Saturday, July 27, 2013. Unseasonably cool, 58 degrees, sunny. 8 am
Packet pick up was held Thursday, Friday & limited to an hour on Saturday. This is a huge race, over 15,000 people. No race day registration. Someone else could pick up your packet.
Pre-race: Parking is a slight problem, just have to search for an on street spot or park nearby with a short walk. Instructed to get to your assigned starting coral 15 minutes prior to race start. Corals based on estimated finishing time when you registered. Lots of announcements made, but due to volume of people, difficult to hear them all. Lots of waiting! National Anthem sung live, & a flyover.
Race: Out & back course. Starts on time, all corals start, so people move forward all at once. Disposable chip timed, plastic loop style that attaches to shoe.
Course is on pavement & asphalt, both well cared for, no holes or major cracks. TOO MANY PEOPLE! Entire course is bobbing & weaving in & out of runners. Course is known for it’s uphill start, but the entire course is hilly. Mile markers are noted with banners hung above the street. A person with a stop watch is yelling times. Water only stops are crowded, paper cups. Finish chute is long, leads to post race area for runners only.
Post – race: Party! Water, pop, beer, granola bars, Whitey’s popsicles, Hostess / Little Debbie style treats, grapes, etc. Entire post race takes over the Quad City Times parking lot. Usually a warning to racers if they take too much food, asked to not participate next year. There is no line system for food, you just crowd around the items. Long lines for beer.
Overall: As far as all the logistics and taking part of a race, there are no problems, you just show up and run. However the race should be run for fun, too many people, course is too crowded. I would suggest running it once, just so you can say you ran the Bix.
Personal: This was my 3rd time, so I tried too keep the actual recap nuetral. The race was part of a 19 mile training run. So we did 2 plus miles before the race & the remainder after. I’m done running the Bix. The entire course was bobbing & weaving in & out of people, Plink anyone? I knew this going into it so I tried to have a little fun (even stopped for some photos.) However there was a lot of mad people who got bumped, elbowed or stepped on. I will never say never, but there are other races I can spend my money on.
The crowd is due to the fact that it is a “must run race” & the post race party, so this draws too many newbie runners / first time racers. As well as Olympians. Water stops were crazy, no one stopped or moved to the side. To avoid a stop runners cut across to the side walk, cutting off others. There were also walkers in our coral. I don’t mean to be a runner snob, I was new once, but common sense goes along way.
If perhaps they would take the Disney approach & start each coral 5 minutes apart & cap the number of participants, it may be a more pleasant experience. The out & back course may be why it’s not done this way.
With all that crap being said Josh and I both PR’d the course. Training pays off!
Ang: 1:08:24 Josh 51:23