The Pittston Tomato Festival 5K is a quality event. The organization is good, the course is well marked and traffic controlled well, the course is challenging, Justin’s (SRC) timing is impeccable and the crowd is nice.
But running in the race this past weekend brought out two of my pet peeves.
1. Runners like to get awards. In a race with about 230 runners, why only give one-deep awards to age group winners? Races with over about 100 finishers should have three deep awards. Big races don’t have any “walk over” age groups with fewer than three finishers. Entry fees brought in over $6000. Medals are cheap. Runners like getting recognition for their efforts. 57-yr old Mike McAndrew ran an amazing 19:23 for that tough course but came away empty handed in the 50-59 age group in second place. So, spend a few bucks on three-deep awards for bigger races.
2. The worst time to have speeches is at the start of a race. When runners are lined up ready to start a race, they don’t want to hear the governor or Jimmy Cefalo rambling on over a bullhorn with poor acoustics. The time for speeches is in that gap between the race finish and the award ceremony. Speeches can fill in that time nicely. If the race is advertised as starting at 10:00 am, fire the gun at 10:00 am. There is a time for speeches and a time to run.
This is not to pick on the Tomato Festival organizers. They are good people doing a good job. We runners appreciate their efforts.