Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Race that Never Happened

Have you ever run a free race?

Well, I haven't either! But let me tell about the one I signed up for...

The Twin Cities area Lululemons posted a link on their Facebook, and handed information out in their stores about a a race they were going to host, and it was going to be FREE!! Now, we all know that Lululemon never gives anything away for free, so my sister and I were pretty excited about the idea!

Right away the only info that was given, was a link to register, that the race was 13k and it would be in St. Paul. They only had 1000 spots for runners so my sister and I signed up as soon as we heard about it! It fit perfectly into our training plans, and it was FREE! So, why not, right?

Let me tell you WHY NOT!!

First, when scouting races to run, make sure that the company hosting the race has a clear idea of what the race is going to look like. My sister attended a special "informational" event hosted at the Lululemon store. She had many questions about the race itself, such as: what is the course, would there be water stops, and/or porta-potties along the course, would the race be timed? None of her questions could be answered by the Lululemon staff. They were however, very helpful in helping her pick out the perfect outfit for the occasion!!

Second, when registering for a race, make sure that that the critical information is given to you! Packet pick-up is a great time for race directors to hand out maps, and give information to the racers. The Lululemon packet pick-up was simply ridiculous! My sister just walked in the store, got her bib (and mine!) without being asked for an ID, asked a few questions (that again, no one could answer) and was pointed in the direction of the clothing!!

The main question you need to have answered when running a race is: where is the starting line!

No address was ever given, and this was probably the most frustrating part of this "race that never happened"! We seriously drove around St. Paul for an hour and a half looking for the starting line!! It was a beautiful fall morning, and we did get a nice tour of our state capitol, including the Capitol Building, the St. Paul Cathedral, the beautiful homes on Summit Ave, and just about ever college campus in the St. Paul area! I also was subjected to my sister's road rage, as she became frustrated with my map reading skills and tried to give me whiplash!!! I can tell you that it was an really "fun" time!!

About 30 minutes before the start of the "race", we finally found the starting line, only to be further discouraged by the fact that the only parking available in a 3-mile radius was "permit parking only"!

Translation: BIG FINES!!

There was simply no where to park! And we did not think that paying a fine, or having the car towed would be a great way to end this race!! Let alone, having to walk "X" amount of extra miles to the actual starting line!

We drove around the neighborhood for about 10 more minutes, trying to find a parking spot, and watching the all the Lululemon clade ladies (in full make-up!!) head to the starting line!

Not once did we see a porta-potty or a water stop! We were beyond frustrated, and didn't have a great feel for this "race" as we made one more loop to find a parking spot!

Coming up empty-handed, we decided to just give up and head home! Race Fail!

Our blood pressure was the only thing that got a workout today!

I guess you get what you pay for!! From here on out, I'm never going to complain about race fees!! :)

Have you ever had a RACE FAIL??


Meg Pudzianowski said...

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! That is ridiculous! I'm sad you ladies had to give up the race but there is no point in running a free race if you pay for parking fines!

maurabrink said...

I've never read your blog before, but was pointed to because I did run that race today. I'm sorry you had such a miserable experience and didn't even run. Most of your questions (starting point, course, water stops, parking) were all listed on the runtwinK facebook page. I was actually surprised by how much parking was available on Summit. And the event was really well done and we got free yoga mats at the finish. More than I expected from a free race!

Anonymous said...

Bummer! I saw them start to think about hosting this race, but the date they picked didn't work for me. I think any organization that does a first race is bound to have some issues. I'm sorry you had such a hard time with getting there and getting set up. I don't blame you for skipping it.

Ja @ja on the RUN said...

Huh! First time to ever read something like this! I laughed at the part where you watched the Lululemon clade ladies in full make-ups" - LOL! OMG! I'm sorry this happened to you! Now we know why there are fees for races - for our race day to be stress-free! :)