Three Rough Experiences


It’s happened to all of us. We’ve all been to a race where we’ve had issues. The results took forever to post, the bathroom lines were ridiculous, the race organizers were not on top of their game. We’ve all been there this week I took a few minutes to jot down 3 rough experiences I’ve had at the races.

Porto-John Issues

Sometimes race directors really have their head up their rear ends. We’ve all had some tough times at the Porto Johns, but these can easily be avoided if organizers just had some foresight. I remember I went to one really large marathon (I won’t name names) and the porto-john lines were out of hand. Not just really long but really chaotic as there was no direction or thought put into the set up. There were some lovely print-outs posted on the doors of the poto-johns that said “Please create one line for each porto-john”. Yeah like the people half a mile back at the back of the line have any idea whats going on up front. Then we get to the front like an hour later and of course no-one is lined up directly in front of a porto-john and you have to guess which of the three in front of you, you can go to. Brutal. Luckily I was able to get in there do my business and get to the start of the race on time. But here’s a tip for you aspiring race directors, put your porto-johns in a U and create lines that lead up to that U. Then we have 6 or 7 porto-johns in front of us and don’t have to elbow eachother to get in there!

Start Time Delay

This is one of the most frustrating issues I’ve run into at an event. It’s one that always seems to happen on a really cold rainy day. Never when it’s sunny and 80 degrees. The start time delay has occured numerous times throughout my running career and it always throws me for a loop. It throws off my warmup, I weigh like a hundred pounds so I’m always super-cold if we don’t get under way quickly. I remember one race in the middle of October where it’s windy, cold and rainy and we’re standing on the starting line for 30 minutes before the race kicks off. Ridiculous.

Wrong Way

This has happened to me more times than I can count. It comes from either having the race course marked incorrectly or having some volunteers who are not on top of their game, or not having volunteers at all! Making sure all of the runners get across the finish line should be race directors number one priority and I’ve had races where they’ve sent me way off course only to be redirected like a half mile later. I remember one in particular where a teammate of mine and I were running and there were just no signs any where to turn so we just kept running. We ended up discovering our error nearly a half mile later and tried to double back but lost so much time the effort was worthless. Kind of a bummer after you drop like $30 on your registration. I couldn’t imagine if I had spent $100 or something on a marathon!

Do you have any horror stories at the races?