My latest race was the most disorganized race I have ever competed in! I will NOT participate in this race ever again.
I got up bright and early to get ready for the race 'cause I had to drive 1 hour to get there. The race was supposed to start at 8:00 a.m., so I got there right about 7:00 a.m.
I went up to the table to pick up my packet and get my bib # and that's where I realized how much of a disaster this race was going to be.
At all my other races, they have a spreadsheet of everybody that has already signed up for the race, so when you pick up your number, they just mark your name off on the list and hand you your bag that has your t-shirt, bib # and all the other goodies in it. Not at this race. I walked up to the table. They wrote my name down on a legal pad sized yellow paper, picked up a # off of the big pile of #'s they had. They asked me if I had paid already or not and then passed me off to the t-shirt table. I went to the t-shirt table and picked up my t-shirt and they passed me off to the body marking people.
After I got my bib # marked on my arm and leg, that was it. I didn't get a timing chip, nothing. I finally asked how they were going to do the timing with this race and they said they weren't going to break it down in to splits or anything. That still didn't tell me how they planned on timing the race, so I just stopped asking questions.
I got my transition area ready and then me and my dad just wandered around, looked at the pool, and then hung out by the pool until it was time for the race to start.
The race was supposed to start at 8:00 a.m., but 8:00 came and went without the race starting. So did 8:30 and 8:45. I was starting to get impatient. Finally at 9:00 a.m., they said they were close to getting the race started, they were having techincal difficulties.
Around 9:15 a.m. the race finally started...at least for the slow swimmers. They said that so we could get the swimming done fastest, the slower swimmers went first and the fastest swimmers went last. Oh good grief!!! So, I was in the second to the last heat.
I had already eaten my energy jelly beans at 7:30 a.m. (the package says to eat 30 minutes before event), so my energy had come and gone by the time I started the swim. One good thing about the swim was we stayed in the same lane the whole time and did 12 laps. I did like that.
I wish I knew how fast I swam, but nope, didn't know. I figured out that the way they started the race was in each heat, there was 24 swimmers and they gave their bib #'s to the timing people and when they said "go", they started your time on the computer.
So, after the swim I was off to the transition area to pick up my bike. I was kind of nervous about the bike because I didn't know the route or anything like that. I saw a map of the route, but I still wasn't familiar with it. The bike seemed to take FOREVER!!! I felt like I was riding my bike forever before I got to the turn around point. It felt like I rode my bike all the way up in to Idaho and back. There were a couple of hills on the bike, but nothing too bad. The police officers that were blocking intersections for us were super nice. I almost wiped out on my bike on the way back to transition. I was going kind of fast and took a corner too sharp. Thankfully I was able to correct myself and distribute my weight on the bike well enough that I didn't wipe out (thankfully).
Then it was off on the run. The run wasn't bad at all. I got to see the run course while I was on the bike, so I knew what to expect as far as the route, etc. We had to run a little dirt trail for maybe 1/4 of a mile and there was two hills that weren't too bad, but my legs were getting tired, so I knew I wasn't running as fast as I could've been.
I gauge my time on the course by how many people are on the course with me, but that was hard to do with this race, because alot of the time, I was on the course by myself. I wasn't fond of that.
Finally I'm headed back on the run and as I run in to the finish I see them look at the number on my arm and look at the time that I cross the finish line and they write that down on a legal pad sized yellow piece of paper and that's how they figure your final time!!! Ridiculous!!! I couldn't believe it.
My dad forgot to look at his watch when I started swimming and I forgot to look at my watch when I started swimming, so I had NO idea what my finish time was. I was going to stick around to see the results, but I was so frustrated with how the race had gone so far and how disorganized it felt that my dad and I just packed everything up and left.
Finally, Sunday night, an Excel spreadsheet was emailed out to all of the participants with our final time. I came in 6th in my age division and my final time was 1:27:49.
Even though they said in the email that the race has grown so much that they are going to have an outside company do the timing next year, I will not do this race again. The only good thing I have to say about this race is the bike and running courses were well marked.
Here are some pictures from the race: