Good value, organization needs help (about: 2013)|
A. M. from West Bloomfield, MI (5/22/13)
6-10 previous marathons
| 1 Glass City Marathon
Glass City was the first marathon I ever ran way back in 1979 when I was in high school and growing up in Sylvania. It was a fairly well respected race but was held on very warm Father's Day weekend on a very dull out and back course. I thought it would be fun to come back and run in my 'home town' race.
Pros: Great value. This is a lower cost race. About a thousand runners in the marathon, with many more half marathoners starting at the same time. Nice medal and bonus glass mug for finishers. Even some merchandise for age group winners. Fast course with only minimal rolls mainly early on through a very nice residential area, and at 18.5 to 19.5 miles. Plenty of water stops. Good email updates from the race organizers. Easy packet pickup
Cons: Growing up in the area I have run portions of the course hundreds of times. But if I hadn't studied the course map ahead of time, I would have missed a couple of turns. The rain kept the spectator count down, but they needed marshals through some of the many turns beyond the half point. The orange paint used to mark arrows on the road wasn't real obvious, especially with the rain. I had no one in sight in front to help judge the course. In a crowd this probably wouldn't be as big a problem. Still some cones would help through the more winding areas later on and through the metropark as you switched from bike trail to sidewalk to parking lots. The timing service apparently had problems. The athlete tracker was WAY off for me, and the order of finish and finisher times was changed at least twice within the 48 hours after the race. Why the split times were placed where they were, and why they were so wrong was not good. Finally, the post race organization was bad. As others have said, there was no provision to protect the drop bages from the rain. The tents in the post race area were packed with runners and non-runners, and no clear direction as to where the food was. I was given a paper bag (in the rain) with an apple, one cookie, a mini licorice rope and offered a soggy, cold piece of pizza. And I finished under 3 hours - I can't imagine how bad the food must have been for later finishers. Needless to say, the paper bag didn't even make it back to the car in the rain.
Sorry for the sour grapes, but I feel like it's my hometown race from growing up, and it just seems like bad decisions took the shine off the race. Great race to choose if you want help with a BQ