Not a great debut. The run cost twice as much as normal race and they did not have to pay to shut down any streets (for $50 the money should be going to a charity and get you a cool shirt). Traffic sucked getting into the place, I can not imagine what it will be like on a real race day.
Once to the facility, the disorganization continued. Long line to get packets, with three people sitting around waiting for new registrations (with no line). Then the race starts late. The announcer was unintelligible. The crowd almost revolted and started the race by themselves...
The actual run and track was nice. There was lots of people stopping or walking to take pictures which was a little dangerous for the people actually running. The after race area was also a mess, we avoided that and jogged back to the car to leave ASAP. I am sure the other sponsors loved that...
Hopefully the organizers learn to organize, and try to provide more value next time.
This was a pretty cool run. As other people have said, yeah the traffic sucked, but part of that was due to the fog and that there weren't any cops directing traffic going into the facility. This wasn't really the fault of RunTex though, they didn't have control over construction (or lack of) of the roads leading into the facility. Also, if you got there early enough like we did (around 7 am) it was easier to get in. Not really the organizer's fault if you didn't get there early enough...
As for the run itself, it was great. The post-run activities was a bit disorganized as the area sectioned off was small and it got really crowded. It took me forever to find where the refreshments were because there were no signs. And I didn't even know there was a photo booth because, again, no organization or signs pointing it out.
Everyone rating this run so low has to keep in mind that this was the FIRST event for the track. Even being organized by RunTex, they are bound to have problems. They also couldn't control the weather or the issues with traffic. It could have been a lot worse.
First the packet pick up at RunTex Riverside was a mess. There was NO parking and the lines were long. They only had Med, 2XL and up size tshirts. The only reason I drove 30 miles in was to get the shirt because I wasn't sure we'd make the run. My husband went to the run to get the shirts and participate. He said the speaker system wasn't loud enough and we were also disappointed at the email (@ 9:55 PM) stating no food would be available. I've been to many 5Ks and there is always some type of food. Poor planning and execution.
Like most people I couldn't believe how bad the traffic was getting in and out of the event. I had one friend who gave up after sitting on 130 for almost an hour. The run was fun once it started, but was very disorganized and very late getting started. It was cool to run the track and see it from the drivers level. Hope they have the traffic and organization issues resolved before 125,000 people show up in two weeks.
Wow. Where to begin? I am glad that I arrived at RunTex at exactly 10:00 am, since a lot of reviewers are saying that they did not get a shirt in their size or one at all. Even getting there at 10 was not enough to avoid waiting in one of two lines for my plastic bag pick-up - I really cannot honestly call this a packet pick-up. I was at RunTex the week before for the Run for the Water Packet Pickup and that was by far better! There was an actual race bag, a nice technical T, some sponsor goodies, a timing chip, enough pins for your bib, you received your designated size shirt with your packet, not in a separate, unorganized line, and there were several lines to choose from. The Formula Run packet pickup was a disaster. One really long line and one practically empty one. I can't imagine what parking or the lines looked like later in the day, but I don't believe it was going to get any better organized. I understood that this was just a run and not a race so no timing chip was needed, but for $50 I would at least expect... well more. A tech T, not a cotton t-shirt for one. Some sponsor goodies, or at least more than 3 fliers. How about more than just a plastic bag, or no bag at all if it was going to be empty anyway, beyond the bib, which I did not need a bag for. How about more than 2 safety pins? Did the $50 entry not allow for safety pin funds? I did not see a charity associated with the event, so once again I was wondering where my fees went. For comparison, the weekend before I did the Run for the Water, which was a 10 mile event on the streets of Austin, and that was extremely well organized. There was police presence throughout for traffic and runners were a priority! The money went to a great cause and Gilbert is a great event host - oh and the 10-miler cost less to enter! I know that was not RunTex's first rodeo, but it did not show. Cut to race day. Yes, the fog was not something that could be controlled, but traffic could have been handled SO much better. I was one of those that arrive at the FM812 exit at 7:15, and was stuck at a crawl for the one stop sign for 50 minutes. And that was just exiting the toll road, let alone competing with construction traffic just to get to the venue. Also, we had an even bigger line behind us still stuck in traffic trying to exit. If we all paid $50 for this 5K, perhaps have the construction crew stop for the 2-3 hours needed for everyone that was trying to get in. I understand that they are on a tight deadline, but if the organizers already knew this too, why not give racers more than one bottle-neck option for getting there? Or how about getting some officers at the off ramp stop sign to direct traffic? The only thing that the traffic build-up helped with was knowing where to go as there was no signage for the event leading up to it. By the time we did make it to the track entrance there were plenty of officers stationed there and they did a great job directing everyone in, but from what I understand they were not there that whole time and only arrived at about 7:30am. I certainly accept that I could have left even earlier from Georgetown to make it to the track before the delayed race start. But that back-up was not organized the way it could have or should have been - even with all of the construction traffic flowing in. Once we did park, there was NO sign of where to go. Once again, I am glad that there were plenty of other late comers to follow. This also left me wondering where my $50 went. I had to then ask where I can pick-up my son's Kid's K shirt, as those were not available at packet pickup either. Once we figured out how to get into the track it was mind boggling that we had to actually cross in front of the race start line. I was one of the fortunate ones that got to hear the wonderful rendition of the National Anthem - that was very well done. Then I had to figure out how and where to get into the race chute - there were no organizers to direct runners properly. If the $50 was mostly going to facility costs, then why not allow the runners to actually use the facility itself. Maybe make good use of the underpass to the pit area so that nobody would have to cross in front of the start line. Maybe open up the restrooms, that are made to accommodate thousands more attendants. How about at least making sure that the port-a-potties have toilet paper? The entry fee money couldn't account for that? Also, I did not understand what the benefit of an entry wrist band was for. The guests did not have access to anything beyond the sad pit area. OK, I understand that they needed to keep attendance at a reasonable number, but why not make wristbands available for purchase then? We were getting gouged at it was. I understand that the permits for spectators were not in place for the facilities to be opened for the 5 thousand expected to show up and go into the buildings. But no restrooms either? Not even the tunnel to get to the start? I am glad that the race was delayed only for the fact that I was able to start when everyone else did. However, if I had been one of the ones that were already there I would not have felt the same. Actually, I would have rather the race start on time, and then simply run the course when I got there, just like everyone else who arrived after I did had to do. In fairness to the other racers. I have been to plenty of other races that "Evil" the announcer has done, including the Cap10K, which is by far a much larger event, with more than 20 thousand runners, and he normally does a great job. This time, his sound equipment kept breaking up and he seemed to be loosing his cool when trying to direct the runners as to where to go or how to properly exit the race. This was not helped by the one entry/ exit point to the track from the side which was located before the cross of the finish line. Also, trying to get kids to move back prior to the Kid's K was something that race directors should have been handling, not the race announcer on the track - once again he looked like he was loosing his cool. Once the fun run actually began, the course itself was fantastic! That first hill of death was great, the hairpin turns were amazing, and knowing that we were all part of history by running the course before anyone else was awesome. However, given the hilly course, more than one water stop would have been much appreciated. From my understanding, they were putting ice in the water cups. Why? Also, since nobody was allowed into the buildings, but the race track was already open, why not allow runners and their designated, wrist-band-wearing guests to walk the track afterwards to take pictures? Instead there was a long line for water, gatorade, and apples - one line. Really? That's all we got? I point back to the Run for the Water last weekend where there was unlimited pizza and whataburger had a stand, and nutrition bars. These were sponsor booths so the race directors would not have had to pay more for that since the sponsors are promoting their goods. Not even any Michelob Ultra? Ok, how about a cool band playing afterwards, or on the course itself - Austin is after all host to so many great musical talents. Who wouldn't want to play at the CotA? Alright, how about a cool finishers medal then, since we paid so much for a 5K race? No? If all we were paying for was for the opportunity to run the track, I think the cost should have been significantly less. This was not RunTex's first race, so logistically they could have and should have handled things a lot better. For an inaugural race, they did a horrible job if they were intending to do this annually and wanted anyone to come back next year. If you needed help putting together a great first race, go ask the people at Austin 1020 how they did it. Their race was extremely well organized, it was 10 miles long along the streets around the Domain and they had 20 live bands throughout. They had a great shirt and the best finishers medal I have seen for an inaugural race, and the post-race festivities included lots of booths, a big name band, beer, food, no spectator limitations, lots of parking and easy access, plenty of staff on hand to direct you where you needed to go and even their packet pick-up was seamless. This was a great venue and will continue to be, but if RunTex is intending to do more of these, you can count me out.
Packet pick-up was somewhat chaotic, but the lines were relieved once the A-M and N-Z restrictions were removed. I personally did not have any issues getting to the track in plenty of time but I also left early to avoid any traffic congestion. We were in the parking lot by 7:15am and did not have any issues getting in. I was a bit miffed that the race was delayed over 30 minutes to allow for late comers who didn't properly plan their travel time. The course itself was great and I found it very interesting even though the fog made it difficult to see some areas. I would definitely do this one again.
On the positive side, it was great to see the track up close. It is very impressive. However, there is little else that was positive about the race. It was too expensive for a 5k. Traffic was a total mess. We spent 45 minutes to go the last 3 miles. Perhaps the worst travel to any event I have ever had. I have participated in races with over 30,000 people and this was worse than all of them. 35 minute delay in the race, because of traffic, was annoying. Very little extra stuff. We were offered water and Gatorade but no bananas, fruit bars, etc. Probably some weird no food requirement from F1. Ice in the water, as mentioned elsewhere, was strange. In sum, cool venue, bad execution.
I thought it was an AWESOME experience. Yes - the traffic was bad. But didn't we all expect that? That's a design flaw of the track and not the fault of the event sponsors. To get early access to the track was amazing! I'm happy to see they are planning more runs and similar events out there.
The event was fun, it was a great experience to get on the track and zoom around. Obvious traffic issues. I was more frustrated by the unfriendly, irritating guy with the microphone. I couldn't get far enough away from him.
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