19 November 2012
Like, Gag Me with a Spoon
This past weekend, a group of friends & I tumbled out of bed far too early (well, rather, we had stayed out far too late the night before...rookie move) to head over to the park and participate in the first Awesome 80's Run.
Despite our moods, we were excited to get all dressed up in various shades of neon, put our hair in side pony's or pigtails, and head over to the event. As we rolled up, we could hear the 80's music pounding throughout the concourse, and we were ready to dance (and did...nothing like an 8am dance party).
We took our tutu-clad behinds over to the start line, and that's where things went downhill. The chute for the start was on the opposite side of the street, which meant crossing through folks running the 5K to get there. It also meant getting kind of yelled at if you found a break in the 5Kers to run across and get there. Because of this, we had to wait around 15 or so minutes after the start time to actually get going. It should be noted...it was important to go through the chute itself as that was the only timing mat on the entire route (until the finish).
Before I complain too much, I must say...people got REALLY into the costumes. I don't remember ever seeing so much neon in one place...there were groups of Care Bears, Pac-Man & his Ghosts, Double Dare participants, even dogs in hot 80s colors. At the start, everyone had a smile on their face and were ready to get down and have some fun.
The route itself was also very lackluster. We live in a beautiful city. Golden Gate is a beautiful park. This route took us on two boring loops, which was not necessary. I get permits and what not can be hard to get, but they could have done one bigger loop with some modifications that would have made this race a lot more energetic. I've mentioned before I how hard I find it when I am seeing people pass me on their way to finish when I am barely circling the first bend, and this was no exception. It was totally void of music, and had one water stop (which was way understaffed). In short, it was boring.
By the end, we were ready for the race to just be over. The finish line could have been really cool...right on the music concourse & into the band area, where there was a band rocking out to Jesse's Girl. But it was so crowded you could barely get across the final time mat. Why? Because they were handing out the medals right there, were understaffed, and no one was moving out of the way.
In a city where there is at least one fun race per weekend, I think they'll need to change up a few things to make it really work. They'll also need to pick a charity or focus or something, as many of us like to run knowing it's going to some sort of good. My opinion, of course, but I run a lot of events a year, and usually get several of my friends to do so, too, and this is one I think we'll all be taking a pass on next year.