RUNable Race Review: Candy Cane Course
A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- Race hoodies
- Snowglobe finisher medals
Things I less than loved
- Lack of volunteers
- Ran out of AG medals
- Virtual Packet Issues
You had me at race HOODIE and SNOWGLOBE finisher medal!! Bodies Race Company – Jackson once again delivers on their promise for cool swag and a fun holiday-themed event.
The early-bird registration price for this event starts out at $29. Combine that with the 20% discount Bodies Race Company (BRC) gives my RUNable participants, and you’ve got yourself a great deal. Especially when you consider the swag! This particular race offered HOODIES in place of a traditional race t-shirt, and the Christmas-themed finisher medals were actual snow globes. As race day approached, the price did creep up to $32, then to $36, landing at $40 on race day. So, as with most events, the earlier you register the better price you’ll pay.
This race hoodie was so COOL, many participants couldn’t even wait to wear it! The material was 50% cotton/50% polyester, a really cozy blend. I liked the design and the “Runnin’ with my Snowmies” phrase across the front.
I was honestly a little disappointed in the finish line this time around. In addition to the Race Director (RD), there was only one volunteer at the finish line, and she was undertrained and overwhelmed. I heard her tell a participant that awards would be given out later, which is incorrect. (BTW, that runner left without receiving their award.) One neat thing about BRC races is that they offer live instant results and Age Group Awards are presented as participants finish. So, there’s no need to stand around for an hour post-race waiting; winners can just stop by the finish line table and pick up their AG awards or “badges.”
The race advertised having “great post-race food” but all they had to offer was nutri-grain bars, oranges, and bottled water. All of which were still in bags behind the table. I actually spent about an hour after the race working the table, unpacking medals, restocking food and talking with participants. I felt like this was a HUGE missed opportunity on the RD’s part. (He was busy manning the timing tent, which is important, but it really took him away from socializing and relationship building with the local running community.) The upside for me: I got to chat with lots of folks and pitch in, which is *always* fun!
As mentioned the finisher medals were REALLY unique, custom made pieces; this is probably one of the coolest medals I’ve ever earned. Pictured below are also the trophies overall winners were given.
However, while I was working at the finish line table, we ran out of FIRST PLACE BADGES. I actually had to take down the names and addresses of people who placed so the RD could mail the awards later. A little misstep like this can potentially really cost a race! Not just in the time that must now be spent correcting the problem, not just in the money either, but in the experience participants have. If you’re planning on giving out age group awards at an event, you need to PLAN to have those awards on-site and ready. Especially FIRST PLACE. (*On. Jan 21, I actually checked with a friend who ran this race and placed first. He still has not received his badge. I will update this blog if and when he ever does.*)
I’d also like to mention that I encouraged several friends to run this race virtually. Virtual races are a fun way to still earn the bling and swag from an event, even if you can’t attend. Unfortunately, for these TWO different people I know who registered as virtual runners (as of 5-weeks post-race) they still have not received their race packets, hoodies, or medals. They have repeatedly contacted BRC and were both told last week they’d have them by the weekend. As of Tuesday, Jan 21. they have yet to arrive. (*UPDATE: Race packet including hoodie and medal were received on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, just one day before the 6-week post-race mark.*)
This race was unfortunately very understaffed. There were a couple of volunteers at the turnaround points and two at the finish line, counting the RD.
The route is actually the exact same at the RUNable $5 5k we host every third Thursday, March through October. The race began in the JC Penney parking lot, and the course went up the parkway, (1.5 miles for the 5k, 3.1 miles for the 10k) and then runners turned around to make our way back to the start/finish line where we began. There’s not much to see, but there are a roomy sidewalk and bike lane to utilize.
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2.5
There are a couple rolling hills, or as I prefer “training opportunities!” Definitely not a flat course, but a nice challenge that earns itself a median score on the RUNable Difficulty Scale. I had my #OfficialRUNablePaceDog #NoraTheExplorer with me, and as you can see from my time below, she lived up to her name on race day! We averaged a 9:33 minute mile and finished first in our middle-aged-lady age group.
There was one water stop at the 5k turnaround, approximately 1.5 miles from the start. (I assume there was an additional water stop at the 3.1-mile mark for the 10kers.)
There was plenty of available and convenient parking at JC Penney’s. This really is a great location for an event, especially one early in the morning, as we really had this entire area of Dogwood to ourselves. #VIPs
Congratulations to Bodies Race Company for surviving their first year of racing in the great state of Mississippi! They held six events in 2019 (I made it to five!) and have EIGHT scheduled for 2020. (Access the full 2020 list here.) I plan to run them all, most in person, but I may take advantage of their virtual option a time or two, depending on how the cookie crumbles. (Great, now I want a cookie.)
You should definitely check out their events, and use promo code RUNABLE_20 when registering for any of their races. They always offer my “running friends” a 20% discount! (See how much fun it is to be friends with me! I’m already contributing to this relationship.)
Read the RUNable Race Reviews from the 2019 BRC events by accessing the following links:
I hope to share the road with you soon. Happy running!