UPDATE (May 13): According to the Scottsdale Night Run Facebook page, someone stole the first water station. I’m still confused about why someone thinks it’s a good idea to just drop a bunch of stuff off for a race and leave it unattended. That’s still on the race organizers. Take care of your equipment and your venue. People count on you. The race results page also seems weird – I started about three minutes late, and my chip time and my clock time are the same. How does that work?
The 2012 Scottsdale Night Run managed to get one of the most important elements of running a race dead wrong: water.
It’s May in Arizona. That means every water station should be in place before the starting gun ever goes off. I ran past the site of the first station, and volunteers were still carrying the table and water into place. It wasn’t until nearly 5 miles into the race that I saw my first water station.
And there? I got myself two cups of air-temperature water. And, again, it’s May in Arizona. Failure. And potentially dangerous for the people who struggle to complete the distance. I’m not exactly a fast runner, and I started the race a good two minutes late. Yet the water station wasn’t ready to go. Some people behind me were able to get some water, though.
More notable problems: There were no mile markers, and there were long stretches of the course that were completely dark … and over bad pavement. And I still can’t believe any race organizer thinks it’s a good idea to route a running race through Scottsdale’s club district … which is generally full of idling, exhaust-spewing taxis.
The water, though, is the biggest problem with the Scottsdale Night Run. If organizers had gotten everything wrong but the water, I could be somewhat forgiving. But I can’t see signing up for the Scottsdale Night Run again. Not without some guaranteed changes. First, water. Then, course.
I feel bad for the Scottsdale Night Run volunteers who probably endured the wrath of people who needed to vent. The paid folks deserve the blame, not the kind people who did their best and donated their time.