Atlantic City April Fool’s Half Marathon Recap

This Sunday was the Atlantic City Half Marathon, 11k and 7k.  I usually like to keep my race reviews positive and find all the nice things to say about a race event – I know how hard it is to put on a race (of any size).  Therefore, I will save my personal comments and thoughts and strictly talk about what this event could do to enhance the racing experience for the future.
  • Race start – If a major race is supposed to start at 8 am, it should start at 8 am.  Don’t fault those who showed up more than 30 minutes prior to the gun.  If you get to a race late, don’t have your race packet, etc, that is your own fault.  Also, if there is supposed to be a 15 minute window between the half marathon start and the 7k, 11k start, make there be a 15 minute window. IMG_3254
  • On Course Support –  The water pits were extremely helpful (to those who used them), but with an out and back course, the water pit should also be aware that runners are coming back towards them.  Make a path for those who are coming back.  The volunteers, were unfortunately a different story.  Besides the turn-around-crew, no volunteer station was helpful, cheerful, or even aware that runners were coming back towards them.
  • Bike Support – As a race, if you offer prize money to the Top 3 runners, there should be bike patrol for each of the Top 3 runners.  If for example, someone decided to cut the course short, how would anyone know?  Would it be my word vs. theirs?  A bike patrol is key to the safety and verification of the Top 3 (or prize money) runners.
  • Half-Way Sensors– When you have an out and back race, there HAS to be a mat that runners cross over to verify that they went the full half-distance.  What was to stop someone from turning around at 5 or 6 miles?
  • Clocks – I know race clocks are finicky.  If you can’t be remotely close to the race time, why have clocks at all?
  • Close Course Quarters – Even with a race of it’s size (relatively small), the course was not nearly wide enough for people to go out towards the 6.5 mark and come back towards the finish.
  • Finish Line –  There was no delineation between a fast half marathon finisher and a slower 7k or 11k finisher.  All runners were crossing the line at the same time – from different races, starting at different times.  That must have been a nightmare for the timing crew.
With all of this being said, I am happy to be an Atlantic City Half Marathon finisher – and a 3rd place finisher.  I look forward to the hopeful changes that this race makes.  Results can be found here.
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