Race #3 of my #14in2014 was the Run The Reservoir 5K in North Scituate, RI on 3/29/14. I didn’t have huge expectations of this race since I knew it would probably be the smallest I’ve ever run, but it was being put on by one of the members of the RIRR so I wanted to come out and support it.
I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. According to the t-shirt I received, this was the 7th annual race. I think I would have expected just a bit better organization.
The first thing was parking. I luckily knew exactly where to find the race because the Scituate Art Festival is held there every year and we’ve been selling my friend’s jewelry there for the last 3 years. This means I also knew there was plenty of parking across the street. Unfortunately, it wasn’t organized so people were just kind of parking wherever they felt like it. We were there early, so we didn’t have an issue but a friend of mine from RIRR almost missed the start of her 15K because she had no idea where to go.
Once you were parked, the next issue is that it wasn’t really clear where to get your stuff. It was kind of a “follow the leader” type scenario that led you into the small church. They were very organized once you were inside with plenty of signage so that was a plus. They also let people use the indoor restroom, as well as had 3 portapotties outside. For a race this size it was fine, the line never got very long.
The worst thing of all was the start of the race. There was a 15K starting at 9:00 and then the 5K would start at 9:05. Unfortunately, the only way to hear any announcements was if you were up at the front of the pack because they were just using a bullhorn and it wasn’t very loud. We had no idea what was going on since we were at the back for the 5K start. This was bad, too, because we heard after the fact that several 5K runners had taken off with the 15K – big mistake! The way they did it was that the 15K started then the few 5K-ers were left after that so we stood where the 15K-ers had started from. A minute later, we all started moving forward, so I thought maybe we were starting. Not the case. Apparently the 5K start line was about 50 yards up the street so we were just moving to “our” start line.
Once we got going, I settled into my groove. Unfortunately, that groove was post-sickness and I wasn’t at 100% so I did a fair amount of walking. I was OK with it though, because I knew going in I would be. I couldn’t fully breathe yet (still a bit congested) and my hip is still bothering me. As long as I go in knowing I’ll be doing some walking, it never seems to get me down very much.
It was a very pretty race to start with, being right on the reservoir, however that didn’t last long. I would say 75% of our run was on busy roads with semi trailers blasting by us. The roads had NO markings or cones for safety of the runners in any way (we were literally just running the shoulder of the road). There were a couple of volunteers at key turning points to show us where to go, which was good because other than that there weren’t any posters or anything with arrows showing us what to do. I was highly disappointed by this and a little nervous I would get lost or hit by a car. Not really stuff I want to worry about while I’m running a race.
We didn’t have any timing chips, so I think they just made note of our bibs as we crossed with the time on the clock. My official time was 40:18 which was OK with me considering the amount of walking I did. I forgot to stop my Runkeeper and Garmin right away, so my recorded times are slightly off.
I felt so bad when Tara was telling me about runners that did the wrong race, or wrong course. One woman was with the wrong group and her husband took off to find her after he finished and she hadn’t yet. She refused to cross the finish line with her bib because it took her 35 minutes (when she can normally finish in under 20 min). I don’t blame her – I’d be pretty pissed if I were racing to win like her.
I can say I definitely won’t be doing this race again. As nice as it is to support a fellow RIRR, I need organization and safety and those were 2 things I felt were sorely lacking that day.