I ran a marathon yesterday. Despite the rain and the dismal crowds, I did great. Today, I am sore and my brain is tired. The race was particularly well-organized for such a small race (~200 full marathon runners). I wonder how OR has been used for races.
In March, I ran The Monument Avenue 10K here in Richmond with >30,000 runners. Historically, people just lined up according to anticipated race time, the race started, and we all ran. Last year, it felt like I spent a lot of time and effort passing people.
This year, the start line for the 10K began in waves, with walkers starting about an hour and a half after elite runners (Your time doesn’t “start” until the RFID chip you tie to your shoelaces is detected by the sensors as you pass the start line). They actually had bouncers enforcing the rules. Needless to say, I got off to a fast start and encountered fewer other runners along the way. It was still crowded, but it was easy to pass other runners. I probably had my best race performance ever. (Runners: this is the most fun I ever have at a race. Run this one, if you ever have the chance. Winning the costume contest is tough–watch this year’s winner).
Clearly, OR is needed for big races to manage the start line, hand out water, determine how much water and Powerade is needed, plan for adequate parking, determine the width of the route, etc. But in my experience, OR is critical for small races, too.
If you have organized a race, how have you used (or should have used) OR?