Have you ever signed up for a race you know might not be “good”?
I’m currently having a really hard time deciding whether or not to sign up for a 5k that sounds really fun but has gotten quite a lot of iffy reviews. Here’s my dilemma…I really like the idea of this 5k foam fest that is going to be held in Richmond, but I have some reservations about it after reading quite a few reviews online…
The first race I ever ran was a disaster. It was called “Dirty Hog” and it was a 9 mile “mud race” held in North Carolina. The website was well designed and well run, giving us high hopes for the race. I trained HARD with a large group of women (about 25 of us!) for three months, expecting that the race would be what was advertised - a difficult mud run with lots of obstacles.
|The group from the Dirty Hog run, excuse the mud on the camera lens :-P|
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The day of the race it was in the upper 80’s (unseasonably hot, and felt even hotter, as we had been training in 60’s-70s). The course was almost all hot sand with very few obstacles and even less mud. Additionally, there weren’t anywhere near enough water stations on the course, and I watched two of my very strong friends (one was a college athlete) suffer from heat exhaustion. To top it off, the course wasn’t well marked, and several of us got LOST for a few miles. This race was dangerous, poorly planned (many of my teammates didn’t even get the T-shirt they paid for!), and a bad experience in general. Luckily, I didn’t let it deter me from trying another “adventure” type race, and I completed a FANTASTIC and much more professionally run Tough Mudder later that year.
|my lovely Tough Mudder team!|
But back to my original point… Foam Fest 5k…
- Website looks good (but I’ve been fooled before…anyone can make a professional looking website, but running an actual race is much more difficult)
- They’ve had over a year to perfect their management, so things SHOULD run smoothly (this may be putting too much faith in people I don’t know…)
- The obstacles look more fun than difficult, and it will be a great “starter” mud run for my mom and close friend, who are interested in getting into adventure type races
- It’s close enough to do a day trip, and if it is well run it will be a blast!!
- It’s expensive; $60 for the 5k, $5 for insurance and $5 for processing. Do I want to spend $70 for an experience that I feel has a 50/50 chance of being awful?
- I know a 5k of this type won't be a challenge for me, as I've already run one Tough Mudder and will have completed my second by the time this race comes. However, difficulty isn't my goal with this race - I really just want to go out and have a great experience with my mom and my friend.
- I've seen A LOT of negative reviews online
- It’s my mom and friend’s first race of this type, and I don’t want to steer them wrong. Will this race turn them off from continuing to participate in races of this type? Is it a risk I’m willing to take?
PLEASE help me decide!!