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2691 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 23, 2011 10:15 AM by RunnerWags RSS
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Nov 19, 2011 1:08 PM

TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

Share your experiences with the TCS Annapolis Half Marathon below Back to event details page.

  • Foxxen Rookie 2 posts since
    Apr 28, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 19, 2011 1:08 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    Most disorganized race I have ever been a part of.  PERIOD.

     

    1)  Race date was shifted to November and when I tried to email/call to get my refund I NEVER got a response from ANYONE.  I spent 2 months calling and emailing every contact for this race I could find with zero results.

    2)  There were not nearly enough volunteers or traffic control officers before the race.  This led to a huge traffic backup and the start of the race being delayed by 15-20 minutes because half the race field was still on route 50 at 7:00am.  Nothing like stripping down to your race clothes in freezing weather and then standing around shivering because the organizers didn't think any of this stuff out ahead of time.

    3)  The overall communication for this race was HORRIBLE.  And for 85 bucks?!?  You'd expect more for a $85 half marathon.  I guess they decided to pocket as much money as they could. 

     

    I will never do this race again!!!

  • gahine Rookie 2 posts since
    Sep 8, 2008
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    2. Nov 19, 2011 3:10 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    Probably one of the worst organized races I have run.  Here are my observations:

     

    ?     Big traffic backups getting in to stadium due to only one entrance being open

    ?     Website said to use Taylor and Farragut ? neither of those access points were open for cars to enter the stadium parking lot???

    ?     Delayed start (due to all the traffic problems) and little communication to the runners standing in the cold to let them know what was going on

    ?     The water stops were marginal with only a couple of tables at each stop.  I had to wait a couple of times,  just to get a cup of water --- obviously not enough people to handout water at some stops

    ?     No mile markers that I ever saw ???  Lots of people were trying to figure out how fair they ran during the race.  Never seen a race without mile markers of some kind

    ?     Not the best race route

    ?     According to my GPS watch ? course was less than 13 miles.  Maybe my watch was off ? I?d be curious if anyone else found the same.

    ?     Food at end of race was more typical of a 5k rather than a ? marathon

    ?     BIG gridlock trying to get out of the stadium after the race.  I would guess people waited nearly an hour to exit.  Again, only a couple of ways out and minimal traffic control

     

    As I said, very poorly organized from what I saw and I had much higher expectations.  I would not recommend this race unless there are major changes.

     

     

     

  • Gretch-o Rookie 1 posts since
    May 1, 2009
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    3. Nov 21, 2011 10:37 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    I guess thats what you get for running the innaugural event. They have a few things to work out.

    Waited in traffic to get to the stadium for almost an hour, didn't get to the start line until the race had aready been going for about 15-20 minutes.

    Where are the mile markers? having random people shout out how far they think you have gone just isnt very helpful.

    Where are the porta potties?? there were only 2 places I saw with porta potties and the lines were HUGE.

    Having the turn around be at the end of that skinny trail made for way too much traffic and congestion on the trail! There should have been a loop there.

    however...

    I thought the course was beautiful, and it was great to get a jacket, and a hat. I also really liked the breakfast burrito at the end, but If you don't like breakfast burritos and bananas, I guess you'd be out of luck, because that is all there was.

  • Gregory.Reynolds Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 19, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Nov 21, 2011 12:31 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    Yeah...i'm gonna have to agree with all the negative posts here...There seems to reason that they tried to jam all of us into one lousy entrance to the stadium.  I'm quite certain that traffic flows at least SOMEWHAT smoothly for football games where there's a heck of a lot more peeps coming and going.

               As for your watch being off, Gahine?  Nope.  Mine said 12.7 as well.  I assumed mine was off too.  But our route changed without any  notice to us...we were supposed to go over the old severn river bridge into a community on the right...guess that ran into trouble so they jammed us on the bike trail and shorted the route by .4.  Now that is just absolutely ridiculous!  We didn't even run an actual Half Marathon!  Would it have been so hard to extend the B & A trail route another .2 miles!?

         This was only my second half marathon.  So the positives for me?  Very nice jacket.  Nice hat.  Nice medal.  And the approx four thousand runners kept me very motivated.  I tweaked my knee the week before, so i was just very happy to finish (albeit a lame 2:22).

         As for me?  Returning next year?  Yeah.  Probably will.  I from Severna Park so it's fifteen min. from my house.  And i'm sure they'll work a lot of the kinks out next year.  I think it should be a pretty cool annual event if they pay attention to runner feedback.

  • L FA Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 27, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Nov 21, 2011 5:43 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    Why the city of Annapolis should never grant a permit to this organization again, and why no runner should do it:

     

    1) a date change

     

    2) the complete lack of communication from the race

     

    3) no emails from the organization in response to any sent them

     

    4) a start time change you had to stumble upon on the website (no email sent out to registered participants)

     

    5) a reduced entry cutoff date pushback of two weeks

     

    6) half price entry (minus the $5.28 processing fee, even) via an Active Schwaggle deal announced on the second reduced entry cutoff date (to "reach out to get more runners" at the 11th hour), which prevented anyone who played by the rules following the original cutoff date to get any discount on entry or processing fees - never seen a race penalize people for signing up early

    - Had the reduced entry cutoff date pushback been announced before the original day, people could have waited until the second date and then taken advantage of the deal ... instead we were ripped off

     

    6) a cutoff time posted NOWHERE on the not-very-informational website (it was posted only on the Facebook page, two weeks before the race), which resulted in ...

     

    7) anyone over 2:45 being forced to walk on sidewalks, despite me being able to register with a projected time of 3:30

     

    8) a course not announced until a week before the race

     

    9) with no race day packet pickup, the race offered several options at local businesses the week before the race, and you had to select where you would pick up your stuff when you registered.  The week of packet pickup, it was suddenly announced that you had to go at specific times, not simply during the stores' regular business hours, which forced many out-of-towners to take time off of work to accommodate the hours.  My friend, who picked up our stuff, had intended to go Monday night until she was told our spot was Monday only from noon to 5 with "no exceptions".

     

    10) Boxes of race premiums were "not put on the truck" and therefore not delivered to several packet pickup locations.  We were then told to do a transfer (for items we were not given, since they did not have our items) after the race, despite the race having the items prerace and it being their mistake that caused us to not receive our items in the first place.

     

    Then came race day, with even more problems.

     

    11) no corrals, as promised

     

    12) race started over 15 minutes late, because only one entrance to the parking lot was open, which caused traffic pileups ... racers were still trying to park in the lot (that was surprisingly only half full, because the volunteers didn't park the cars tight enough) at race start

     

    13) less than 30 portajohns for over 4,000 runners

     

    14) being asked to walk on the sidewalk in the first HALF HOUR OF THE RACE so "the city of Annapolis won't get mad at us"

     

    15) no mile markers - I was constantly asking people (volunteers, police, fellow runners) where we were ... not many knew

     

    16) no course markers to tell us where to go

     

    17) no cups at one aid station

     

    18) last aid station completely ran out of water/Gatorade

     

    19) when the course opened to traffic we were on our own ... I actually saw the police leave their posts without looking back.  There was no one to help us cross busy intersections, and despite mandates to walk on the sidewalk, there WAS no sidewalk to walk on for nearly a mile.  Brutally dangerous conditions, and we had to ask several people where we were supposed to go (see #16).

     

    20) despite promises that everyone would get a finish time, the timing mats were gone and I had to argue with the timing company to get a manually recorded finish time

     

    21) I had to ask for a medal, and then dig my own out of a box

     

    22) I had to ask what the additional premium was, and then locate it and dig my own out of a box

     

    A final issue (perhaps the fault of the timing company) ... the second timing mat was 2 miles from the turnaround on the B&A Trail.  More than a few people cut the course short, simply turning around on the trail and going back (I know of 7 minimum who did this, and heard of quite a few others doing the same).  All of this nonsense was continually excused by "It's an inaugural race".  When I finished, so furious I could barely contain myself, I asked a volunteer if TCM had any actual runners on the race committee.  He laughed, and then laughed harder when I told him of some of the above issues.  I later learned that they manage a fairly large local event ... I was shocked, because this event was so bad.  The worst of the nearly 600 events I've done in running and triathlon.  So bad I have requested a full refund.  Though since this race does not communicate with anyone, I expect nothing to come of this request.

  • PMCurran Rookie 1 posts since
    Mar 11, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 22, 2011 11:09 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    I have to agree with all the negative feedback, although there were a few positives: 

     

    1.  Good email communication before the race

    2.  Beautiful scenic route

    3.  After party was fun and plenty of beer flowing

     

    My biggest complaint is worse than what I've read....My name/bib was not recorded.....I had the chip on my shoe, bib clearly displayed and I came in at 1:57 so I was not a "straggler".  I discovered this when I went to look up the results on "Cool Running"....which it didn't even hit the radar....so that made me curious.  Then I searched for my name and bib number....and NOTHING.  Of course I was one of the lucky ones who's original number was not included and I had to get a "manual" new number....I asked the woman if this was going to present a reporting problem...she assured me it wouldn't...I will tell you that my friend (in the same bucket) did get her information recorded. To add fuel to my fire....I've sent email and tried to call (mailbox is full) to get the issue resolved....I'm very disappointed as I'm aiming to complete a half in all 50 states....I'd like this to be officially recorded...not to mention one of my better running times...although ....who knows since there seems to be a little discrepency around the actual distance.....

     

    I hope someone from the race reads these emails....and addresses the concerns. 

  • runnerguy1234 Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 24, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Nov 22, 2011 4:25 PM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    What were these race directors thinking?? It seemed pretty clear to me that this event was put on by non-runners. To be honest, the only reason why I signed up for this race was because of the Active Schwaggle. This was great for me but for those that registered early...man, they got ripped off. I don't mind paying $85 for a half marathon as long as there is a value to it. This race certainly failed in that aspect.

     

    1) The website was sub-par. Despite the fact that the course changed so many times, I couldn't even see the map in detail since I wasn't able to enlarge the map. It seemed that all they did was post a screen shot from Mapmyrun.com. Going into the run, I really had no good clue as to the actual race course.

     

    2) Fortunately for me, I got to the start rather early and was able to avoid the havoc of the traffic coming in. But I still couldn't avoid the consequences of a poorly planned traffic set-up. The race started 15 minutes late because of it. That might not sound like a big deal but when its 35 degrees outside, it is. I got into the corralls (which weren't even labled despite the race directors putting so much emphasis on it) 15 minutes before the race was suppose to start, which left me out in the cold for 30 minutes!! They didn't even have the starting line arch blown up until 10 minutes before the original start time! Oh, and its worth mentioning that I couldn't even find the start line after getting out of my car since there were NO SIGNS ANYWHERE. I asked a handful of people and they were just as clueless as I was.

     

    3) Where in the heck were the mile markers?!?! The only half marathons I've raced in that didn't have mile markers were the weekend long runs with a running club. Now, this race didn't have it which was rediculous considering they were charging $85 for the registration! - goes back to 'not having any value'. The funny part was, I saw the 11 Mile marker in the tent at the finish line festival.....what a great place to put it...

     

    4) Water stations were weak. I finished the race in under two hours and I had problems getting water/gateraide. I can't imagine what it was like for those runenrs behind me. There were not nearly the amount of volunteers that were needed. Like the other person stated, I too had to wait for a cup of water. Horrible!

     

    5) The B&A trail is NOT suitable for a race that has 4,000 runners. The trail is too narrow, especially for an out and back. My time slowed down because of this.

     

    6) I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one whose garmin came up short. I clocked 12.7 miles. This is the most frustrating part. I didn't even get what I paid for! It's course measurement standards to measure the route taking the shortest possible route from point A to point B (i.e. inside corners and such). Anyone can see this by looking up the USATF certification standards. That's why usually, with any race distance, everyone's gps/garmin should clock slightly higher than the advertised distance since most runners don't follow the absolute shortest route. I usually clock 13.5 or so on my watch for half marathons and 26.8ish for marathons and that's normal. But to come under...and by that much???? POOR PLANNING!

     

    7) I didn't even know where the finish line was until I crossed it. There was no structure/arch/balloons, or anything like that....just the timing mat laid out across the road.

     

    8) I was really excited to get a breakfast burrito after the race....that is, until I ate it. I took one bite and spit it out. The tortilla was hard and the eggs were runny. Nasty!

     

    9) Traffic getting out of the stadium was horrific. It was obvious that no consideration was taken for this by the race directors.

     

    It's nice to have a half marathon this close to home but I'm certainly not going to sign up for this one again. This was a joke. I wish that I would just stayed home because even with my discounted registration, it wasn't worth the time or the money. The good news is that there will be inaugural running festival at Six Flags America next September - called the Maryland Running Festival. Those race directors actually know what they're doing. Looks like its going to blow this one out of the water.

  • RunnerWags Legend 624 posts since
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Nov 23, 2011 10:15 AM (in response to Guest )
    Re: TCS Annapolis Half Marathon Reviews

    They should rename this the Annapolis 96.7% half marathon.

     

    Good premium and I loved the Irish Rovers and Fordham beer for the post-race.  The finisher's medal is fantastic.  But what the hell with regards to getting into the parking lot?  Seriously.  Five entrances and only ONE was open?  They need more rocket scientists on the committee.  With enough experience in the area of the A-10, this could only have happened if petty politics were at hand.  E.g. someone pulled strings to make this a difficult race to pull off.  If that is true, shame on the other parties.  Really - this is a race with potential but only if they run the course we were supposed to run, stay off the B&A Trail (for the person who was running in the opposite direction and my elbow hit your iPod I apologize - I hope I didn't break it considering the size of the bruise I have on my arm).  I'll pat myself on the back for not hitting the bushes and waiting in line at the bridge for the spot-a-pot... but next time, I'm watering the plants.

     

    Sadly, I do agree with just about everyone's comments above.  Especially not knowing where the finish line was.  I pulled away but only over the last 100 yards.  I was surprised to see the clock though I suspected as much when I saw the crowds.

     

    The course was little to desire so early on when after close to a mile many of us had to power-walk the streets of narrow neighborhood roads.

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