Saturday, January 19, 2008

5K Bungled Up

As some of you know I was going to do a 1 mile fun walk with my daughter as part of a 5K race here in town. Well all was fine until we crossed the finish line. My friend, John, who is the race director came up to me and asked, "Did you enter the 5K?"

"No, I entered my daughter into the 1 Mile Kids walk."

He then faces the timekeeper and says - scratch her off.

I was confused and like huh? I think it should have been quite obvious the way I was dressed that I clearly was not in the 5K portion of the race. But I was still confused as to why he would scratch my daughter's time off. I didnt think much of it until we had gone inside and my daughter was eating a snack provided by the race staff. Then someone tapped me on the shoulder and said "They are calling for the Kids walk now." I was like "What? We have already done it."

"But how?"

"We started with the other walkers."

"But the Kids race doesnt start until after the 5K race is over with."

"There was nothing specifying in the race entry form of when the kids race started, I assumed with the walkers. I guess they bungled it up didnt they?"

"I guess they did. You better get with John."

"I will, don't worry, I will."

To save myself from being embarrassed in front of several dozen people I gathered my daughter up and left. I thought that my daughter would recieve a trophy, but I am not going to make her do a race twice just to get an award for one race. I will get with John tomorrow during church and see if he will get it right and at least maybe if she doesnt get a trophy at least she gets something. (I was told all kids received an award for participating.)

I will also get with him about providing adequate race information. Most of the race officials did not even know which group was to turn where. Yes the main race is the 5K running division, but adeqaute information should be provided for ALL races and paces.

I believe since our race is getting more and more popular, the following should be included in a race packet:

race t-shirt
race number
entry form
race map
start times for individual races and paces.
directions to the race (this isnt a benefit for me since I am a local entrant, but for those who are from out of town)
and race rules (what will get you disqualified, etc.)
and local emergency numbers (if it is other than 911 or in some cases cell phones will not route to the local 911 but rather the cell phones local 911 - the city/county/state in which it was turned on in).

As of right now the entry form just states race directions and the start time of the 5K Running race. Also race staff should be better prepared to give information. All questions would not be answered until AFTER the race which defeats the whole purpose of asking about race directios, etc.

Dont get me wrong, John is a good guy, but isnt all there in certain areas. If I approach him nicely, I am sure he will make it right. But as for me instead of sitting on my tail and complaining about how this or that should have been done differently, I am going to offer to help with next year's race in getting is prepared and making sure the race staff is informed and better organized so that race participants, such as my daughter, are not left out of the loop with important information.