The race was staggered according to mile times: there were pace leaders holding signs for different times, and I got behind the one for 8 minutes. At the start of the race I felt good and surged ahead of the pace leader, hoping to run a faster time. I felt pretty good during the first two miles: I was relaxed and running a consistent pace around eight minutes/mile, and approached two-mile marker in 16 minutes. At the start of the third mile I picked up the pace, but saved some energy for the finish, in which I would go for broke and use up all the energy and speed I had.
After passing California Street, which was supposed to be the turnaround point (both the 5K and 10K races use the same course, with a turnaround point for the 5K race), I became a little worried but thought that the organizers had moved the finish a few blocks away, probably due to traffic and/or pedestrians in Santa Monica. When I still didn’t see a SIGN or a PERSON directing runners after the fourth traffic light (and the people ahead of me still running straight ahead – keep in mind that only the 5K was being run at this time, the 10K race hadn’t even started yet), I asked the people next to me if they knew where we should turn around for the finish. I told them the course map said we should’ve turned at
The organizers really blew it. What was the point of having people run a race if they couldn’t stand by the accuracy of the distance, time, and ranking? Lots of people, myself included, care about that information. That information helps determine if the workouts we had the week prior helped, and what the goal time should be in the next race. Worst of all, it was my first race of the season, and I was so disappointed that it went so disastrously. I have never before run a race where runners were not given proper instructions. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be running this race again next year. It’s a shame, really, that it worked out this way. It’s the charity that benefited from the race, Heal the Bay, that’s going to suffer next year and not the organizers.
The race expo was held in the
I am running another race next weekend in Malibu Creek. It’s a 4-mile course with this crazy hill in the middle, a hill that might surprise people who don’t expect it. I ran this course a few weeks ago with Rene and May, and even though the hill is only about half a mile long, it’s narrow and steep and feels like it goes on forever. The only thing I’m asking for next weekend is for the race organizers to have their act together. The last thing I need is to run up another hill that's not part of the course.
On Monday afternoon I found this message on the race website:
As many of you know, the turnaround marker on the 5K was set in the wrong place for some time during the race, and many of you were forced to run almost 7K. The runners in the Santa Monica Classic have justifiably come to expect a high level of service, and it's my job to provide you with a well-marked course. I obviously didn't do that today, and you can blame me for that.
By the time we corrected it 300-500 runners were affected. As for the results, we've extrapolated everyone's 5K time based on their per-mile pace. While this may not be entirely accurate, it gives a fairly close approximation of the time you would have run had the course been properly marked. Please accept my apologies, and I'd be happy to extend a $10 credit for next year's race if you feel the event did not match your expectations. Heal the Bay thanks you for you support, and we hope to see you back next year.
Race Director Santa Monica Classic
I looked up the "official" results, which weren't any different from Sunday morning, except for one glaring mistake:
According to the results, my husband Rene is a female that finished first in his age division! Ha ha! He did pretty well on the race, finishing 45th overall and 5th in his age division. Since the results are rubbish, it remains to be seen if they'll send him a medal for finishing first in the 30-34 FEMALE division.