-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.
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.
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.
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!