Critical Mistakes - Apologies to 2005 Participants
Mark Cihlar, Founder
June 2, 2005
Dear Lakeshore Participants and Interested Parties,
Re: Critical Mistakes and Shortcomings - Apologies to 2005 Participants
The venue, scenery, and day were spectacular providing participants with clear skies, a breathtaking course, and an exceptional staging area for the Start, Finish and Athlete's Village. Operational shortcomings however, impacted the experience for many. Over the last 3 days I have been conducting debriefing interviews and reviewing photos and video to collect data on the event. Here are initial findings of those efforts. My sincere apologies to all participants who were impacted by my mistakes and other shortcomings, as well as for any additional below listed findings.
1. The marathon course was exact - exactly 27.2 miles: Last minute adjustments from the move to the Great Lawn, inclusion of Navy Pier, and park district construction caused us to miscalculate and we foolishly added an extra mile - how terrible!
2. Insufficient back-up and redundancies: Two aid station details did not show, Foster Beach House and the Pedestrian Overpass near North Avenue - this created difficulties that we weren't prepared to address real-time on race morning. We will plan better for this possibility in the future.
3. Over the past years, one person, me - Mark Cihlar - has been responsible for 90% of the management of all aspects of the marathon. I'm not the best operations specialist and one person can't run a marathon: I may possess certain abilities, but clearly this has been too much for one person to manage. After 4 years of the Mark show and the inability of one to react to unexpected circumstances during the event, mission critical, operations directors are now fortunately stepping up to coordinate specialized areas of the Lakeshore Marathon.
Over the last two years the medical and security details were taken over by incredible experts, providing participants with a team of extremely professional, onsite, trauma and critical care specialists. We even had on-site, mobile, emergency cardiac care and trauma units. As for the course, an experienced course set-up team was also added at the last minute, however they need to be provided with additional detail and resources to more fully perform the function of preparing, managing and clearing the course. Please know we have already commenced event and course preparations for next year's 5th Anniversary. I'm also interested in finding a new Race Director to help oversee event coordination. As Founder, I realize I need to now get out of the way and work to provide support for qualified directors and coordinators working the requisite disciplines of event production and execution.
In summary, additional data has also been collected from postings below and many participants have called and emailed directly. I sincerely appreciate all of the feedback and will reach out and share this
information with all of you as it becomes available. I encourage such input and take all constructive criticisms to heart. I'm also going to be creating a survey that will be sent to all participants. I would
also like to extend an invitation to anyone in the Chicago area that is interested in helping out and being part of the future development and production of the Lakeshore Marathon to be in contact. Thank you one and all for your continued support for the Lakeshore Marathon.
Founder and Chair
June 2, 2005