Happy Wednesday! Today I’m linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Jen from Pretty Little Grub, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Nicole from FitFul Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!
Today I’m going to recap the NYRR Queens 10K race that I ran this past Saturday. Let me start off by saying that the New York Road Runners (NYRR) is overall an awesome organization, and their races are very organized, but this past Saturday was a little annoying.
This race was part of the Five-Borough Series which basically consists of one race per borough. So far I’ve completed 3 of the 5 races (including the Queens 10K). One of my goals this year is to complete the series so I’m happy to be more than half-way there!
I went into this race with no expectations. My knee is still jacked up so just being able to run at this point is a good thing. The race started at 8:30 am and it takes place in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, NY. Queens is my hometown and I’m very familiar with this park. The route is relatively flat but there are a few “inclines”. During the run you get to see many familiar sights in the park, including the Unispehere (think Men in Black). Usually this would be a great course but it was very hot on Saturday and not a lot of shade so it made the race pretty misterable. Thankfully there were plenty of water/Gatorade stations and there were a few sprinklers on the course as well. After crossing the finish line, we were treated to pretzels, fruit, bagels, water and Gatorade.
Now that I’ve listed the positives, I think there are 3 things that NYRR could have done A LOT better, and 1 suggestion for next year’s race:
Parking – I think that NYRR just assumes that everyone lives in New York and will take public transportation, but that’s just not the case. The parking directions were horrible and many people pre-paid for parking and were not allowed into that parking lot (NYRR has since sent out communication stating they will refund those runners that pre-paid for parking). There were long lines and no organization for the parking lots and some people ended up waiting an hour to park. That’s ridiculous. In addition, there were no signs or volunteers to direct people where to go. It was VERY unorganized.
By the end the parking lor kind of looked like this…
Race Course – I’m not sure if it was just me, but the course seemed extremely crowded. Like crowded to the point where I was just very aggravated by mile 2. This race has just under 10,000 runners but I feel like that was way too much. If they want to keep the number that high, then maybe the race needs a staggered stop. It was just very irritating to feel like I was literally running shoulder to shoulder with people. In addition, because of the heat, people were stopping to take walk breaks more than often (including me). It was hard to do this because of the narrow course. I always try to be respectful of runners when stopping to walk and get out of their way but that’s hard to do when you don’t have any room!
Race Shirts – When signing up for NYRR races, you are always asked for your race shirt size, but for every race they post this disclaimer:
“Shirt size is subject to availability; please note that shirts may not be available at race-day pickup”
Does this make sense to anyone? What is the point of selecting my shirt size when it’s basically never available on race day pickup? This has happened numerous times and it’s ridiculous! Again, NYRR needs to understand that not all runners live in New York. In fact, many runners live in New Jersey or Connecticut (like me). I do not have time to come into NYC during the work week to get my bib/shirt, nor should I have too if race day pick up is offered. When runners come to get their bibs, they should also get the shirt that they registered for. I’m not sure why this is such a hard concept. On Saturday they didn’t even have any female shirts so I had to take a men’s medium, which is essentially useless to me. This also makes me wonder – did they even order enough shirts? They knew how many women were registered for the race so how did they run out of women shirts? I actually love race shirts, and this one was really cute so I was hoping to actually wear it.
My last suggestion concerns the weather for the race. This is my second year running the race and both times the weather has been pretty miserable. The course doesn’t have a lot of shade so I think that makes it even more difficult. Obviously you can never control the weather, but because of this course, I think it would be much better as a Fall race.
Well there’s my review. Not the most pleasant one to write but I always have to keep it real. I will praise an organization when they do things right, but I think it’s also only fair to highlight when things could be done better as well.
Have you ever had a so-so race experience?