Friday, June 18, 2010

Race Report - Fitch Mountain Footrace

The website for the Fitch Mountain Footrace was kind of hard to find. The Healdsburg Kiwanis site had a pritable PDF to mail-in, but no link to online registration. Google also gave results from, and, which is where the online registration was actually done. I guess they've switched sites a few times in the last 5 or so years, but it did make it kind of confusing.

Once I found the right place to sign up, registration went pretty smoothly - confirmation email, etc.

Expo/Packet Pickup
No expo, packet pickup was race day.

Goodie Bag
Nope, fairly small race, so no swag bag.

Plain white cotton, no tech shirt options. Choice between short and long sleeve shirts, which was nice. Shirt artwork looked to be done by elementary school students, which isn't really my favorite look.

Lady at the bib/shirt pickup table looked at my registration, saw the "M" (for Male) and tried to give me a size medium shirt. I'm 6'4", 215 lbs. Not a medium. I showed her where it said "XL." Thought that was funny.

Start area/restrooms
There were three portapotties near the central park where the packet pickup was, this seemed sufficient. Actual race start was a block away, this seemed to work just fine. Everyone filed over to the start line obediently.

The race briefing was done by someone without any amplification or megaphone. I was twenty feet away from him and didn't hear a word.

Starters pistol got everyone moving. Nice, wide city streets for a few blocks to let everyone funnel down and spread out.

Course Markings
Pretty well marked, although the course was fairly obvious and didn't really need markings. Especially with so many -

There were volunteers everywhere. I'm guessing these were from the local Kiwanis, who were putting the race on. Almost every intersection and tiny side street had someone stationed at it. I tried to smile and say hi a few times, but didn't get a lot of reactions.

Aid Stations
This was a downside. The only water station on the 10K course was at about mile 5. On a hot day, this was a little late. Someone had set up their own water station as well, at mile 5.5, so there were two in a row near the end - plus a guy hosing people with a garden hose. A fellow runner overheard people who had run the course in years previous asking where the water station that was usually at mile three was, so I'm not sure what happened. Thankfully, much of the middle part of the course was in shade, which helped.

Finish Line
Lovely downhill-ish finish - turn a corner and have about two blocks to sprint. Perfect distance. One weird thing - the finish line was set up with a small pothole on one side of it, right on the line. After I finished, I waited with my camera for some friends, and watched a woman step in the pothole, twist her ankle and fall down. They then put a cone over it, but - not the ideal spot to wet up the finish.

Cooler of water bottles and about 40 bananas. I was one of the lucky few to get a banana. Fortunately, there are bakeries and breakfast places lining the park that the finish and awards were at...

They got the awards posted very quickly, both at the event and on the website. Pretty impressed there.

I got my standard fourth in age group, so I didn't get one of the AG ribbons. A friend was the overall winner, though, and was given a card and specifically told to take it to the table set up by a local running store to claim a free pair of shoes. The guy at the table, though, told him it was a card to mail in and get a pair from the company (a pair of which he already had.) Little disappointing miscommunication there.

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