GOING INTO THE RACE
Having never run a Gray Matter Marketing race before I was a little skeptical heading into this event. We have a great relationship with the race director but I wanted to experience one of their events first hand. Running a 10k is unique, if you read the blog post last week than you know what I think of them. Its a distance you don’t see very often and having a plan of attack is always necessary. My plan of attack was to start at a fairly comfortable pace and work my way down to an uncomfortable one. Luckily it seemed to work out that way.
The warmup at any race is important, during a morning race it becomes a necessity. Its getting a little cooler these days so warming up is super important. The Ocean Rd 10k is a point to point race so I used the warmup as a course preview as well. I ran out with Chris Bleau, who had himself a long run so we took our time heading out to the light house before the race. It worked out pretty well as there were some bathrooms along the way and bonus a few waterstops were all set up!
The race seemed to go off without a hitch. The pre-race situation at the light house seemed well organized with gear check, lockers and port-o-johns. Usually I get very familiar with the port-o-john situation but this time since I was able to stop along the way at Scarbourogh beach I didn’t get as familiar. The race ran from the lighthouse down to Narragansett beach. The course was super well marked and impossible to get lost, visible signs, cones along the way and a great police escort helped tremendously. There were also adequate waterstops and very friendly cheering sections along the way! The finish line atmosphere was fantastic and I don’t know how she did it but the phenomal announce made her way from the start down to the finish and did a great job out there! Overall the race itself was fantastic and I enjoyed every second of it. I was able to run my own race and bring my pace down as the race went along. The course was not super challenging and the scenery was beautiful!
I was so pumped to see so many of the Rhode Runner Running Club out there and hung out to cheer them on as the race kept rolling. We dominated the race and had ourselves a great time. They held the awards ceremony in a very timely manner, and the post race set up was fun, music blasting, fruit, bagels, kind bars, polar seltzer and a great atmosphere.
The one thing I admire about the Gray Matter Marketing folks is well…their marketing. I enjoy seeing folks execute a marketing plan and great marketing can create an atmosphere that people gravitate towards. Their emails are well done, the sold out crowd proves it and on race day the vibe was on point. People were excited and the announcer at the start is one of my faves, she does a great job keeping the crowd entertained when all they want to do is run!
I can’t speak too much on how the shuttle situation was, but from an outside perspective it seemed to go smoothly. I saw plenty of them driving down to the start line all filled up and I did not hear any complaining while we stood and waited for the race to start. The race logistics were great as I mentioned above the course was well marked and when you finished they corralled you into the parking lot at the cabanas to give you some room to breath and give folks a spot to go when they crossed the line.
Overall the Ocean Road 10k is one to put on the calendar for next year. We had around 20 folks take part and if you’d like to share your experience feel free to do so in the comments below…it may just find its way to the race director :)