Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oklahoma City Marathon~ Race Ratings (#30)

Tagline: "All About the Memorial!!!"

Oklahoma City, OK ~ Oklahoma City Memorial Site
Year Running: 10th!
Registration Fee: $100
Runners:  2597 Completed,  1037 Females
Available Races: Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay
Average Finish Time: 4:40:18
BQ %: 5.5%

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 4.1/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.2/5.0
~ This is a great race setup for the memorial for full support of the city. The race may be getting to big for itself with corral issues and some issues at water stops with too many people. However, the spectators are fantastic and out in full strength (many dressed up) and the course lets you see a lot of the city! 

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ Something needs to be done about the corrals, and I would start by making limiting the half marathoners and relay runners. It's just a little to crazy in the beginning and the streets aren't big enough. The participation T-shirt could use some work too, but great job making a "finisher" T that you get upon completion.

Event Organization: 3.8/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll go ahead and include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: 
Rental Car Required: No, but staying closer to downtown can be more expensive
~ This is a big event with a lot of out-of-towners, as all the races seem to sell out quite quickly. The race got to the point where there were NO rooms available in OKC! The communication sent on this event was wonderful, including a guide to the city and the marathon sent weeks before the race. This airport is very popular so prices are decent and getting around isn't bad at all. They warn you that getting to the event can be a little hectic on parking, but it wasn't bad at all.

Race Organization: 4.5/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Power Ade (Blue??)
Gel Type/Flavors:  GU-- variety
~ Water stops at (what felt like) every half mile really helped, especially before the halfies split off. Potty stops were definitely available often and I never saw lines. Mile markers were pretty on-- but the distance of the race seemed pretty long (about an extra .15). I was also following a pace group at first and had a hard time making the tangents.
~Post Race Food: When you finish, you're handed a cheeseburger from Jr's. SO AMAZING! There is also a big variety of snacks and drinks, but beware! once you leave the runners medical/food area, you can't go back in!
Course: 4.4/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating

Garmin Distance: 26.35
~ This course is definitely fast and has a wonderfully scenic route, bringing you through beautiful neighborhoods, through parks and river walks, and past the memorial lit up at night (early morning). The hills aren't crazy (still felt good after marathon #2 of the weekend) but enough to give you some variety on the course. There is a good mix of section that change directions often, and long passes-- but the long passes either had you pass by faster/slower runners on the other side so you could watch for friends or they were broken up with some sort of themed water stop.

Spectators: 5.0/5.0
~ If I could factor in a "6" here I would. Let's start with the FREE pancake breakfast put on by a church RIGHT in front of the finish line. YUM! Then there are a bunch of themed sections (ie. Under the big top) to the race-- anywhere there may be a lull in the view, they came up with something fun and exciting to get the neighborhoods involved with. They were a ton of fun and really made the race go by quickly.

Pace Group: 5.0/5.0
~ There were a few switchback areas and I was able to see a few pace groups. All were huge and all were right about on time... good job!
Runner/Corrals: 2.5/5.0
~ Corrals were a bit of a mess here. If you made a certain time you had a "black dot" and could go to the "black dot corral"-- but getting to the entrance and getting in was nearly impossible. Also, once you got in, it was HUGE-- way more room than the "black dot runners" needed and created issues with people trying to get to the corrals behind it. Runners were friendly and talkative in the pace groups as well as along the course.

Expo: N/A/5.0
~ We missed the expo so I'm not including it in the ratings.
Swag: 4.1/5.0
~T-Shirts: I wasn't a huge fan of the shirts given at the expo. White tech T's that were big with a boring design on them, HOWEVER, I was a huge fan of the "finisher" t-shirt. And let's face it-- that ones more important anyways. Green tech T with the race and the date huge on the back with "FINISHER" even bigger. I look cool :) 4.5
~Medals: The medal is pretty neat, with the memorial tree centered. 3.9
~ Goodie Bag: We were unable to get a goodie bag because the expo closed at 6pm the night before. Anybody after that was told they wouldn't get a bag, and likely not a t-shirt. -.1

Time: 4:09:18
Place: Overall Teams 13/98~ Gender 191/1037~ Division 38/

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