Saturday we had the Medoc Trail Races. ~250 runners, 57 doing the marathon and the rest doing the 10-miler. Most everything went quite well for a first marathon . . . but two things happened that ruined everything else.
First, we had four marathoners make a wrong turn and shortened their run significantly. One leading, and three followed I went back to where they made their mistake and I've got to say it was well marked. I see how they missed the turn, but we had 2 signs that were obvious if you were looking . . . but it was a "rooty" section and if they were focused on their footing, they could (and did) miss it. But the leader didn't miss it. And neither did the rest of the marathoners and all the 10-milers. So I believe the error was on them. But the guy who made the mistake didn't see it that way and made quite a fuss. Two of the other three also were quite angry but with Michael's Forrester's help, they ended up seing the mistake was really their own.
Second, we had a bunch of confused volunteers at the main aid station where the marathoners finishing their first small loop, met with some 10-milers just entering the trails. They both came from the same direction. But the 10-milers needed to bear right and enter the loop the marathoners were finishing. The marathoners needed to stay left and enter the big loop. A few folks ended up going the wrong way. But we were able to correct these by getting the runners to "make up" what they missed.
I feel really bad because the course and aid stations were my charge. Originally we had the 10-miler starting closer to the marathon start, but I suggested to the group we move the 10-miler start back. My mistake.
I also marked the course, so when people go off course I feel bad. Guess I'm not cut out to do this. Feel like I let everyone down.
Godiva President's Column for March
1 month ago