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Forum: Sachuest Point Half Marathon
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Topic: Oh boy, where to start..
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Posted By: Posted: Apr 10, 2017 Reply
Apr 10, 2017
I'll start by saying this was the first running of the race and the volunteers and organizers were all wonderful people.  There is however, A LOT to improve for me to consider running this next year.
Immediate red flags were set off when getting to the packet pickup an hour before the race. On their racing site event swag provided is listed as:
"Long Sleeve Event Swag" (nope, short sleeve and ran out of smalls and mediums by the time I got there)
"Event Clinch Sack" (nope)
"Event Water Bottle" (nope)
"Finisher Medal for All Distances" (yes, but perhaps the ugliest I've ever received)
"Complimentary Race Photos" (NOT complimentary, also hosted on a terrible website to search through) 
"Heated Athlete Tent" (nope, it was just an open sun-shelter tent)
"Gold Fish, pretzels and Bananas on course from Mile 6 and up" (nope, only food was at mile 12)
"Toilets at the start and finish area and at various points along the route" (never saw any along the route, and the 4(!) provided for hundreds of runners ran out of toilet paper permanently when I arrived) 
"real-time splits at MILE 4 and MILE 8" (nope)
"real-time split at MILE 6" (also nope)
The race started with the 5k and 10k runners along side so it was a little chaotic, but acceptable. With a name like Sachuest Point Half, you'd think most of the run would be by the ocean and flat, however the most scenic miles where miles 1 and 2 and the rest was a suburban setting. You could see the ocean at some points if you turned 90 degrees and looked past some houses but that was it.  The course on its site also says if has "no climbs to speak of".  They conveniently forgot a 1.5 mile climb from mile 7.5 to mile 9... that hurt! Worse, during the climb a biker came by to ask another biker if the runners were even still on course! (but this experience was limited to me) For a race that started at sealevel, a 450ft total gain was more than expected, especially for how it was advertised. There was also no mile 11 marker and at the mile 12 station (remember, the only one with food) the two volunteers were taking pictures and did not see me coming. One of them was standing in front of the table so I could not swing over to grab a drink. I didn't really need it, but having the option would've been nice. (again, likely an experience limited to me) Finally, with a half mile to go, the arrows which had marked every intersection (a huge positive by the way!) stopped. I came to a rotary that were it not for a 10k finisher waving me down, I would've gone the wrong way. This is exactly what the 2nd place finisher did. Post race, water was kept exclusively at the finish, which meant a long walk from the food to grab another if needed. Also, as I mentioned, the race photos, although uploaded the same day, are not free.  This isn't so bad other than that it was "complementary", but I cannot find a single photo of me and many runners among the over 1100 listed, which is a bit of a let down.
I don't mean to sound bitter at all. I did enjoy the race and like I said, the organizers are obviously very caring people. There is just much room for improvement, so much so that I finally created an account to write this!
I would recommend this race if you are local and sign up with an early bird discount and are OK with some things listed on the site not being provided. The swag is not too big a deal, but the race amenities are a little inexcusable for a Half.