Sunday was the first 10K in the 2014 MRTC Road Race Series. The 10K’s are held at Shelby Farms, which might be the best course and worst parking combo in the entire series. This year’s course did deviate from previous years because Shelby Farms is undergoing substantial renovations. The fact that the course was different was mentioned. Repeatedly. In fact, it got to the point that I just wanted the guy to shut up and let us run.
Side note: the entire series carries a hubris that is somewhat off-putting to new runners. I have never run this race before, so I have no clue where the course used to go, so referencing the changes on the course based on the previous course does not give me any idea where I should actually go. I get that several of the runners in the series are repeat runners, but obviously they all are not, so at least give us rookies some tangible direction.
The weather finally cooperated for this race, and we enjoyed running in 60-70 degree temperatures. The humidity was still high, but it is Memphis, so that is to be expected. The course was mainly in the park, but due to the construction, we did log some time outside of the park. The early stages of the race were congested, as usual, but it seemed like there were fewer people at this race than the previous ones. This might be the trend with the distances increasing, other fall races starting, and football season getting in full swing. I guess we shall see.
Parking was a nightmare. And not because there was a lack a spaces, but rather where the parking was. Runners were required to park along the race course, which was a logistical nightmare. Just imagine 500 runners still on the course as the other 500 are trying to get into their cars and drive along the course to get home. It does not go that smoothly. I get that there are space issues currently in the park, but communicating for this could have been handled better.
Race shirts for the series were handed out at this event as well. The shirts are moisture wicking, but they honestly feel more like a cotton shirt than a traditional tech shirt. I am going to use it at boot camp and see how it does.