Did you know I've participated in the Surfing Madonna Beach Run every year since it's inception? I've run it alone, pregnant, with a newborn, but mostly I run it with my family.
Because the first year I ran it alone, I just kept thinking how much my boys would enjoy it. And in general, they do. I decided to break this year down into the "Good" the "Bad" and the "Ugly."
The Good: Free face painting! My kids love to get their face painted, so it's always a plus when that's involved.
The course was beautiful as always. Thatkid and I paired up, while Thatboy manned the stroller with Thatbaby. This year we were not only on time, we were early! We were able to check out the vendors and hang out at the start line instead of running to the start after the gun went off.
Thatkid and I ran (and walked) together for a while.
But eventually we joined up with Thatboy and Thatbaby.
As I had hoped, the afternoon start time meant that Thatbaby spent the race napping.
We split up again before the finish line so Thatkid and I could run across.
After we got our medals we waited for the slowpokes to finish.
The Bad: I noticed there were a lot fewer vendors this year.
Despite being promised "free race pictures" the photographers didn't manage to capture a single picture of any of us.
The Ugly: Thatkid had a huge disappointment related to this race. You see, he likes the medals and all, but they get thrown on his dresser. What he really loves is the race shirts. Because he loves to wear them to school and show off. I think that's partially because for years he hasn't been able to wear race shirts because they haven't made them small enough. So he's been looking forward to this race shirt for a while. He had made plans to wear it during the race.
Packet pickup was the Thursday and Friday before the race. I left work so I could get there early Thursday before the lunch rush hit the area. But when I got there, they apologized. The shirts weren't there yet. After assuring me they would have the shirts ready and waiting for us the day of the race, they sent me on my way.
Which is one of the reasons we got to the race early. To pick up a shirt for Thatkid. He was upset he couldn't wear it to the race, so I had consoled him by telling him we'd get there early to get his shirt so he could change into it before the race.
Except on race day, they informed us they had given out all the kids shirts during packet pick up. None were brought on race day.
To say Thatkid was disappointed would be an understatement. And he wasn't the only one. I ran into another mom who was consoling her young daughter. And frankly, I'm not really sure how this could happen. The race bills itself as family friendly. There's even a kid's race. It's really not acceptable for them to not have race shirts for the kids. What this means to me is that they underestimated the amount of last minute sign ups when ordering kid shirts. And some kid who showed up a day before the race got a shirt, while my kid, who had signed up 10 months before the race started didn't get one at all. There are a bunch of races that only give shirts if you sign up before a certain date. That way they can make sure they have enough shirts for the participants and early registerees aren't punished.
This isn't enough to have me swear off the race, but if things continue to go downhill with the vendors and taking care of the little guys, I don't know how much longer we'll keep doing it. I mean, we can always go for a run on the beach without a race!