I loved this race last in 2009 however did not have quite the same experience this year. Mile markers were off and often backwards or upside down if there at all. There were people yelling out the distance covered but this too was not accurate.
My biggest complaint is the water. It was ridiculously hot and the first water station was crowded. More volunteers handing out cups would have helped to keep people from crowding the table. I skipped this one and planned to get water at the 2nd stop when people were more spaced out. I reached the 2nd water stop only to find out they had run out of water. In that kind of heat, that just can't happen.
I hope improvements are made next year.
I'm gonig to echo the reviews already added. There were simply not enough water stations along either race route. Additionally the water that was provided was warm water in the smallest cups I've ever encountered in a race. This race is often run in very hot (dangerously so) weather and the race coordinators need to anticipate and provide for it.
Also, the lack of mile markers and no 4 mile chip start was a let down as well. This needs to be advertised ahead of time if this is going to continue in the future.
I did like the shirt this year. Best one yet. And last year's socks and this year's water bottle make for a different premium which is great.
I think this race if for a great cause, I love the course, and I would run it again if I thought the water station problem was handled better.
This was my second year running the Survivor Harbor 7. I was really surprised at the difference between the organization level from last year to this year. Last year there were coffee, vendors and snacks available while waiting for the race start. The chip and packet pick-up were more streamlined, and there was definitely enough cold water for the runners. This year, warm water in dental cups - on the hottest day of the summer, I mean... really???? I thought by the end there would be cold water, but bottles were gone and we received hand scooped warm water from gator-aid coolers. Next year save budget on the millions of bananas and get more water for your runners.
Agree with all he issues raised: late start for a hot day, not enough water stops, plastic cups??? Nothing that might decompose in 40 years? The chips distribution was a a total joke! mine chip was missing ( apparently given away to somebody else?) The second chip that was given to me, under a new registration number, went missing off the table as well. So I ran chip-less, whatever, I timed myself. Not like I was gona place, but it was very aggrivating to have to go through another registration process, instead of heading for the potty line. The chips should have been given out at packet pickup. On the positive note the water bottle given out as race premium was great and the cause is worthwhile. I wish all the race organizers across the board would try to go a little more green. Take a look at what Va. Beach did this year with the Shamrock race series to learn how to do it.
Third year running this race. I admire the cause and the people who organize the race, but I pretty much feel like most of the other commenters. Mile markers were goofy again this year and the last water stop had very small cups. They should have been larger at the last stop. I carry my own water for a race this hot as I am older and run nearer the back of the pack so I am not endangered by running out of water.
I enjoyed running in and around the Fort the first year which made passing the finish line and running down Boston Ave much shorter. I hate that section. I don't think I am alone in this. As it has always been hot an earlier start should be considered since there is no shade on the last half of the run.
The course is great. Love the Harbor section! BUT:
-They took away the starting line chip reader after about one minute! I came out of the spot a pot and was only about a minute behind the crowd. They rolled up the reader and rushed off, saying that I had to use starting gun time. VERY disappointing!
- The first water stop was not ready. We had to stand with our cups to get water poured. Not good after two miles.
-No Gatorade after the middle stop1 the last stop shopuld also have Gatorade, especially on such a hot day.
This is the first time I ran this race and I enjoyed the course. However, I do believe that the race should start sooner (7:30 at the latest). There should be more facilities at the starting line for the racers. The water points were poorly managed. I arrived at the second water point to find no water and the individuals at that water point had to use a hose bid on a building to refill the containers. It would have been nice to have more water sprays available. I knew for a week that the weather was going to be hot. A good race, for a great cause could easily be a great race for a great cause with a little more planning.
I have run this race at least four times with out any problems.
I enjoy this race and love the course. The water stops were awful! The 1st water stop was overwhelmed and runners were crowded around a small table. A lot of runners, incl. myself, elected to wait for the next water stop. Big Mistake! When I got to the second water stop there was no water cups and damn little water. I started walking for lack of water. When I arrived at the last water stop at mile 5 I need four of the small cups. The same small cups and no water bottles at the finish. I would think that the organizers of this race would realize that you should have 9 oz cups filled with 6 ozs of water. The organizers realized ahead of time of the size of the field but failed to have enough water or cups. The heat index on the course was about 100.
There were not enough water stops for such a brutally hot day. Would recommend an earlier start time and more medic support along the course to watch and help people in need. There were only TWO medics at the finish line and all they did was pour bottled water over people that were clearly having heat related problems. I was disappointed by the lack of amenties. There were also no toilets along the course that I noticed. Water was minimal and there seemed to be a lack of volunteers along the course. I will not sign up for this race again.
Agree on many of the comments - too late start for hot weather, not enough water stops (needed one around mile 6), cups too small, hard to spot mile markers, not enough facilities at start. Good cause, but bad planning. Easy parking at start was a pro.
7 improvements for the SH7:
1. This race demands an earlier start. Additionally, even more aggrivating than the 8 am start is the fact we have to pick up chips before the race. When we have to pick up a chip an hour ahead of the race, we are then sitting in the sun for even more time than we have to. Come on now, give us the chips with packet pick up like every other race.
2. Add water stops- I read in the matieral that 3 water stops were planned and an additional stop would be added if it was a hot. What constitutes "hot" for SH7... because I didn't see a 4th water station. (try if you can to have cooler water- I don't need ice cold, but something other than bath water would do. OH- and cups larger than shot glasses)
3. Add more misting stations- they do make a world of a difference.
4. Get rid of the extended route on Boston street and put it somewhere in the begining or middle of the race.
5. Have someone at each mile marker calling out times. I understand that clocks can't be at each mile marker, but someone calling times would be appreciated.
6. A chute should be created for the finish line that contains water. I knew it was off to the left and I didn't have a problem, but it is obvious others did. That area is SO CONGESTED that it is hard to view/get to. While you are making a chute, might as well put the bananas and snacks near it.
7. Bathrooms along the course-- Not everywhere, but maybe a spot at halfway. I know I was hesitant to drink a lot in the HOUR I had to kill in between the time I got my chip and the time the race started because I knew I would have to stop for a bathroom and there wouldn't be anyplace to stop.
Other than that, I love the distance! The course is flat and it has the potential of being a really fast course. It just hasn't been that way the past few years because of the extreme temperature. I am likely to run again next year, hoping for some adaptation from the organizers.
Have to agree with the other posts. First the cons: Requiring runners to pick up chips on race day didn't make sense to me. Definitely not enough port-o-potties at the start. I didn't have any issues with water but cups were small and due to the heat of the day, they needed more water stops, although I think it was unexpectedly warm. Miles 4, 5 and 6 were brutal in the heat...no shade and the sun beating down on the asphalt. The finish line was somewhat chaotic; chip removal was haphazard and it was way too crowded. There needed to be more room for runners to slow down, get chips removed, get medical attention, etc. Exit chutes would keep early finishers from taking all the bottled water. I asked three people where the port-o-potties were at the end of the race and nobody knew (I ran right by them and didn't see them!).
Pros: Great course, nice and flat. Packet pickup was quick. If it had been cooler, it would not have been so bad. Great cause, decent crowd support. Friendly runners. All the cops at the intersections were nice too!
Overall, some of the logistics could be improved but I'd run it again.
This is the 4th time I've run this race since its inception. I love the cause - and most of the course. Not getting to run into Ft. McHenry is disappointing. The water stops were HORRIBLE. As said in many reviews, warm water, small cups, and a lack of water on such a hot, humid day was very discouraging and potentially harmful. Cold water at the finish would have been great ... and a lot more of it. I'm sure there were A LOT of left over bananas!
The lack of people or signs at the mile markers is disappointing. I was told at one point I was at the 4 mile point, only to find out half a mile later I passed the actual 4 mile marker.
My biggest complaint was the signup and start. Not enough port a potties at the start and poor organization. The wheelchair race for the 7 was supposed to start 10 minutes before the 7 miler, and everyone started at the same time! Not smart for the wheelchair racers ... and a lot of runners weren't ready or expecting to start 10 minutes earlier than the ANNOUNCED time.
1. Include race chip with packet.
2. Not enough porta-potties.
3. Not enough water stops.
4. Water stops ran out - unpardonable.
5. Mile markers are really screwed up.
6. Start the race when and how you advertised. Start was all screwed up.
7. Finish is all screwed up.
8. Poorly run - a D- grade.
I am simply echoing others comments.
Why not have the chip in the packet as other races do?
A bit earlier start is probably appropriate.
I ran two years ago, and the course throught Fort McHenry added so much to the run, and it eliminated the "boring long run" along Boston.
I assume many of the folks along the route who were calling out distances were not with the race, since many of the distances they called out were just wrong.
The time quoted for the last bus to the start was so much before the race start that it was not very sensible.
If we are to get to the start so far in advance, perhaps you could get the charities to set up booths that talked about their work.
The finish line seemed to be very chaotic, and lacked anything besides warm water and bananas.
I loved the quick massage I got after the race!
A great case that has a race that seems to have lost its way.