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Hot chocolate 15 k DC (Read 985 times)

Kimmie


    Anyone headed there now?
    Julia1971


      Was it as bad as I'm reading on Facebook?  Lots of "worst race ever" comments.

      Run the mile you are in.

        Wow - this is the only thing I've ever seen get all one star reviews on Yelp. Soooo glad I did not choose to do this as my long run today!


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          I know people who ran it, and report various tales of how horrible it was.

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

          xor


            The goofiest thing I've learned is that the 5k cost 45 bucks.  YEEKS.

             


            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

              The goofiest thing I've learned is that the 5k cost 45 bucks.  YEEKS.

               

              That probably didn't include the parking fee.

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


              A Dance with Monkeys

                From the RD:

                <h6>A note from the owner of RAM Racing:

                Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

                In trying to formulate what to say in regards to yesterday's events, I realized that what I said over and over to the folks I helped get on returning shuttle buses was exactly what should be said to all. While it became repetitive, it was no less from the heart in any one time from the other:

                I am the owner of RAM Racing. Please allow me to tell you how deeply sorry I am for the way yesterday's race went. I am terribly sorry that the race did not go off anywhere close to as planned, and I feel terrible that your day and experience was not a good one because of that.

                We have been putting on races for 10 years now, producing over 100 races. In fact just a month ago we put on the Hot Chocolate race for 40,000 people in Chicago without a hitch.

                With that being said, yesterday was a nightmare for us, to say the least. Whether it was auto accidents on the highway causing insane traffic or a terrible choice of venues that couldn't support this race, there are no excuses, in the end, I am responsible. Again, I am terribly sorry.

                I want to share just a portion of the manner and the extent to which we planned for this event and the series of incidents that ensued, in an effort to be transparent, not to offer excuses. Over the past year:

                -We worked extensively with, and paid a great deal to, the county and state police to handle traffic. While that is always the case when putting on races, the efforts here, and the involvement and control required by the county and state police was significant. There is an element of trust inherent in this process.

                - We were assured that the National Harbor could handle parking 5,000 cars in a short period of time

                - We devised a comprehensive parking plan, again at a great expense, including additional parking lots and shuttle buses

                - The course mandated by the municipality, in the end, while narrower than desired was to be handled with an equally narrow starting line. Something we have had to do many times before and that works well if executed properly, something that we have had great success with.

                What went wrong:

                - Two pre-race reported traffic accidents stopped all traffic on the inbound highways

                - The parking company hired by the National Harbor to park cars in their lots was not even close to sufficient to handle the job, adding to the traffic issues as cars backed up on the highway waiting for access.

                - This in turn left the 75 shuttle buses we hired, stranded in traffic as well, delaying the delivery of waiting runners

                - In an attempt to wait to allow the bulk of the runners to make the race start, we delayed the start. We considered starting the race after only a brief delay, but the continuous stream of late arriving runners would have crossed the course and that was an unacceptable safety concern.

                -Finally, we start the race! What happened next defies belief, absolutely inconceivable!!! After planning with the police for months, the lead biker for the 5K was misdirected by a police officer at the first turn of the 5K, literally not allowing him to follow the course as planned and as approved by the local authorities!

                - This action directed the 5K in the opposite direction from the way it was supposed to flow, insuring that the runners would run into themselves. Horrifying!

                - Our race director quickly came up with a contingency plan, real time, on the spot, in the horror of what could have been a disaster.

                -We had to open up the start line much faster than we would have liked, in order to avoid returning runners from running into outbound runners, which would not have been a problem if the lead runner was allowed to follow the planned course.

                -This worked and while the 5K course was too crowded, everyone was able to run the entire course and no one was injured!

                - From there it was a matter of putting out fires that all developed due to the initial course reroute, as the 15K had to flow through the same area as the 5K race near the end of the 15K course.

                - To finish it all off, after the race, there was another traffic accident on the beltway delaying returning buses, as well as we believe the buss company appeared to significantly under-deliver the number of buses we contracted for. We had to find buses immediately and get all the people returning to Crystal City and Old Town on their way.

                The above are not excuses, merely an explanation. We are experienced race organizers. We didn't come close to showing you the terrific race event that should result from the tremendous talent and work ethic of our staff. DC did not get to experience the great race event RAM Racing is known for. I understand, and again, I am deeply apologetic. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart!

                As for my staff, I have never been so proud of a group of people in my life. No business, and no race organizer, should ever have to experience the unfolding events of Saturday. Yet, these talented professionals adapted on the fly, kept their cool, and never took their eye off of trying to give our racers the best experience possible under the circumstances. I am deeply in debt to you all and have the utmost respect for your efforts.

                I would like to thank the vast majority of our racers who, while justifiably upset with the way the race experience unfolded, took it in stride, completed the race, enjoyed the post-race party, participated in the Expo, and persevered to get the most out of the day as possible, your example is inspiring. For those of you that have publicly or privately shared your frustration and anger, we appreciate your honesty.

                What doesn't kill us will make us stronger, and we intend to learn from this experience and use it to make the next race better and hopefully more insulated from these kinds of circumstances.

                When we make it back to the east coast, I would pray that you give us a second chance. We have an amazing team that puts their heart and soul into their work. They are unquestionably among the best in the business. It is terribly unfortunate that you couldn't see that yesterday, as they are amazing!

                Again, I cannot apologize enough for the way yesterday's race went and I hope the rest of your weekend is much more enjoyable.

                Keep running and racing!

                Thank you.
                </h6>
                Julia1971


                  Apology issued and people still aren't happy.  I'm starting to feel sorry for the RD.  Which I know is easy for me since I wasn't there.  Smile  But, some of the calls to action I'm reading on FB (like reversing credit card charges) seem over the top...  I've run some pretty crappy races (none as bad as this, I'm sure).  One year, I remember having two races cancelled on me back-to-back after I'd already registered (which is why I hardly ever pre-register now).  And, although I've been upset, disappointed, etc., I've never felt the urge to report anyone to the Better Business Bureau, contact the local news, or attempt to involve the local government...  What a mess.

                  Run the mile you are in.

                    Apology issued and people still aren't happy.  I'm starting to feel sorry for the RD.  Which I know is easy for me since I wasn't there.  Smile  But, some of the calls to action I'm reading on FB (like reversing credit card charges) seem over the top...  I've run some pretty crappy races (none as bad as this, I'm sure).  One year, I remember having two races cancelled on me back-to-back after I'd already registered (which is why I hardly ever pre-register now).  And, although I've been upset, disappointed, etc., I've never felt the urge to report anyone to the Better Business Bureau, contact the local news, or attempt to involve the local government...  What a mess.

                     

                    Julia, I agree with your assessment.  It seems like a bunch of crap happened, and I'm sure that I'd join the crowd and be upset at the time.  However, it seems like a bunch of things happened that may have been out of the control of the RD and his / her team.

                     

                    (If there was negligence and serious disregard of contractual items in the part of the race directors contractors though (ie. no busses, mis-guided route, ...), I imagine that RAM could receive compensation for the services performed.  If so, I'd be interested to see how RAM handles that with those that raced...)

                     

                    My wife and son are running the Hot Chocolate race here in Dallas in February.  I'm sure that it'll be a great race!  It's my son's first "longer race", and he's recruited a bunch of his friends to train and race with him.  So, I'm hoping that it'll be good.

                    2014 Goals:

                    #1: Do what I can do. <DOING>

                    #2: 365 Hours training <NOPE, INJURED>

                     

                    Julia1971


                      (If there was negligence and serious disregard of contractual items in the part of the race directors contractors though (ie. no busses, mis-guided route, ...), I imagine that RAM could receive compensation for the services performed.  If so, I'd be interested to see how RAM handles that with those that raced...)

                       

                      I think it would be a nice gesture for them to give a refund to the people who were stuck in traffic and unable to run the race.  I feel bad for them.  But, the people complaining about having to walk a mile uphill to the start.  (The horror!)  They're only making it harder for us outsiders to make out what the real problem was (no public transportation and parking issues and having been to National Harbour for a much smaller race, I could see that being foreseeable).

                      Run the mile you are in.

                      Kimmie


                        I ran it and I didn't think it was that bad. Yes, we sat in traffic, but I expected that. We made it on time, but waited for the delayed start..., not ideal, but not a huge deal either. I have run other races that were crowded before, so I'm used to that. The volunteers were nice and the chocolate was awesome. The parking was kind of far from the finish, but I figured it was a good cool down. I don't see how people can be so hateful. I've read the reviews and I'm not sure if I would ever write something like that.


                        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                          I certainly did not attend this; I encountered their sleazy spamming techniques (I guess they must have spam-bombed every email address they could find for all the local running clubs -- and kept spamming them over and over).

                           

                          I enjoyed some light entertainment value contacting employees at their subsidiary companies. It was humorous because obviously they were constrained to not say anything bad about ram racing, yet they wanted to help me, and were trying to delicately advise me that ram racing wouldn't listen them either, so they really didn't have any way to contact any humans there.

                           

                          I have to admit that I was fighting feeling smug last week when I heard people complaining how ram racing decided to add a parking fee for everyone -- smug because I had guessed it was going to be very much about extracting money from the participants, and on the order of a spectacle, not an event for serious runners.

                           

                          I'm amused that they got everyone to pay money for parking that apparently is free -- that's some nice additional profit, right there.

                           

                          But I had no idea how spectacularly poorly planned it would turn out - again, as someone who didn't attend, I find it a lot more humorous than the people who did. I hear they did things so ... dumb...  that I couldn't have imagined them.

                           

                          The stories of putting the slower corrals in front of the faster corrals -- that's pretty funny.

                           

                          The idea of having everyone in the later race walk through the earlier race course, so it couldn't start -- that's pretty funny.

                           

                          (But the stories of having thousands of runners run on roads with cars and trucks driving -- that I'm afraid I don't find very amusing.)

                           

                          Yet the idea that they'd actually give any of the money back -- yeah, that sounds exceedingly unlikely, and pretty unrealistic.

                           

                          I've also been amused every time I read people complaining about the excuses of non-existent traffic accidents -- can you really still be  surprised to find out they're less than truthful? Is that so shocking still?

                          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                            20 K people running the 5K, plus another 20,000 in the 15K,  wow.

                             

                            Ran a turkey trot with about 8000 people  (for the 5K and 8K races combined) couple of years ago, wowing to never do that again,. 

                              I have had close friends run the one in DC and in Chicago (2010 and 2011).  From what they told me the race the RD mentions in Chicago that went without a hitch in Nov was still full of problems and poorly ran.  And I have a hard time taking anyone seriously who organizes a 5k and has 10 of thousands of people without completely blocked roads and is charging $40+.  They seem to give a low quality race jacket and set strict limits on the food you get after the race.  With the poor race bags and general organization, my friends said that on the whole the race is clearly about running up a lot of profit with very low consideration for the runners.  I have no problem with having very expensive races as long as you give out good shirts/jackets, have a cool post race area, run on actual roads.  But if you can't accommodate the people and if you have more than 2 or 3 thousand people you can't have the race on path.  You have to have roads with no traffic allowed at all.  Again for what they are charging and accident on the course shouldn't have been a problem because there shouldn't have been cars on the course in the first place. 

                              2014 Goals:

                              Not destroy my back while running.

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