However, my excitement turned into disappointment on race day. The Great Bacon Race was one of the most poorly put together events that I've ever signed up for. Before I go on, I would like to say two things:
#1. I understand that this event is for charity. And that's wonderful. But that's not an excuse for lack of planning. There are LOTS of GREAT races for charity (I actually can't think of many races that DON'T benefit a charity these days), and they're also GREAT events for runners to participate in as well.
#2. I know that it was the first year for the Great Bacon Race, and there's usually some growing pains, but I really hope that they understand that this is constructive criticism, because I would love to run this race again next year and be just blown away by its awesomeness.
Here's what happened:
- Apparently people didn't pick up their packets at packet pickup and then there were hundreds of people trying to do so the morning of.
- Volunteers didn't show up.
- Bag check hadn't been set up.
- Nobody seemed to know anything about VIP bag check or VIP goody bags.
- The race didn't start on time because people were still picking up their packets.
- At 9am, half an hour after the race was supposed to start, there were no volunteers on the course and the course was still unmarked.
- The "10k" course was less than 6 miles.
- There weren't VIP lines for beer, bacon or tacos (there were supposed to be).
- The beer and wine servers got stuck carding people.
- Get an event coordinator. Energy Events does a great job.
- Don't promise what you can't do--REQUIRE packet pickup, limit the race to fewer runners, and follow through on your VIP stuff.
- Plan on having more volunteers than you need.
- Don't rely on volunteers for things that race officials need to be in charge of, like marking the course. Do it early--either the night before, or EARLY EARLY EARLY the morning of. And check it for accuracy.
- Order enough stuff. People who register first should get first dibs.
- Start the race on time. It's chip timed--you'll still get a chip time even if you personally do not cross the starting line at the "gun time." Participants need to take responsibility for picking up their packet. Responsible participants should not have to wait on hundreds of people who waited until the morning of to pick up their packet.
- Have people IDing those 21 and over ahead of time, and mark bibs or give out wristbands.
- There were lots of cool vendors with goodies (BACON CUPCAKES!)
- The shirts and medals looked cool.
- The beer was good. (Thank you Railside Brewing!)
- The free wine tastings were good. (Thank you Purple Star Wines and Total Wine & More!)
I really, really, really hope that the Great Bacon Race actually becomes a GREAT RACE next year.