September 10

Race Postmortem


We had 89 people complete our post-race survey, that’s almost half of the people that registered! Thank you all so much for your feedback! We aim to create a truly excellent race experience and we couldn’t do it without your feedback, criticism, and praise. This is YOUR race. We are sifting through the data now and will be posting some infographics with results we think are particularly interesting. Before we do that though, there are a few things that stood out we want to address as sort of a race postmortem. We are taking all of your feedback seriously and discussing what/how we can implement these things in next yea’s race. The things we focus on below are just the ones that are somewhat unanimous.

Finish Line – Okay, okay, we get it. It was pretty unanimous that our runners hated that last stretch to the finish line. HATED it. We have heard your cries and we are happy to comply. We were so focused on the finish line staging and the beautiful setup we sort of overlooked the hellish hill that you have to summit to cross the finish line. That is our bad. We are planning on changing it next year, maybe down on the road in front of the Stanley? The thing is that everyone also loved the course (47% thought it was exceptional and 36% thought it was good). So we are going to try and change the course as little as possible, while still taking into consideration your recommendations (most notably changing the finish line).

Porta PottiesĀ – Although we had plenty of porta potties along the course, we will do better about labeling them and informing runners of where they are/ Also, we will make sure we have more at the start line. You asked for more bathrooms, we will get you more bathrooms. Done.

Location – We are still under serious deliberation with this one. We entertained the idea of moving the race to Grand Lake. 76% of the people that took the survey said we should keep it at Estes Park, and 24% said move it to Grand Lake. So we asked how alternating locations would effect likelihood of running future races. 18% said they would be more likely, 21% said they would be less likely, and 53% said they would run no matter what. That 53% is encouraging and nice to hear, but still leaves us wondering what the best thing to do is. We will likely keep it in Estes Park, but are also thinking about trying to alternate locations each year. We will let you know once we make a final decision!

Date – 51% said we should hold the race on the same weekend. 45% said we should hold it in August but either later or earlier in the month. Here is the thing, we had lower participation than we would have liked. We sent out a poll before the race asking why people hadn’t registered and some of it had to do with us launching too late and it being too short notice, but the response was pretty overwhelmingly that we had picked a bad weekend. There are other events that same weekend, school is starting, etc. So, we loved our inaugural race and all our runners. We even loved the intimate vibe with such a small race. But we want to grow this race, and need to for it to be sustainable. We want to please our runners, but we also need to look at how to grow our race. Again, this is something we are taking under serious consideration and we will let you know as soon as we make a decision.

Thanks again for all of your input and help. If you have any more thoughts or strong opinions on these things we’ve shared, please let us know!

WINNERS! We also have our winners from the random survey participation giveaway.

Congratulations Cal from Santa Fe, NM and Marcie from Layton, UT! Cal and Marcie each won a Vacation Races jacket.

Congratulations Mark from San Diego, CA and Jason from Denver, CO! Mark and Jason each won a Rocky Mountain Half poster.

A big congratulations to Katy from Houston, TX! Katy has won a race entry into the 2014 Rocky Mountain Half!

The winners will be notified via email.


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  • IMO, I LOVED the last stretch to the finish line. I personally would prefer to have that one last challenge rather than just coasting across

  • Regarding the responses, I recall some of the answer options being split in such a way that there was no option for “I hope to do this race regardless of when or where it is,” which may have contributed to the feeling of hopeless ambiguity in the outcomes. I liked the race and hope to do more of them!
    Regarding not only Rocky Mountain but all of the Vacation Races destinations, it strikes me that, given your admirable choice to select beautiful places to run, you’re always going to be fighting a current either of remoteness (Grand Teton, Zion — there just aren’t oodles of people with easy travel options to those parks) or competing races (Rocky Mountain, Smoky Mountains) because of the accessible, beautiful backdrop. I don’t think those are reasons not to do the races, they’re just competing forces that aren’t going to go away.

    • Thanks Clinton. We understand, we just like to try and get into which way people are leaning if they have to make a choice. We try not to make decisions based on a single piece of data. We were really happy to see that 99% of people would recommend the race to their friends. While not perfect, that tells us we are doing something right. We appreciate your input and hope to see you again!

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