Have run Boston, New York, Lost Dutchman (AZ), Grandma's, Deadwood (SD), Pocatello, Tucson, AZ Rock 'n Roll, and Lakefront for point-to-point and about 60 other marathons as well. They have varying results—but the onus is massive for the big-city races—it is a layer of logistics, personnel, resources (human and monetary) that adds more stress and possible headaches getting efficiently to the start line. RnR/Competitor has had its share of nightmares. NY—you have to get up in the middle of the night just hang to hang at the start. Others—it can be downright freezing and some may or may not allow you to stay on the buses. Many times, bus drivers do not know the route to the start line/drop area. Invariably, the race start can be delayed because they're waiting for the straggling buses. I'd prefer to run a point-to-point but avoiding the whole drop-off nightmare is worth doing a loop course; park once and you're there or walk from your hotel pre- and post-race. In an era of being eco-friendly, loop courses are preferred—eliminating all those vehicles, gas, etc. makes sense. Chicago runs incredibly smooth because they don't have to move 40,000 people. At NY, you have to line up at 4 in the morning to catch a bus to Staten Island for a race that doesn't start for another 6 hours. Point-to-point events are best for smaller fields or for those race committees that have abundant resources, staff, and staging prowess. One very good exception—Lost Dutchman—they provide mats to sit on and mini campfires in their drop off area—they clearly 'get it'.
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