I didn't hate this race as much as Eric did, but it's still probably my least favorite race ever.
The whole reason for doing a 5K today was so that Eric could get a new PR. His old one was from January, about two weeks after he had really started running. We hadn't decided between the Beat Beethoven one in Pleasant Grove or another race in conjunction with a half-marathon in Spanish Fork, but at the last minute this morning we decided to go to PG since the SF race might be crazy with the half and a fun run going on at the same time. Plus, we'd get to see Awesome Allie.
We got there and were charged a price different than what the registration form said, but they fixed that. Then when we were getting ready to start the person giving instructions said that the course wasn't marked and to follow the lead people. Eric had said he wasn't feeling well, so I thought that probably Allie would win, and it sounded like she had memorized the course turns. I figured there'd be enough people ahead of me that I wouldn't have to figure out where to go on my own, and since Eric wasn't feeling well I thought he wouldn't have to worry about the unmarked course either.
Everything went okay for me during the race. I saw several people dodging cars (for real...and then a couple of cars just stopped in the road because they didn't know what was going on) as we crossed through intersections, but I never had to slow down because of the lack of directions or traffic control. Near the end I passed a guy because he had to slow down for a truck, so I kind of felt bad for him there. I knew I'd be several minutes behind Allie, but there was another girl I could see for the first two miles who I kept hoping would run out of steam. But then she disappeared around the turn to the finish, so maybe she was banditing? Or she took a wrong turn? So I ended up second woman, and *almost* made it under 21 minutes. After looking at my splits I wonder if I should have tried harder, but it sounds like I'll have another chance sometime soon since Eric still needs a new 5K PR.
To sum up, I wouldn't do this race again. I like the "Beat Beethoven" idea, and I believe in libraries and museums and stuff, and I like runnercard timing, but it was kind of dangerous to send people out on a course and not tell them that there's no traffic control, and it was kind of annoying that there were absolutely no course markings (no mile markers, but also not even one "turn here" marking or volunteer (except the people at a water station on a corner)). Plus, I know it's not supposed to be the point of a race, but I really like the "race atmosphere," and that wasn't here either. It was good to spend a morning with Eric, though, and it was fun to see Allie.
It makes me wonder, though. Sometimes a course isn't marked, sometimes someone misses a marking, sometimes there's a huge crowd at the start that we can't get through, sometimes a volunteer sends someone in the wrong direction. But everyone uses race times as PRs instead of just going out to a track or something. Why? And what's the line between runner's responsibility (specifically in road races and not those trail races where part of the race is to follow a map or something) and race director's responsibility?
Splits: 6:51, 6:58, 6:48, and then whatever for the last 0.1.