After a week of Princess Half Marathon fun at Disney, it was time to come back to reality. I contemplated if I really wanted to come home and jump into another race right away. I have 3 weeks between half marathons so I want to maintain my miles and continue to let my foot heal.
I order to help keep on track to complete 52 races in 52 weeks, I decided I would go ahead and do a 5K right after coming home. I signed up for the Cupcake Road Race 5K in Cumming. The race offered 3 different distances: 15K, 5K, and the Baby Cake Run (kids fun run). One of the sponsors of the race was Gigi's Cupcakes (hence the name Cupcake Road Race). As part of the post-race activities, each participant receives a Gigi's cupcake....yummm! If you know me, you know I love a good cupcake and I love Gigi's!
15K is one of my favorite distances to run and they don't come up in Atlanta too often, but since I knew I would be exhausted from Disney I opted to register for the 5K. The race had separate start times for the races which was nice. The 15K started first and started about the time I arrived to the race.
As with almost every race, participants received race shirts. When we registered, the registration form asked you for your tshirt size. Typically the race form would specify "men's small", "women's small", etc and if no gender is mentioned it is a unisex cut. Well, SURPRISE when I went to check in an received my shirt they gave all females a "women's cut" in the size they specified! The women's small they gave me would literally fit a 10 year old. They then told me that I could not exchange the shirt for another size (or even a men's cut). The crazy part of this is that race-day registrants were receiving shirts on a first come basis and they were selling extra shirts. The part that upset me most is that it was never mentioned that we were signing up for women's shirts. Almost every woman there was upset about this as most of us received shirts that we could not wear.
I did notice that there were a lot of runners wearing their Hot Chocolate 5K/15K hoodies and other gear at the race. I think the trend of races incorporating fun post-race treat is growing and in turn growing the running revolution in the country.
The race it self was a little chaotic. There was a big inflatable shote that said "START" so most people thought this was the start line and started lining up there. Well, that was the finish line and it just happen to say start on one side. After they clarified where we needed to line up, the race started fairly promptly. There was a HUGE bottle neck at the start as everyone was funneled into one lane of road. The worst part of the race happened for me within the first mile of the race. A portion of runners (me included) were sent on a .5 mile loop that was part of the course - I think it was part of the 15K course. I realized something was wrong when I saw part of the runners going one way and the other part going another way. Then when I hit what they considered the 1 mile marker my Nike+ watch showed I was at 1.47 miles. I looked at the girl next to me who had a Garmin watch and hers showed 1.48 miles. Hmmmm.
The course had a lot of chaotic moments. Some portions had us running on major roads/highways with a lane closed for us. Well, about half way we did a U-turn in the middle of the highway which required us to cross from the left lane of one direction to the right lane/sidewalk of the other direction. Police would be real nice to help direct this right!?!? We were on our own!
After I made it back to the finish about 3.6 miles later, I just wanted my cupcake. There was a HUGE line waiting to get to the Gigi's tent. After standing mostly idle for 10-15 minutes, all the sudden the line moved rapidly. I think the Gigi's workers were trying to place the cupcakes on display for runners to take vs. just handing them out of the box, but I really don't know.
My cupcake was amazing and was worth the extra .5 mile and the wait in line. YUM! When I was leaving the post-race party they were handing out left overs, so I actually scored 2 cupcakes!
After the race, I did get my shirt issue resolved. They gave me a "defective" (sponsors not printed on the back) race shirt in a bigger women's cut. I was just happy they semi-resolved the issue for me.
If I am not mistaken, this was the first time the race was ran. Hopefully the race director will see the hiccups as learning opportunities. This race was a great concept, just some things could be implemented better.