On vacation, I had the opportunity to run a 5k with my sister-in-law and her friend. Both had run 5ks before, but not without stopping or walking, so they both had a goal to run the whole thing. I had a goal to have fun and get a good run in. The race was called the Run Buff 5k and was sponsored by the West Texas A&M University women’s cross country program to raise money for scholarships.
On race day, it was hot, windy, and stormy. The race was delayed for about 30 minutes while we waited for a thunderstorm to blow over. The wind, however, did not diminish. We spent a full half of the race running headlong into 40+mph wind. The course ran alongside the western perimeter of WT’s campus, then headed east for about a mile before winding back to the north and west—full sun, no shade. Most of the run was on asphalt; the rest on concrete.
The organizers called the race a fun run, but it was timed and there were prizes for the top finishers. What they didn’t have: WATER. I was shocked that there was no water on the course. I’ve never run a race longer than two miles that didn’t have at least once water stop and on a hot day in full sun I would especially expect to see one. But my shock at the lack of a mid-race water stop couldn’t compare to my shock at the lack of water at the finish. NO WATER AT THE FINISH. I can’t imagine what thinking went into that decision. There wasn’t even a water fountain or water hose nearby. I went inside the student center, stole a paper cup from the coffee shop, and had to walk into another part of the building to find a water fountain. (Sorry about the theft! The coffee shop was closed or I would have bought one and they were just stacked up there, so…) Also, I did notice some of the schwag bags had empty water bottles, but mine did not. I suppose it’s possible the RD expected finishers to use the empty bottle to get water from a fountain, but if that was the case I’d be sure every single bag had a bottle.
Anyway, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a good time. I did. It is not stressful or difficult for me to run 5k, even under-trained, so I wasn’t ever in danger of keeling over from dehydration. I enjoyed running with a family member for a change. My SIL and her friend both ran the whole distance, so they met their goals and that made me happy for them. I would run this race again, but only if I had a drop bag at the end!