Late last night or really, early this morning depending on your point of view – 12:15 AM to be exact, I got an email from Bear Robinson. He is the race director for the Huntersville races this past weekend. In the email, he made apologies for the lack of medals, shirts, and beanies for the race participates. He went on to say that he was well under way in getting those items for the people that didn't get them on race day. I ran run enough races to know that I cannot fault a guy for running out of stuff when his race gets a huge number of participates last minute.
Additionally, in his email he sought feedback from the runners both good and bad on how to improve the race for next year.
All things given, his efforts were pretty effective for a first year race. I'd give him an "A" for his race director efforts
His email did allude to some requests from the Town of Huntersville. He didn't give any details, but I could give a couple of good guesses and it would have to do with crossing Highway 73.
Starting the race near Fleet Feet and crossing 73 probably wasn't a big issue but having runners crossing back in ones and twos put a busy highway at a standstill. I know when I crossed the intersection; the traffic was backed up a good ways in both directions. Thus, we probably delayed more than one person from getting to Starbucks on time – sorry, just a little sarcastic humor on my part.
As for changes, I have a few recommendations.
First, let's tackle the issue of crossing highway 73. Having the race start and then within a quarter mile cross 73 should not be a major issue for the Town of Huntersville because it would only tie up traffic for a few minutes. As well the roads are wider and it makes things much easier as the race grows. The bigger question is how to get runners back across 73 without tying up traffic. There is the option of moving the finish across 73 and maybe into the parking lot with Jason Deli. Another option that comes to mind is extend the greenway path under the bridge that carries 73. Then, the runners could come up the back way and still finish near Fleet Feet. I like this idea the best.
There is one other change that I would like to see. Today, we don't have enough out and back courses. The opportunity to see the runners ahead and behind is always something that I liked. Changing the ½ course to be out and back would not be too difficult. Not to mention, the change would reduce the number of water stops, course monitors, and other traffic congestion issues. Particularly, the sections we ran along Gilead and Stumptown Roads. Trying to give runners a place to run using cones to provide a small running space on a two lane road just doesn't make sense. Besides, I wan run through the area enough; we could easily get a 6.55 mile course one way.
However, I don't want to end my post on a negative note.
When it is all said and done, Bear and his team deserve a big pat on the back for a job well done. Congrads Bear.
Sharing one thought at a time,
The Cool Down Runner