Race Report – ING Geogia

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  SBSpartan 11 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #6154


    You guys asked for a race report so here we go.

    Before I start I want to say thanks for everyone who suggested what to do about my achilles before the race.  As it turns out everything was fine in that regards.  Thanks again.

    Ahh the race.  Can I start with, ING and the race directors really screwed this one up?  Honestly, other than a really nice but very hard track it was a complete cluster from start to finish. 

    I should have payed more attention at the expo when my buddy and I walked in to see HUGE lines, thousands of people long, looking to get their bibs.  We were shocked and walked into the expo to see what was going on before blindly standing in a line marked “runners only”.  Oh that line was not moving at all.  When we got in we saw all of those people standing in line to get their numbers so they could then get in a line to get their bibs.  We already knew our numbers so we asked around and go in quickly because there was nobody in our section.  However I talked to people who waited for hours to get their stuff.  We laughed at out it was so messed up.  Little did we know.
    Race day comes and another sign of things to come.  My running partner is well, running late.  It's not his fault.  The train he was on, along with many other runners, broke down.  Ok no big deal cause they were at terminal downtown.  Well, it is if the doors are shut for ten minutes and you can't get out.  We finally get in touch with each other at 6:40 and I let him know I have to check my bag or I am not going to get to the start.  With both of us not having seen the start we agree to meet where bibs 1000 should be.  Cool I will meet you there right?  Wrong.
    The staging area was a complete mess and that is being kind.  Basically all 15K runners got on giant corral to mix it up and get where they needed to be.  There was nothing to organize marathoners vs. half marathoners and it didn't matter if your bib was 1000 or 18000 you went where you could.  Here is the best part.  If you had a low number and wanted up front you had to start in the back of the area and somehow get your way to the front through 15000 people. Not possible.  I got lucky and jumped a fence to get in the front but the police shut that down quickly.  My buddy…bib 623…get in the back buddy.  It gets better because outside of the staging you couldn't move either because spectators where all over as well.  You couldn't move on the sidewalks in some places.  It was basically a giant wall of people.
    Ok so the race is getting ready to start.  They make an announcement that there is a car on the right hand side of the road.  Why wasn't it towed?  Heck if I know.  They just put some cones around it and let everyone go.  Seriously, that car didn't show up at 6:45.  Why didn't you take care of this sooner?  My friend who was watch told me it didn't get moved until about 8 am.
    Things got worse.  Seriously worse.  Poweraide was a major sponsor in the race.  Do you think there was any on the course?  No there was not.  And I am not talking about the back of the pack.  I am talking people running under four hours.  I know a guy who ran 2:59 and didn't get any.  Now I am the kind of guy who needs sports drinks.  Honestly, I need them whenever I can get them.  Water just won't do it for me.  So, when there was no Poweraide on the first stop I didn't mind.  But when there wasn't even another fluid station for almost 5 miles I got worried and changed my whole race plan on the spot.  I was pacing about 3:30 but knew I had to slow it down a bit or things would go bad.  I took another gel as a pre-emptive strike.  Finally, I got some Poweraide just past mile 8.  I stopped to get the whole thing down and took another gel.  Holy cow…sugar rush or something.  I got really light in the head and though…oh crap what is this?  It went away and I felt fine after a minute or two.  So, now I am cruising along thinking, “Hey this isn't bad, but I hope there is Poweraide from now on.”  Oh, I forgot to tell you it is HOT and humid.  I think the high that day was 85.  During the race, 60-75 I am guessing.  So fluids are a bigger deal than normal.  But, there was no more poweraide at all.
    So at about mile 14 I realize that if I don't slow down again I am going to get myself in trouble.  I slow down again and am thinking 3:50 or so…ok let me stop lying I am now telling myself I don't care about time.  I just want to finish.
    This course is hilly.  Not just a little hilly but very hilly.  12-18 was very tough.  18-20 was supposed to be a break but it turned out to be a sneaky hill at 19..the whole of 19 that is.  So I give myself a break in the heat and plug in a 30 second walk.  Things are going well.  Even without Poweraide the gels seem to be doing the trick.
    Mile 23…..uh oh.  I am going downhill how..and I don't mean running.  I can feel myself getting tight.  I decide to walk though the fluid station and tell my buddy he can finish out.  There he goes to a 3:42.  With a hill to climb from 23.5 to about 25 I am worried.  Not about finishing, I can walk from this point but something going wrong.  Mile 24 – Cramp city USA.  Well, I got through the hardest part of the hill and really needed some flat but it wasn't coming soon.  I cramped.  First my quad, then my hammy, then my calf.  I stretched for a minute then got on my horse…then stretched..repeat.  You get the idea.  The last two miles were something like I have never experienced.  Horrible cramping and pain.  By the way I blame the lack of a sports drink. 

    But I made it.  4:01  It was hard, it was terrible at times, and the course, race, conditions did what they could to break me.  They came close but they didn't win…I did.

    All in all I was very disappointed.  I expected so much from this race.  I wanted to PR, I wanted fun, I wanted a great time.  ING let us all down with this one.  They really have a lot of work to do.

    I should throw in my GF ran the half.  The last part of the course was shared with the full so she got passed by the leaders.  Get this…right before she got passed a large moving truck came onto the course and started asking runners no less, “Where is the ING cheering zone?”  WTF are you kidding me?  The GF said it was an ING truck there about 2 hours into the race to set up things.  It gets better.  The lead pack had to dodge the truck cause it was in their way.  Classy ING…

  • #22703


    wow… hot, humid, hilly and NO POWERADE… the fact of no fluid at all from 3 to 8 is really scary… sorry you had to endure that, but you have to be proud of yourself for surviving the cramps & bad organization… I would have thought that ING had more of a clue on how to run a race, guess not…

  • #22704


    Wow, I heard there were some water shortages on the course because the race director apparently judged water needs on when she drove the course the year before when it was much more cool. She apparently doesn't have the ability to check the weather forecast and know she needs to plan for more. However, I didn't hear such a description of how poorly run this one was all around. Thanks for letting us know about it, hopefully this will help someone who may have been considering this one to decide on a better run option.

    Sorry to hear so many things went badly for you. However, you overcame a lot of difficulties that would have broken a lot of people. That's something to be proud of and take away from this experience.

  • #22705


    I am very proud of it!  Thank Ryan.

    There was plenty of water outside of that one missing stop.  It was the totally absence of Powerade that was a mystery.  If they ran out that would be one thing, but it just wasn't there.  Strange how that could happen just miles from Coke's world headquarters.

    Also, there was a press release from the race director stating there would be not only extra fluids at the stops due to the heat but more fluid stations period.

    I really hate to rip the race but it was a mess.

    I hope what happened to me didn't happen to a lot of first timers.  This was my 5th and if it was my first I don't know if I would do another.  As it stands I can't wait to get back on the horse and have a good race again.

  • #22706


    Hey, sorry that things went so poorly for you out there, but at least you toughed it out and made what you could out of it.

    The only ING race I have done was a half-marathon in Miami (there was a full marathon as well). However, I found it to be well organized. The expo ran smoothly, and the race itself was fine in terms of pre-race setup, hydration stations, and post-race activities/food. 

    It's unfortunate when a race falls short of expectations in its inaugural year, as it may deter some from running it again next year. However, I also don't think that this race was necessarily reflective of all ING races…

  • #22707


    Janus, I would agree with you. There are a lot of very well run ING races. ING is really just a sponsor, they put their money up to get their name attached to what they trust will be a quality event. At least for the most part, they aren't really involved in the actual organization of the events they sponsor. The blame here should go to the race director and other organizers. Hopefully, they will learn from this year's mistakes and ensure they don't happen again.

  • #22708


    Your experience at the ING is what I absolutely hate about the distance.  By race day, you are SO VERY invested in that race.  Your training is geared to produce your best preformance on that day.  You spend so much time and money just to get to the starting line that when that many things go wrong, it is a huge let down.  It's easy, and noble, to say you'll get 'em next time.  I think this is why smaller races like Milwaukee's, Napa's and Sacramento's have such a great reputation.  They get it right.  You can trust that your preparation will be rewarded through a good raceday experience.  Boston, Chicago and NY deserve a lot of credit also just because of the logistics of such a large event, but their budgets are exponentially larger.  It is still very hard to believe that so many things went wrong at the event.  Congrats on toughing it out though and I'm glad the achilles didn't turn out to be a problem.  What's the next race going to be???

  • #22709


    Your comments make sense.  After running Chicago (which I really like) and calling it my favorite I switched it to Charlotte this fall.  That is a really small race that I was not thrilled about running but I thought it was awesome.  So I am with you, in that I am growing fond of smaller races.  Detroit is another smallish race that I think is well done.

    Next race?  I have been giving it thought and it will be a fall race.  I would love to hop back to it and find something early summer but after a rest and a few planned trips fall works best.  That and I have a bike that I have watched sit in my bedroom for the past 4 months and I really want to spend some time riding it.

    There are races I want to do for sure.  Maybe Marine Corp because I have never been to DC?  Maybe Kiawa?  I am open to suggestions and have some time to make a decision.  I would like to do two this fall so the timing has to be right on the ones I pick.

  • #22710


    Suggestions? You have a Milwaukee area contingent here so it's only a matter of time until someone throws out Lakefront. Might as well be me. Organized by runners, so you know they are going to do it right. Unless I'm running, the conditions will likely be favorable. 😉

  • #22711


    …So I am with you, in that I am growing fond of smaller races…
    Next race?  I have been giving it thought and it will be a fall race… 

    There are races I want to do for sure.  Maybe Marine Corp because I have never been to DC?  Maybe Kiawa?  I am open to suggestions and have some time to make a decision.  I would like to do two this fall so the timing has to be right on the ones I pick.

    Richmond, VA is an okay race (last year was blisteringly hot, but it is usually okay), it's another 'smaller race'… freindly town, not pricey…

    I've done MCM four times and gave it up as too crowded, they will 'seed' you nearer the front (wave start) with a better 'projected' finish time… transportation is good because of the city, but because of the city it's a bit pricey (not nearly as bad as Chicago or NYC)

    Philly would be a great option but this last year they added a half marathon and started it with the full so the first three miles were very crowded… lots to see in Philly too

    and if you want to go further north, I've heard really good things about the Mohawk-Hudson in Albany, NY, but it's not on the marathon guide scedule yet…

  • #22712

    Congratulations on your finish of a race that presented so many road blocks to you reaching a PR. You did an outstanding job overcoming them. On a side note I'd like to thank you for giving me the insight to always be ready in the event of a situation like this, should I be involved in one.
      I usually just go to the race and take everything for granted. In the future I'll be sure to take along a few gel packs as a back up.
    Again congrats on your finish and overcoming the road blocks. Ski

  • #22713


    I'm going to agree with rehammes about Sacramento.  For all the elite runners that it attracts, it is somewhat very low-key.  Not alot of hoopla.  It's obvious intent is for runners to run fast.  It can be an expensive trip to fly out there and NOT have a big expo, big bands, big pasta feed, etc.  Here is what they do have, fast course, experienced pace teams, good logistics.  The shuttle busses in my experience were night and day from Grandma's (if you ever had that pleasure)  Rather than like Grandma's where you spend 30 minutes going hotel-to-hotel and then trek 26 miles to the start, in Sacramento, YOU meet the bus, cutting riding time and when you get to the start, you aren't dropped off.  They shuttled right to the portopotties and waited, so you could sit on the bus until the race started.  If you don't need alot of fan support, have a time goal in mind that is going to be a little tough, this is the race.  Weather is iffy, I'm told.

  • #22714


    Why run a race, especially a marathon, in its first edition?

  • #22715


    GTF has a point. This isn't the first inaugural marathon to completely screw things up but manage to work things out at a later time. One of the Rock & Roll marathons comes to mind, I think San Diego. They turned things around pretty quickly and now have a pretty good reputation for running a good race.

    Personally, I would consider doing a shorter race in its inaugural year as long as the race was just a tune-up, not important to me. I don't think I'd ever risk it by doing a marathon in its inaugural year. Too much that could go wrong. I'd prefer to let others be the guinea pigs and, if I really want to run it, I'll wait until the organizers prove that they have all the kinks worked out.

  • #22716


    Living about 5 miles from the starting line was a pretty big reason I ran it.

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