Yesterday I shared my recap of the 2014 Army Ten Miler, but what I didn’t get to discuss yesterday were the pros and cons of this iconic race. My recap started getting lengthy. I also wanted to be sure that I shared my final thoughts on this race, without taking away from how significant and meaningful this race was for me.
As with any other race, there were both pros and cons. Some of the pros included:
- Low registration cost (I don’t remember the exact cost, but compared to other DC races its very reasonable)
- Well manned water stops, with both members of the military and civilian volunteers
- Plenty of volunteers all around
- Plenty of porta potties in the start and finish line areas
- Race started on time, and each corral started at the published time
- Plenty of medical stops along the course
- Very patriotic race which helps you appreciate what the military and our veterans have done for our country
- Great course (very scenic and takes you past some of DC’s prized landmarks, including the Lincoln Memorial and along Independence Avenue on the National Mall)
- Great crowd support, especially along Independence Avenue and at the finish line
- Finisher coin instead of a more traditional medal (keeps with Army tradition)
- The issues from last year involving the security checkpoint at the start line seemed to have been resolved, as there was no wait to get to the corrals
No race is perfect though. Some of the cons included:
- Several issues with the race shirts (they out of various sizes at the expo by mid afternoon on Saturday, despite having to select a size at registration, and the tech material was of very poor quality)
- The expo is no frills, and there is very little variety when it comes to official merchandise
- No easily accessible walkway to get to designated corrals (had to walk through corral 4 in order to get to corrals 1-3)
- Corrals were not enforced
- Bags get left at the start line and aren’t moved to the finish line, so you freeze as you either wait for the shuttle or walk back to the start
- Not enough food for slower runners (partly resulted from runners being greedy)
For me, the pros outweighed the cons. You can bet that when registration for the 2015 race opens up that I’ll be trying to secure my spot in next year’s race!
QOTD: If you ran the Army Ten Miler, what are your thoughts on the race? Would you run ATM again?