Thursday, May 19, 2016

Superhero 5K Fun Run (TSC/TCNJ)

I really did not like this 5k.

I will start by accepting some of the blame for not liking it. While I enjoy wearing a costume when I run, I still have certain expectation for a race to be well-run (I'll get to those in a moment). This race didn't do any of that.

I bought a Groupon, which is one of the reasons I did this race. Another was that my friend Gabrielle was running with a team of educators and invited me along. The third reason was that it was close to home.

The special effects look in these pictures is purely accidental. Kind of cool, but not at all intentional. They had a cool super hero scene on the one side -- along with a long line, and a blank white spot on the other side. They also had super hero sayings like CAPOW! to liven up your shot. We stuck to the plain white side.

I posted a question on the organizer's website about the number of runners. When (if) I get a reply I'll post it here. Someone said last year they had 500 people, but based on what I've seen at the Big Red Race, it felt much larger. That could be in part that this race had a lot more strollers.

Pet Peeve #1: packet pick-up for the race in Ewing took place in New Brunswick the day before. New Brunswick is a 45-60 minute drive EACH WAY. We received emails warning us that the line for cape and bib pick up would be very long day of, so go to New Brunswick. There is no way bib pick up could possibly last more than two hours. They just wanted us to "visit the gift shop" the day before at the running store that sponsored pick up.

Pet Peeve #2: They kept referring to this race as taking place in Princeton, NJ. While College of New Jersey used to be in Princeton over a century ago, The College of New Jersey is in Ewing, about 20-25 minutes south of Princeton. Though that would put it only 30 minutes away from packet pick-up.

Pet Peeve #3: It started about 10 minutes late.

Pet Peeve #4: This is totally my peeve -- it was completely un-timed. When we picked up our bib and cape, there was no timing chip, therefore the bib number did not line up with my name, therefore I cannot figure out how many people ran this race.

Pet Peeve #5: Clear the course for the race. They held it the weekend before finals, so there were still some students living on campus. Hold it a week or two later, thus eliminating traffic. If you can't eliminate all traffic, at least keep tour buses and street sweeping machines off of the course. It is only a 5K. It is not that long.

Pet Peeve #6: NO water stations. Are you kidding me? This is a fun run, meaning some people will take an hour to finish the 5k. It was also our first warm day of spring (even without knowing that, they did know the race was in May). Set up a water station.

Pet Peeve #7: Do not tell people at the finish line they can run an extra lap to bring it up to 3.1 miles. In this case it wasn't that my watch was off, they admit their course was too short. The finish line could have stayed in the same place, just have us run the track in the opposite direction to finish.

On the plus, we did all get capes and medals, and no other junk. The race was a fundraiser for a charity, but I don't know what charity. It is a nationally run event that happens throughout the country throughout the running season. I think each city sponsors a different charity. Maybe? 

Costume watching was a lot of fun. No idea how these people did not pass out on the course as I thought about doing so around the 2.7 mile run (if only I realized I had very little to go, I would have pushed through more).

Another plus, it is always fun seeing my local running friends.

So no, I do not plan on running this race again.

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