This race is truly a run for a cause. If you’re planning on hitting a PR, Run for Congo is not the race for you.
Run for Congo Women benefits the Women for Women International Program for Congolese women. The run took place at Bear Creek Lake Park in Morrison, CO through winding trails (see course map and elevation below). There was a 5k and 10k option. The 10k started at 8:00 A.M., followed by the 5k at 8:30 A.M. It is not a women’s only race. Runners receive a cool green t-shirts in male and female cuts by American Apparel.
2008 marked the second annual event. So, there was plenty to be improved. Here’s the list:
1. Sound system
It was difficult to hear announcements from the stage and at the start. Runners were standing around chatting at the pavilion while the 10k runners took off. It was also difficult to hear what the announcer was saying at the start line.
2. Start/Finish Line
Mark the start and finish line.
3. Trail markers
Instead of using small red construction flags, use arrows distinguishing the 5k and 10k course or add more volunteers on the trail. A course map would have been helpful. It was confusing to imagine the race course from the announcer’s description; hence, nobody wanting to lead the pack and the squirrely confusion for the 5k group. (We ended up starting over when the announcer found us back in the start area, running wild in the parking lot, led by a confident runner. It was like a scavenger hunt. “Flag! This way. Follow the flags. Wait, they end. Oh, we’re not suppose to go towards the lake.”)
Lastly, mile markers would be nice or volunteers calling out appropriate remaining miles. 1.5 miles is not the same as .6 miles.
4. Registration/Packet Pick-up
Move it inside the pavilion and get better signage. Onsite registers should have been directed to the designated table and not allowed to register at the packet pick-up table.
Also, re-evaluate packet pick-up lines. M-Z was a non-existent line. Resulting to a long single packet pick-up line and a late start. Maybe visible signage would have been helpful.
Notes for runners
1. If you run fast, step it up and lead the pack if you plan on racing. The first .75 miles is on a trial with no passing. The last .5 miles has a steep downhill followed by a narrow trail along a hillside (watch the ankle and possibilities of rolling down the hill- no passing).
2. Guaranteed mud after a rainy day.
3. Race results are not published.
4. Don’t take it seriously. Enjoy the trail. It’s about the cause, not you.