Yes, I know. I already know this is going to be a two parter so why not be up front with you all. I have never been to a race where there was a festival attached so I think this deserves two separate posts for a lot of reasons.
First, hats off to Runner’s World! This event, especially for an inaugural event, went off amazingly well. I am sure you all think there are tweaks that can be made but from a volunteer’s and a runner’s perspective, the events went off with no problems that I could see.
I do have a unique perspective on the festival as I volunteered on Saturday morning. I looked at all aspects of what was going on – the expo, packet and shirt pick up, the seminars and the race. My only complaint – and it is really small – is the having to be at your volunteer assignment a half hour ahead of your scheduled time. Since I signed up for the 5:30 am to 10 am slot, I really didn’t need to be there much before 5:30. Most of what I was assigned to do did not start until 6:30 so there was plenty of time but I came when told and didn’t mind. I will say this – I really didn’t think the volunteer thing through. I love being a volunteer at these types of events. I have done it a lot at the local level – everything from registration to finish line. I didn’t need to be on my feet on pavement for 5 plus hours – since I didn’t leave my assignment until almost 11 – the day before a half marathon.
LeadDog – the promotions group that handled a lot of the details at the expo and the festival – did a great job. Harris was a little wired Saturday morning but eventually he seemed to need another cup of coffee.
Let me back up, though. Friday afternoon Runner’s World hosted a shake out run with Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan. Other than having a bit of trouble finding the exact start location – thank heavens for Twitter as Beth and Bart Yasso both responded to my tweet for an intersection to put in the GPS, this was amazing. I got to meet David and Scott, co-founders of #RunChat. I have some photos from this – all taken after the run as I left my phone in the car.
Friday was a great day! The packet pick up at the expo went smoothly. There was a really long line for those doing the hat trick – all three races of the weekend – but even that seemed to be moving right along. There was a solutions table for anyone with problems. The staff was friendly, accommodating to those who may not have read their email and brought ID with them. I was in and out of this area in no time and all and heading to find my hotel.
My note to those of you visiting this area – update your GPS. A lot of the area has been rebuilt and many addresses were showing up on as not found on my outdated GPS.
I really want to do three posts – as this has gotten long – so will cover the festival and seminars and #RunChat TweetUp in a second post and the race in a third. Yup! It may take a few days to get it all in writing.