Let’s start with the good news. Carolina Day School is a great location from which to start and finish a race through Biltmore Forest. As we all know it was an uncharacteristically cold October morning, but with the sun shining on the school campus it was tolerable. The course was a very nice loop with rolling hills and shade; all to be expected in Biltmore Forest. I thoroughly enjoyed the race.
When the race organizers got to the age group portion of the award ceremony, things got a little confusing. The age groups were ten year age groups as published, so no surprise there. But they only went one deep – the first finisher in each ten year age group and that was not published and should have been. The ceremony went quickly and they concluded it. I thought they had forgotten to do the women’s age groups and would realize their mistake but I had other things to do and got in my car and left. I learned afterward from other runners that these were unisex age groups. So, for instance, in my age group it was 50-59 year old males and females. Huh?
It’s my understanding that after the fact the organizers decided to make things right and will mail awards to those who were slighted by the ill-conceived unisex nature of age group awards. However, their acknowledgement online (at their imAthlete registration page) is somewhat vague. There was no specific acknowledgement of why certain runners did not receive an award in the award ceremony:
All top runners in each age category, male and female, will receive awards. If you did not receive your award today it will be mailed to you.
My advice for first time race organizers:
- Review your race plan in detail with an experienced race director and a few runners and listen to their advice.
- Be explicit and detailed about everything. If you don’t run a lot of races it’s easy for you to assume that these are insignificant details. But runners are wary about first time races and the potential mishaps that may occur. And to runners, these details are important and the runners are your customers so listen or lose your customers.
- If you make a decision that you feel afterward was not the best decision, acknowledge it explicitly.
Congratulations to Frankie Adkins as first overall and first male. Congratulations to Ginna Reid as first female. I’ve included a link to the results below. The results are posted at imAthlete and it appears every finisher is in there twice and the gender and age group rankings appear a little mixed up. There are two males in their 50s who are both 1st in their age group, yet their age group is supposed to be 50-59. Frankie Adkins is first place male but there is no second place male.
By the way, I have no personal gripe in this. I was fifth place in the 50-59 male age group regardless of how you slice it. I’ve made my points here for all the other runners who might otherwise have a hard time making their voice heard.
Click here to view results at imAthlete.