Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Nashville Country Music Marathon Race Ratings

Overall Score (Weighted): 3.2/5.0

Organization: 3.0/5.0
-Being the 10th year of the race, I had high expectations of the organization and it had its ups and downs. Ups: Great start intervals, good planning for spectators, mile markers were all labeled with clocks. Downs: They didn't seem to be completely prepared for the warm weather, even though we knew for a week the temperatures would hit the 80's. The water/cytomax got very warm and only around the 18th mile did they start putting ice in the mix. Although I'm VERY happy they did not-- it probably would have been a better decision to stop the race at some point, but I don't believe the race was organized enough to stop mid-race. Also-- and this is a BIG one-- the runner tracking system was completely down! They moved to the new "D-Tag" tracking system, which may have been the cause, but when that is promoted it should have been available.
Course: 4.0/5.0
If it weren't for the sun this course would be ideal! It had a nice mix of rolling hills and flat as well as city/country scenic routes. Unfortunately it left little room for shade, which should be planned for being a southern marathon, mid-spring, where temperatures can vary.

Spectators: 2.5/5.0
Great spectator support, with many options for your own spectators to see you. The marathon did 3 large loops that all focused around the start/finish area. HOWEVER, without the runner tracking system working, this became a lot more difficult. Also-- the big marketing of CMM, as well as most Rock N Roll marathons is the music along the way. Due to the heat, most of the bands were taking quite frequent breaks and I wasn't able to hear a good majority of them. This goes same for the cheer/pep groups. If you went sans music or ipods, expecting to have a lot to see/hear over the race, this could have been very disappointing... and very quiet!

Pace Groups: 2.0/5.0
Horrible! There weren't very many and the ones they did have did NOT align with Boston qualifying paces. I saw a pacer before hand and asked him to pass on my concern if possible. I also made the joke that my new garmin watch had to be purchased in lieu of no 3:40 pacing group and that CMM should reimburse me. Clearly this was a joke-- and apparently was not taken as funny. Oh well! Also, they were completely off. I had my garmin doing my pacing and I saw groups way off target throughout the race. Given, this was an unexpectedly hot marathon, we can't blame them too much.

Expo: 3.5/50
The expo was typical, however we needed to play the waiting game quite a lot. There was even a line to get into the front of the expo. Once inside, to get your bib/D-tag you needed to wait for about 20 minutes. A lot of this was due to the high volume of runners getting in late on Friday afternoon so I can't dock them too much for it. What I CAN dock them for is purchasing Sugoi Tech gear as their primary brand. This brand (although decent quality) is far more expensive than mizuno or brooks!

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