Last year this race had about 200 runners and it was HOT. We took Gem with us and it turned out to be a nightmare. The youngest age group was 0-14 so there was no way she could get an award. The race started late, ran on busy roads and the sun baked everyone. It was so bad that Gem begged a popsicle off some spectators watching from their yard! If I remember correctly Shane got an age group award but neither Gem nor I had a chance.
Sporting my (cotton) shirt post-race.
This year the race had about the same number of people and was only a little cooler with temps in the mid-80's. Once again it started late and cars were still travelling the roads. It's a winding course that takes you through a lot of tight turns and side roads before depositing you back on the main road. The last mile or so is on the main road next to railroad tracks and is a perfect straight away. It tends to burn runners out because they think they're close to the finish line but they aren't even close. I knew better than to push on that section this year.
I finished in 27:40-something (official results aren't up yet) and Shane ran a 22:xx. I was pretty happy with that considering it's only been a week since the Baker and I didn't push myself at all. We got our water and wandered over to the door prize winner sign. We didn't win anything so we checked for result postings. The first 25 or so finishers were up. Shane was 13th overall but still didn't get an age group award because they changed the awards from 5 year spans to 10 years. Why races do this I will never understand. The more runners who get a medal at your race the more happy participants you'll have. That will get you more runners the next year and the cycle continues. Don't be cheap on medals darn it! (Okay, rant over!) I wasn't listed yet but I searched for women in my age group. There were already three so I told Shane we should just go.
All in all, this race is for a great cause which is usually enough to get me to run. But the open-to-cars course, crazy turns, bad heat for the past two years, and now 10 year age groups means I probably won't be back. There's just too many other options available that are actually fun and scenic.
What makes a great race for you? Do you usually give a 'bad' race a second chance?