By now everyone and their brother has ranted about this race, but after searching for my results just now, I felt like I couldn’t let this race go by without airing my grievances.
Last year, I crossed the finish line in tears because I was so frustrated with the course and the inconsiderate walkers clogging up the whole street. It was the second year in a row I was more upset than excited, and I vowed never to pay to run the Hot Chocolate again. Especially because the prices keep going up and up and the quality is going nowhere.
I partially stuck to my vow, yet I ended up running anyway – under an injured friend’s bib. It still wasn’t worth it.
Without going into a full on tirade, here are just three reasons this race is STILL making my blood boil:
1. Packet Pickup. Despite what they said about Fridays kinks being worked out, I still waited for an hour and a half outside in the freezing cold to pick up my packet. I have run over 20 races this year, of all sizes, and I have never once seen a mess like this. And outside, no less.
2. Waiting 45 minutes in the cold for my corral to cross the start. I am hesitant to complain about this, because after how congested last year’s race was, I know the 3-and-a-half minutes between corrals was based on feedback regarding safety. However, it didn’t alleviate the problem as much as it should have, and standing around for 45 minutes before a November race without properly warming up (or warming up and getting cold again) is dangerous.
3. The Results. I ran with a friend the entire race. Her finishing time was 36:09. The name I ran under was listed as 41:13. The BIB # I ran under was listed at 32:00. (Because the name and the bib I ran under were not matched properly.) My watch had me around 31 minutes. What’s the point of standing in line for 2 hours to get a bib number if it’s apparently all for nothing anyway.
I think what it really comes down to is that the Hot Chocolate got too big too fast and it’s spiraled out of control. Its more like a Hot Mess now.
That said, I do want to take a minute to say thanks to the volunteers, especially those at the Expo. Granted, they were not the most efficient volunteers, but most of them looked about 16 and were trying their hardest. Plus, the ones there on Saturday night were scheduled until 6pm, and when I left at 6:30 there was still an hour line out the door, and I know the volunteers stuck it out til the end. I’m sure they got yelled at by plenty of irate runners, and I just wanted to mention that I realize it’s not their fault.
And just to end on a positive note, (because the internet world is already filled with enough negativity about this race), here are two of the best parts of the morning: