Saturday, July 27, 2013

Biggest Loser 5K, Chicago-style

Earlier this year, I heard the Biggest Loser TV show was putting on a series of races throughout the country, and I was excited to see that they were coming to Rockford, a city that's about an hour northwest of Chicago. I'm a huge fan of the show, so I thought that it would be fun to make their 5K one of my scheduled races for the summer. Sounds good so far, right?

Well, it ended up being the most disorganized race that I've ever run. Just to name a few things:

  • There were no course marshals to tell us which side of the street to stay on, so as most of the runners were headed down the main street, the earlier runners were coming back straight through us, since no one was really sure where to go.
  • The trail that we ran on for a large section of the course became incredibly crowded with traffic going both ways, especially with some people running and walking with double strollers.
  • The water station was only staffed by one volunteer, and none of the cups were filled with water. I didn't stop to wait, so I kept on going. I certainly don't blame the volunteer for this, but it's too bad that the race didn't have more people helping out at that part of the course.
  • And here's the big one: The official results weren't posted until 2 DAYS after the race. I have never had to wait that long to find out official times, and neither could all of the people who complained on the organization's Facebook page, wondering when our results would be up.

So, after that disaster of a race, I told myself that I would never again run in the Biggest Loser series.

With my 10K quickly approaching, however, lately I've been feeling that I don't want to go into it feeling overly anxious and jittery. I think that if I run a smaller race like a 5K about a week before the 10K, I'll get a lot of those nerves out of my system and hopefully let that feeling of success carry me over into the following week.

I started looking for a local race that I could register for, and I was happy to find one that's conveniently located downtown, is being held on a day that's open in my schedule, and best of all, uses almost the exact same course as the Chicago 10K! It all sounded so perfect, but of course, the huge catch is that it's another Biggest Loser 5K.

I seriously debated not doing it, and part of me is still wondering why I registered, considering how the Rockford run turned out. But I know that running on the same course as my 10K in a real race environment can only help me when it's time to do it again for the 10K.

Don't get me wrong --- there were certainly some good things about the Biggest Loser 5K in Rockford. I enjoyed talking with so many people who were also fans of the show and finally got up the courage to run their first race. Their stories inspired me, and I think it's amazing that a TV show can bring people together like that to make positive life changes.

But I truly hope that the race organizers have also made some changes since Rockford. We'll see.

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