Saturday, March 25, 2017

Run Thru The Village 5K Race Analysis

Ran the inaugural Run Thru The Village 5K this morning that was produced and presented by CHI St. Luke's Health at their new Springwoods Village Hospital, which is located just north of the Grand Parkway and west of Interstate 45.

First and foremost, this race should hire me.  I understand how important image is, recognition of sponsors and volunteers as well as participants and getting races started on-time.

Beautiful environment currently to race in.  Will definitely see if and how that changes as the build out of the Village continues.  As more businesses and housing developments continue to open, this race - and others - will have to go to the roads.

However, the paved trail - of which most of the race was run on - can handle runners three abreast, if necessary.  So, there's room for growth.

Excellent course design and certification by Logan Burgess, one of the best.  As part of his work, the mile - and kilometer - markings (thoughtful given the international community that works with ExxonMobil) were clearly visible; however, the event producer could have done a better job communicating the course before the race, the fact that it was a certified course and could have placed visible markings to have been seen from afar to call attention to them.

What else could have been communicated before the race from a safety and liability standpoint is that there were places - not many - where footing was loose.  It is that old adage about knowing the potential dangers and not doing enough to communicate what they are or were.

Parking was plentiful.  Kids fun area was setup well and there were a few vendors with a stage.  Clearly the presentation to support the image that the hospital and health system aims to present matches.

Course control met acceptable standards.  Law enforcement control at both Holzwarth intersections where runners crossed.  Since it was on the south side of Springwoods Village and there aren't any other businesses or housing development open, none were needed as we ran east to west on Springwoods Village.  There was one point coming back towards the hospital as Holzwarth was crossed where a volunteer would have been beneficial to direct runners back on to the road as continuing on the sidewalk put you in the grass.

However, verbal communication and presentation has room for growth.

Order custom bibs.  You do all of these other things well to present your image well, but you use generic bibs.  Build this into the race budget for 2018 now.  Make them go hand in hand with the financial investment you made in medals, which are too much for a 5K ... but they were nice and I actually grabbed one to have when the race grows.

You have the best timer in Texas, RunFAR, and the data presented to them - how and when - can use improvement.  Recent article from Brooks Running on the recent Running USA report indicate that people want immediate results (even though they can get that with a watch on their wrist).  Put on a race first and people and attention to your facility and causes will follow.  Trust me:  It works.

Start the races on-time.  Minor on a day like today, but as this race grows the race timeline has to be managed.  If you want runners to come out and spread the word, this is a must.  If you want to be just a community fun run, then starting at 8:03 and 8:33 a.m. is acceptable.  Doing the former is pleasing to both pools of supporters.

Excellent national anthem.  And people were respectful and were still for a change.

Abandon the registration method both pre-race and on-site race day.  Compliance and Risk Management surely can come up with ways to meet acceptable audit controls by allowing the timer, which has registration functionality, to manage that for you.  It was cumbersome to do on race morning when you had people waiting behind you that wanted to get signed up too.  Or use a service like, ... something other than the in-house.

A lot, but I think that's everything.

Otherwise, great day to run and race.  Great to be able to do a race less than two miles from my house - and on a day when there were three races (that all started at the same time) within 3-4 miles from where I live.

How did I run?  Timer has 30:15, but no chip offset.  My watch has 30:13.96 with a 7.39 offset, but I might have been off a second or two.  So I'm calling it 30:08!  Not bad, but the course - along Springwoods Village - was a little bit of an uphill.

8:50.26 on mile 1.  9:55.78 on mile 2.  10:21.38 on mile 3.  59.15 on the last tenth of a mile.  30:06.57.

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