Mar 19, 2013

Race Review: The Pursuit of the Holy Grail 5K

The Pursuit of the Holy Grail 5K
Epping, NH
March 16, 2013
Race Site Link

Overall Racing Experience: 3/5

The Holy Grail 5K is a nice small town race. What makes this race so special is the people that volunteer. The registration team, the bus drivers, and the police all did a spectacular job in making this a safe and well organized event. This is a race that will stay on my calendar for next year as well.

Parking/Facilities/Registration: Parking is somewhat limited for this race. The porta potties at the finish area were sufficient, but the porta potties placed at the start area were poorly located. The lines of people waiting for the bathroom extended out into the crowd of runners at the starting line making for a very awkward line up process. Registration went well and the volunteers were very friendly and helpful.
     This race is unique in that it offers runners a point to point course rather than a loop. However, the drawback is coordinating transportation to the start line. The last bus arrived a bit late and it was a very cold day. In order to stay warm at the start I wore my warm-up clothes and ditched them on the side of the road for pickup after the race. It would have been nice to have a bag service for runners to drop of bags with the bus headed back to the start for pickup after the race. A simple fix that would have made many runners very happy. Score 0/1

Race Course: The course was made up of back roads and housing developments before eventually winding up on Main Street. The first mile was very fast and the last mile has a challenging climb towards the finish. Overall, the elevation is negative and there is more down than up. The course was well managed and traffic was not an issue. Miles were well marked and splits were read aloud at mile one and two. All of the turns were clearly defined by flag wavers and volunteers. There was one water stop. Score 1/1

Refreshments: Post race refreshments consisted of water, yogurt, and energy drinks. I was inspired when I saw hot food being served in the beer tent, but it was at a premium price of $4 for a hot dog and $6 for a hamburger. Free beer was available to those over the age of 21. Score 0/1

Awards and Results: The results were posted quickly as the race completed. The sheets of paper were posted inside the beer tent area and were easily accessible. The awards ceremony didn't take place for quite awhile after the finish and there was some confusion as to where it was going to take place. Inside would have been the best bet as runners stood around shivering outside. The awards were generous and the age groups were extended to include even the youngest of runners. Score 1/1

Overall Experience: The Holy Grail 5K was a nice family race and I think if the day had been warmer or the race had been scheduled for later in the racing season it might have been a more pleasant experience. Given the circumstances, it would have been nice to transport runner gear and hold the awards indoors. The positives of this race outweigh any negatives and I recommend the experience to other runners looking for a small town race and a festive post race environment. Score 1/1

Race Results

Race Score: 3/5

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