Good Morning. Just finished my 9th 5K of the year and decided to try my hand at posting on a blog for the 1st time. I usually keep my thoughts to myself but felt the need to warn my fellow runners of the poor execution encountered at this race.
If you look at the Athlete Guild web posting for this race, you will see that it clearly showed that awards would be given in 5 year age groups as follows: 13-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+. In addition, looking back at the results for the past two years, awards were given in those same age groups.
When I looked at the times posted by the stage at the end of the race, the results were posted as set out on Athlete Guild's website in 5 year age groups. Although I did not run one of my better races, I found that I was still listed 1st in my age group of 40-44. Jackie and I waited until the awards ceremony because, as usual she had won in her age group, and I thought I had placed 1st in mine. We waited patiently as they announced the results in the 5 year age increments (some of which only had one person competing in them) all the way up to the 35-39 age group. Then, inexplicably and with no prior announcement, they combined the age groups of 40-44 and 45-49 into a single ten year age group. This made little sense since there were at least 5 competitors in the 40-44 and at least 3 runners in the 45-49 age groups compared to a single runner in some of the younger age groups that were done in 5 year increments. This also created some confusion in the crowd as the awards were presented because several other runners were also cut out of the awards by the arbitary change in the age groups, including one runner who said he had run the race every year.
After the awards ceremony, when I approached the gentleman who told me he was in charge of the race to discuss the situation, he was a little less that polite. He told me, "Thank you for bringing it to my attention." and "What do you want, a medal?" To be honest, yes I did. In fact, I stood around for an extra hour to get it. Like many of you, even though I am by far not the fastest person out there, I am fairly competitive. I ran hard, finished ahead of the others in my age group, and wanted the cheap little medal I felt I earned.
I understand that this race, like most races, is held to raise money for a good cause. However, on any given weekend, there are a number of races being held to support worthy causes. If you want to support a good cause and still receive the medal you earn, I would suggest you pick a race other than the YMCA St. Patty's 5K. I know I will.