Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Girls on the Run 5k "Race" Report

So I’ll just say 5 things about the Girls on the Run 5k:

1. The afterschool training program 2 days a week was AWESOME and combined running with confidence-building activities that ALL girls should have access to. Our team of 14 girls was excited and ready.

2. Race day came and my runner rode the bus, while I drove.

3. Traffic at the suburban location was terrible, but as a facility for a professional soccer team, it HAD to be traffic that they’d seen before. (Note to organizers: Traffic management is worth the cost.)

4. I worried that I wouldn’t make the start line, but I was one of the lucky ones and made it the 2.5 miles from the interstate in 40 minutes. Others that drove from our team never made it. There were reports that some buses took 4 hours to arrive, and were then told they couldn’t race, and NO they couldn’t have snacks because they were for the runners. Girls were crying and upset, some girls had bathroom accidents after spending 3 and 4 hours on bus rides, and others ended up using it in cups—all because GOTR-hired bus drivers wouldn’t allow them to exit busses. Buses were arriving even as we were leaving at 11am and after being on those buses for hours, were told they couldn’t run. I’m told the last of the buses arrived at NOON…for a race that started at 8:30. (Note: GOTR hired buses, that picked girls up at schools at specifically approved times. Buses arriving at noon had left their locations in most cases, no later than 7am.) It’s these stories that make me the most upset.

5. Girls on the Run Chicago needs to GET IT TOGETHER. While it didn’t happen to MY girl, it’s simply not acceptable for ANY girl, especially when the answers are fairly simple. There are plenty of races larger than 14,000 participants (and however many spectators) and they generally run smoothly. I know I’d be willing to pay more for the program if it meant a successful event. I think what’s most troubling is that this is not the first time they’ve had trouble with the event. It’s not rocket science, it’s just good event planning.

5b. I’m not even going to trip on the race distance that I came up with at the end of the run.

The girls and their assistant principal in the school staging area.

Bubbles on the course.

We may or may not have chilled a little bit...she'll run the full distance the next one she does. Or not, whatever, as long as she's having fun!

Some of our finishers. (awwww...sniff.)

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