Jesus Run Marathon Runner Comments
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Average Ratings: Course -
Best Marathon of My Life! (about: 2001)|
Conrad Thompson from Waynesville, North Carolina (11/1/01)
Wow, where do I begin? Jesus Run was the Marathon I knew would happen someday, but just didn't know when!
From the incredible organization of the staff six months out helping me raise funds for my own missionary and get my entire trip for free, to the awesome greeters that met me at the airport and helped me get to my hotel (you rock Marriott DTC!), to the multiple concerts and awesome speakers and then there was the race itself:
Aid Stations every two miles
These awesome college kids that were cheering us on everywhere
Spectators encouraging us and bribing us to the finish line with food
Who was that awesome band at the end?
The scenery was like nothing I have ever seen before
The food at the finish line was lined up table after table of bannanas, pretzels, bagels - they even had Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and sunglasses...now that I've never seen before!
This was more than just an awesome marathon, it was the whole 3 day weekend that just came together with so many logistics. This race makes the little pasta parties you see at the mega races look like child's play.
Of course, the best part of all was hearing that 36 people came to Christ during the event - one was saved in the Marathon and baptised at the hotel that night!
Rock on Jesus Run...can't wait to come back next year and try the new downtown course! I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more runners there in 2002.
I highly recommend this race if you are looking for camaraderie, good organization and excellent support for first time marathon runners!
Ditto. and some explanation (about: 2001)|
A Runner from Fayetteville, Arkansas (9/21/01)
What everyone else said is true. I would point out that the race got screwed up by the Colorado Army National Guard who, the day before, backed out of their committment of 100 soldiers and vehicles to set up and marshal the race. I hope our country's defense doesn't depend on these guys.
And their other volunteers didn't show either. Lots of enthusiasm, but not enough bodies. Major miscalculation on the buses for some reason.
The course was pretty, but brutal. EVERYONE crashed big time in the 2nd half. I don't know anyone who got within 30 minutes of their goal.
The course may be in downtown Denver next year. And may be in June.
And the t-shirt was lame. Marathon finishers got the same shirt as 5k runners. Nothing that says you ran a marathon.
The 2nd annual refers to the fact that they had a 5k last year. It was the first marathon. Confusing.
As everyone else said, great 'fellowship', lots of potential, but this first one was a mess.
Powerful vision; poor execution (about: 2001)|
Mike Cahill from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (8/23/01)
ISSUE #1: No ?time chip? mat at the start point
Because there was no start point mat to record the start time for each individual chip, individual run times were inaccurate. The official run time was recorded by the mass-starting event at the start line, and the individual time chip crossing time at the finish line to stop the time. The most effective means of keeping time is through the use of a start mat and finish mat. As each runner crosses the start mat, the chip identification code triggers the ?START? time in the database. As the runner crosses the finish line, the database records the ?STOP? time and converts this into an ?ELAPSED? time.
Many runners, myself included, missed the official start time due to the problems of the shuttle buses. If the event had a mat at the start line, this would have been inconsequential, since their personal time would begin as they crossed the start line mat. However, this was not the case. Had someone been using the Jesus Run to establish a required time for a ?maximum-time-required? race (i.e.; Boston marathon, New York marathon, etc.), this single issue could have precluded them from such a race.
RECOMMENDATION: Have a time chip mat at the START point, the 5K point, the ½ marathon point, and the FINISH line.
ISSUE #2: Transportation from the hotel to the START point.
Many of the participants in the Jesus Run missed their designated start times, whether marathon or ½ marathon, because of problems with transportation. I was standing outside the hotel, as instructed, at 5:30 to take the bus to the marathon start point. Because of the large crowd, lack of organization at the bus pick up site, and long waits between buses, I missed the start time of the marathon by 15 minutes and started at the same time as the ½ marathoners. Allegedly according to other runners, one bus actually got lost during the drive from the hotel to the racecourse.
I?ve attempted to be as detailed as possible in my recommendations. Please feel free to either contact me for possible explanations on my logic. Also, feel free to use my recommendation as a formula and apply different figure to derive a better solution.
· Have sufficient buses to allow departures every 5-10 minutes
*** 5,000 runners requiring transportation
*** 40 minutes round-trip cycle time (15 [x2] min each way, 5 min loading, 5 min unloading & turn around)
*** 2 hour total allowed time to move all runners (4:45 ? 6:45)
1. If there are 5,000 runners requiring transportation and the buses have a 44-person capacity, it will take 114 trips to move everyone.
*** 5,000 / 44 = 114
2. If 5,000 runners must be moved within 2 hours with a cycle time of 45 minutes, 38 buses are required.
*** 120 min / 40 min = 3
*** 44 runners/bus x 3 = 132 total runners per bus over 2 hours
*** 5,000 runners / 132 runners per bus = 38 buses
· Have Jesus Run Staff member (a.k.a. ?Transportation Coordinator?) at the bus pick up point to control/ inform the crowd of runners, control the flow of buses, as well as answer runner?s questions
*** Coordinates vehicle flow and provides updates to runners at pick up point (i.e; time remaining until next bus arrives)
*** Coordinates with person in charge at the start point to inform if large number of runners are still awaiting transportation to delay start time, if necessary
*** Conduct a transportation reconnaissance and rehearsal with similar traffic conditions prior to the event
*** Adjust flow of runners, as necessary (Example: as it draws closer to the 1st event start time, ensure that 1st event participants are moved to the front of the line)
· Bottom line: A major transportation undertaking such as this (very similar to what we deal with in the military) required thorough planning, resources, rehearsals and synchronization. In the military, we realize that mission success always revolves around successful planning and execution of logistics.
ISSUE #3: Distance from dismount point to start point
A distance of ¾ mile to 1 mile uphill is too far to walk in order to get to the start point, particularly if the logistics plan runs into difficulties and runners arrive just before the start time.
· Have the dismount point be no greater than 200 to 300 yards from the start point
· Make dismount and vehicle turn around point for buses easier to negotiate to speed up operations
ISSUE #4: No replenishment drinks at the water points
According to a Sports Medicine physician at Auburn University, runners must begin drinking replenishment drinks no later than 4-5 miles into the event in order to keep the bodily stores from becoming depleted. If runners wait until the second half of the marathon to begin drinking the replenishment drinks, they are continually attempting to fill an already-empty cup, rather than keeping some of the nutrients in the cup. According to the physician, it is imperative that runners continually add to the nutrient level in their body. This could not occur by only drinking water since, as he stated, we were simply flushing the system by adding water only.
Personally, I cramped severely in my quads and calves, beginning at the 22-mile point and steadily increasing until the finish point. However, during my 6 months of training for this marathon, I never cramped. The physician explained that muscle cramping is dramatically decreased through the intake of replenishment drinks.
The water points started at the even-mile markers. At some point during the course, they transitions to the odd-mile markers, then transitioned back to the even-mile markers toward the end.
· Maintain water points every 2 miles
· Keep the water points at the even-mile markers, making it easier to realize where you are in the race, particularly as you become disoriented in the last 6-7 miles of the race
· Have replenishment drinks at every water point
ISSUE #5: Support at the finish line
I am very thankful for the bananas and bagels found at the finish point. However, that is exactly the point?I found them. I found these only on a small table outside the first aide tent, where there was only one box of bananas and one box of bagels. This is not sufficient nutritional support for runners just completing a marathon. Although the bananas provided potassium for the cramping muscles and the bagels provided the carbohydrate boost, there was no protein. As Caroline Smith spoke during her ?Fitness for athletes? conference the day prior to the race, runners first need proteins to start refueling the torn-down muscles, followed by carbs. As the statement says, ?It takes meat to build meat.?
During the Cotton Row Run, a 10K run sponsored by the Huntsville Running Club (Huntsville, AL) , they had 5 rectangular tables piled nearly to overflowing with mounds of bananas; 2 tables piled high with quartered oranges; 10 tables for massage therapy from a local massage therapy company; as well as water and replenishment drinks. All this was provided in a shaded area (parking garage).
· Contract with restaurant (i.e.; Chick-fil-A)/ civic organization (Lions, Elks, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, etc.) to provide chicken sandwiches, chicken breasts, pasta, breads, etc.
· Get churches to provide ?covered dish? items (Baptists & Methodists love to cook!)
· Have large shaded area (covered area, fest tents, etc.)
· Contract with massage therapy company(s) to have 10-12 tables ready to treat runners for 5 minutes?in the shade.
Potentially great event: M-U-C-H work needed. (General Comments)|
Mrs. Carol Bautista from Southern California (8/21/01)
First, it is important to point out that there was an enthusiasm, sincerity, commitment, kindness and a sweet Christian spirit among all of the organizers, volunteers, and participants. This event has WONDERFUL potential! On what other Christian marathon course can you see deer, ducks, coyotes, egrets & prarie dogs up-close?
Event-related attention should be given to the following:
1) Not enough water stations or toilets. 2) Route was confusing at some points -- especially @ intersect points & on trail at the end of the course. Late-race mile markers were gone. 3) It was very hot. Cold water, ice or sponges should have been available to walkers & back-of-the-packers. 4) Finishers should not have to wade through tall grass, then stand & wait in the sun for an hour for the bus back to the hotel. Benches, chairs & water should have been available under a canopy at the bus stop. 5) Two clocks at the finish were confusing. 6) Race results should have been available by either posting in the hotel or online right away. 7) Volunteers did not have an overview of the event & could not answer questions; volunteers did not have phones/radios and could not communicate with race central, other stations or emergency services. 8) Finisher Medal said '2nd' Annual... Advertising gave the impression that this was the First-Ever Jesus Run. 9) Airport pickup & drop-off service offered by race organizers was confused & unorganized. 9) Event needs better organization, more attention to detail, better coordination & much improved communication -- both internally and with event participants.
I hope & pray that changes are made to make this event all that it has the potential to become!
Lots of Potential, Needs Significant Improvements (General Comments)|
A Runner from Frankfort, Kentucky (8/19/01)
The course was very challenging; it was everything I expected and more. Scenic...lots of hills...some trails. However, it was HOT!!!! Heat exhaustion was a major threat.
The race has the potential to be one of the finer marathons in America, but several things need to be changed:
(1) Pre-race organization was terrible. My father--a resident of Denver--and I had a hard time finding the start line. When we got to the right place, the walk to the start line was nearly a mile uphill.
(2) They need to provide more water stops; I recommend--at the very least--two water stops every three miles. With hot weather, you cannot afford to risk runners suffering dehydration, heat exhaustion, or worse. In addition to water, they should try to provide carbo-replacements on the back half.
(3) They need to have more port-a-potties. I saw none on the back half.
Overall, the volunteers were good. Many drove by in vans offering water and gatorade. This compensated somewhat for the shortage of water stations.
The first half of the run was deceptively easy with trails and gentle downhills and a few mild uphills (I walked those). The back half was very difficult with some brutal uphills (especially the last two miles). The worst factor was the heat. I bonked at mile 23 and walked it in from there. My body could run (I wasn't sore), but my mind wouldn't let me.
Surprisingly, I set a PR in spite of the difficult course and the heat. I have only mild soreness. I've never been so proud of a finish in my life.
If the Jesus Run folks make those adjustments, this will be a very fine race.
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