It’s been hard to find shorter races to use as tune ups and fun get-togethers in and around NYC in the part few years. The JP Morgan Corporate Challenge is one I (Katie) try to do every year, but it’s not the most well-run race (organizational and bobbing around folks on the course). I was very excited that NYRR added a post-work race to the calendar for this year. It was marketed as a fun, social race with the option to be timed or non-timed and quirky things along the course. It lived up to its marketing with unique swag and alternative hydration on the course (sparkling apple cider instead of water at one of the stations). Overall, it was exactly what we expected and would love to do it again.
Race Price: 5: $15-$30 depending on NYRR membership
Organization: 4: NYRR always does a great job and are true masters of Central Park courses. They had plenty of volunteers to help direct runners in the right direction for anything that was needed. Just a couple things could be better for next year: NYRR could try to make sure folks knew that if they signed up for the “fun run” they’d be starting in the back of the pack and should be ready for a slow easy run. There were a lot of folks weaving from the back that clearly should have started in front of me. One other thing to consider for next year would be to provide larger plastic bags for bag drop. Almost everyone running was coming from work which meant for me, carrying my regular purse plus a bag containing my work clothes.
Level of communication: 3: I would have appreciated the race day information email earlier in the week so I could make arrangements on meet up locations and bib pick ups. The emails and website also didn’t make clear exactly where the “race day central” was located. I had to look at the course map to figure out where exactly to go.
Race course: 4: This was one of the odder courses I’ve seen. It was U shaped basically: starting around west 100th street and ending on the east side of the 102nd street transverse.
Swag: 4: They gave out Popsicles, fruit and multi-color dyed bagels at the finish. They lose a point for running out of Popsicles. I was cheering “there’s Popsicles at the end!” to runners approaching the finish but it seemed like there weren’t any by that point. Way to make me a liar, NYRR! Seriously though, for a race geared to attracting slower runners out for a “fun run” it’s important not to run out of goodies for people finishing last.
T shirt: 4: No shirt, but we were given insulated, reusable red and blue Solo style cups with lids and colorful NYRR sunglasses. This partnered well with the fun-loving social theme. I (Sirrah) always love when races think of something other than a race shirt to give away because my race shirt drawer is starting to explode.
Medal: NA: No medal, but it’s not expected at 5K distance races.
Spectator support: 3: Course marshals served as the main spectators on the course. My goal was to high five 3/4 of the volunteers I passed, and I successfully met that goal with enthusiasm.
Overall score: 3.85