together. I found myself dodging walkers and at times not even being able to get through. It was so annoying. Getting into town on race morning was also quite inconvenient. After waiting in traffic we had to park rather far away and walk into downtown. That was less inconvenient than walking back to the car after running 10 miles in August.

2. Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, Green Bay, Wisconsin
One of the main reasons I was interested in running Green Bay is because it generally finishes on the 50 yard line of Lambeau Field. Of course the one year I decide to do it the stadium is under construction. Of all the rotten luck. That wouldn't be the worst luck I had with Green Bay - when I got to mile 15, the race was canceled due to the heat. It was hot. Brutally hot. But I was hydrated, cool, and felt amazing. What a colossal disappointment to not be able to finish the race. Couple that with the fact that Green Bay was just kind of bleh as a city, and it wasn't the best race experience.

Soaked to stay cool during the Green Bay marathon
1. Sunburst Half Marathon, South Bend, Indiana
I really, REALLY did not enjoy this race. I can't blame the race for it being insanely hot and humid. I can, however, blame the race for running out of water in the middle of the race. I liked the start and running through downtown South Bend, and that was pretty much where my enjoyment ended. At the end of the race we met up with others who were walking the 5k and had to wait in line behind them to get water. I am not disparaging walkers in any way; however, the hydration needs are completely different following walk 3 miles in the heat and humidity and to run 13.1 miles. In Sunburst's defense after I posted my initial blog listing my disappointments, the next year they heeded walkers to yield to runners on their Facebook page. I think this race has the potential to be good...it just wasn't. Also as an aside the shirt was ENORMOUS. I got a small, and I have dresses shorter than this shirt. One of my friends who ran it with me wore her size small shirt to the hospital when she was giving birth to her second child. A bad shirt is always annoying. Certainly not my favorite race ever; as a matter of fact, my least favorite. 
Right toward the end of the Sunburst. I am barely running.


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