Unfortunately, very poorly organized. RunOn should know better. Late start, poor directions on the course, long line for packet pickup, and no medals.
I understand this is their first time organizing this race but very bad results from the start, these are in my opinion the low lights:
-Not enough parking.
-Long lines for packet pick up.
-Late start for the race.
-Too crowded at the start as a result of the narrow course.
-Lack of people helping during the course: ie, no mile callers, i went too far and did not notice that i needed to turn back. I ended up running like 15k instead of 10!!!.
-Water was too warm in the water stations.
I agree with Jason, RunOn shoul know better and could have avoided some issues...however, i am sure the 2nd time things will be better.
1-15 - Aramco Houston Half: 1:58:00 (PR)
2-19 - Austin Half Marathon: 1:59:45
2-25 - Conoco Phillips 10K: 53:39
3-03 - Woodlands Half : 1:58:25
3-25 - Sugar Land Half : 2:01:25
4-29 - OKC Half Marathon: 2:06:27
6-16 - Grandmas Marathon: 4:49:42
I can't disagree with the other posts that that there were issues with the race, however they did do some things right. They knew that the late registrants were not going to be able to get medals on race day and those that were supposed to get a medal had very clear markings on their bib. They reordered shirts for late registrants, this doesn't always happen but sometimes participants feel that it should. They had vendors and multiple booths at the finish line for entertainment which is always nice.
This being said, there were definitely things that they can improve on. As all of the races we do are charity events, sometimes you get volunteers that are associated with that charity rather than runners organizing them. It would be very beneficial to have a group of runners involved in the planning next year. We are a needy bunch and you have to take care of us in these races because we're pushing ourselves well beyond our comfort zones and sometimes it takes every bit of energy we have to get across that finish line. This is ten times harder in the extreme heat.
They should try to be set up a couple hours earlier next year. Delaying the start is a real problem (even if you don't consider the heat difference a half hour can make in July). Runner's take their gels, eat, use the restroom and such before the race and we all have a finely tuned schedule that we need to follow. When the start is delayed after you've already followed your standard routine, that can really throw you off.
Runner's need bathrooms along the course. Offering to turn the other way when we go into the bushes doesn't help or assume someone who has runner's trots. You can't run if you feel like you're going to poop your pants.
Water stops should be evenly spaced out rather than a bunch at the beginning and hardly any in the middle. Any time you go too long without water you start to have problems which will affect the rest of your race (even after you get water again). Volunteers are just volunteers, they need guidance such don't fill the cups completely full, we dump it everywhere when we try to get a drink while we're running if it is too full, or to not set ALL of the cups out in the sun to get hot but rather fill enough to keep water available but continually put new cold ones out. A cold drink goes a LONG way in this heat.
I didn't see Gatorade until about mile 10, that should be at every water stop when it's this hot.
The Gu packets were nice at mile 9-10ish but not everyone can take these. An alternative food source such as pretzels or oranges are a great idea.
Mile markers are absolutely necessary. We have to pace ourselves based on how far we are and not everyone can afford a gps watch.
Course markings should be clear signs that are at eye level. We can't see the arrows on the ground when it is congested and we don't know what they mean or if they are even for our race. It is also typical to have course marshals continually telling us where to go because you can easily miss signs. Think of what could have happened if someone got off course and then passed out? No one would even know where to look for them.
Someone should be roaming the course to check on the runners. Especially in this heat, it can be a seriously dangerous situation if someone goes down and doesn't get help quickly.
In a race with this many people, the 10k and half should start at separate times. The start line should be well marked with corals of some sort to separate the spectators from runners so you don't have people standing in your way after the gun goes off.
The start of the race is always going to be congested so it is very important to make sure there are no bottlenecks where we cannot all go through at once within the first mile at least.
There didn't appear to be any real food at the finish line. After a race like this, it is pretty well expected and can be very important for the immediate recovery that we need.
I realize that they have some learning to do and can sympathize with that, however, at the end of the day, my friends and I spent a lot of money to come to this race ( 3 race entries @ $65 each $100 for a motel room $130 in gas = $425) to play around in the heat for several hours to do what wasn't really a half marathon. We were a little disappointed and with all of the other races that are available, we probably won't return to this race.