One day I’ll start taking my camera to these runs. It crosses my mind each time, but then I consistently walk out the door without it.
This weekend’s run was camera worthy, indeed. The Bruegger’s Halloween Run at Beaver Lake in Baldwinsville is a great 5K. And for this run I managed to finagle three whole friends to come with me. THREE. I haven’t had three friends together, like, since junior high. I don’t even think I’ve even HAD three friends since then.
HEy! I have THREE FRIENDS!!
Anyway, Beaver Lake is a small nature-y park with soft mulch hiking trails. My girl scout troop goes snow shoeing there in the winter. Running on the spongy (sponge-y?) trails is like having go-go gadget springs in your shoes. Not that it made me any faster, but it certainly felt cushy on my knees and ankles.
The one problem with the trails is that they’re narrow. Three people abreast is about all that’ll fit–and so it gets complicated when you’re trying to pass or be passed. The race organizers have tried a few different start configurations (starting in the parking lot, starting out down the road) and this year they put us all in a wide open field. But the same bottleneck always happens at the trailhead, and the runners pile up and stand waiting for everyone to get moving 30 seconds after the horn goes off.
I think the problem is a function of the race’s growth. It’s getting too big to support that many runners–maybe they need to cap it. The race is also getting too big for them to do the old style “pull-the-bib-tab” method for ordering finishers. H and I came in together, and I immediately began pushing her through, as the finish people normally do, so there isn’t a jam at the finish line. It turns out, though, that since they were pulling tabs there was a confused back up while they lined us up in order just out of the shoot.
It would have been nice to know ahead of time–I would’ve had my tab ready.
Also, the line for water and bagels was simply wrong. Good races have their tables set up and the racers just walk up and get what they want. If the race sponsors are too stingy to let runners get as much as they want, they need to sponsor events that don’t involve very hungry, very thirsty participants who cannot wait in a 15 minute line to get a water bottle. Well, they can wait, but they don’t want to.
I should say that the shirts for this race are great, and it’s affordable as far as races go (which is probably why they don’t do chip timing), and that it’s a blast to see a bunch of runners dressed up in Halloween get-ups. And really, you stand in line for a free bagel and then you get a coupon for three more free bagels later, so don’t let my complaining fool you. It was fun and we’ll for sure run it again.
I’ll post our times when they get them up.