March 31

Post Mortem


It has been a week since the race. I want to thank everyone for taking a chance on us this year. I know having a new race and an unfamiliar race staff can feel risky. While there are some obvious things that need to be corrected for next year, overall my race staff was really happy with the outcome.

After the race last week we sat down to go over area of improvement for next year which I will discuss below. There is also a post race survey at the bottom to gather feedback from you as well. I really want to hear from you, especially regarding areas for improvement.

So here is what we know we need to do better:

1. Starting line
We didn’t anticipate it being quite this cold. In fact, last Saturday morning seems to have been the exact low point in an otherwise lovely 2 weeks. Today the high in Springdale is 80 and the Saturday before the race the high was 80. That being said, we should have had a bigger and warmer tent in the future. Even if it is too warm to use, we will plan to have a bigger and better warming tent in the future. Additionally, we should have had warmer drinks at the start. Coffee or Hot Chocolate might have helped a few more people stay warm.

2. Shuttles
If you didn’t already know, we messed up on our last two shuttles. First, we underestimated the wait time for the pilot cars that early. (Frankly, we didn’t think they would start operating until closer to 7:00am. Lesson learned.)

Second, the busses should have left closer to 5:40am rather than being the last to go. That was the plan, but we never followed it. Busses take longer to move, so they should have left earlier.

Third, the final shuttles left 5 minutes later than scheduled. I will be personally reaching out to everyone who got stuck on those last two busses myself next week to apologize. While everyone was able to start the race(thank goodness for chip timing) I know it was a let down to not start with everyone.

Additionally, the shuttles were under utilized. More people opted to be dropped off or to park at the start rather than ride the shuttle. Even folks who signed up, never showed to ride the shuttle. We are not offended or anything, but it will impact how we plan in the future.

Next year, our tentative plan is to offer 2-3 pre-race shuttles that will leave from the finish line like this year. They will cost $10 for a seat and will be limited to about 150 people. They will leave no later than 6:00am and are primarily for those staying near the finish line (Cable Mountain Lodge, Cliffrose Lodge, Watchman Campground, etc). Everyone else will either need to be dropped off at the start or will need to park at the starting line. What do you think of this? Email me.

3. Results & Awards
I already discussed what went wrong with our results on race day. You can read more about it here. That is a one time mistake that won’t happen again. That being said, I think the awards ceremony was too long anyway. In the future, we will do a shorter ceremony for the Overall and Masters winners and any age group winners will just pick up their medals on their own. Due to the cost of shipping, we may have to charge a couple dollars to ship an award in the future. What are thoughts about this? Email me.

4. Course markings
We needed a few more signs on the course to direct runners. Nothing major, but a few more arrows to keep people on course, especially in Springdale as you went on and off the road. This is an easy fix.

5. Toilets
We needed more toilets on the course earlier in the race. Especially at mile 2. I saw a line there, and have heard reports of a long line there for much of the first part of the race. Again, easy fix.

6. Medical Tent at finish line
We needed a dedicated medical tent at the finish line. We had EMT personnel on site, but no one could find them when they needed them. Big mistake. We’ll have a dedicated tent for our medics next year, and at future races.

7. Frequency of aid stations
A few people asked for an additional aid station at mile 12. Do you agree?

8. Cupless race
What do you guys think of going cupless? Overall we were happy with the system especially towards the end after clean up when everything seemed so clean. This was the cleanest race I have ever been a part of. But how were the aid stations? Did it slow you down too much? Did you ever have to wait for hydration? Was it messy? Should we keep it up? Anything we should do differently? Any advice for people new to the system?

Post-Race Survey
We have had some other useful feedback from runners including, more natural foods at the finish(rather than so much processed junk) warmer foods at the finish (soup, etc), better and more photography(pics of every runner, especially at the finish line).

We LOVE your feedback. This race is about you, and we want to make it perfect. Please take some time to complete this (kind of long) survey and feel free to email me directly with any other comments or suggestions.

This survey is kind of long. It should take you about 7-10 minutes to complete. Everything is optional, but please be honest and candid in your responses.

We really appreciate your feedback, so at the end of this survey you can enter your email address. We will do a drawing on Saturday, April 6th and will select 10 winners who will win one of these fabulous prizes:  RooSport, Vacation Races branded performance jacket, an official race poster, and one person will win a free entry into next year’s race! The survey must be complete by Friday night and the email address needs to be valid. We’ll publish the winners on our Facebook page and on the blog.

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