The 2013 Blue Moon Half Marathon Recap and Review

The 2013 Blue Moon Half Marathon in Ozona Florida – Nov. 3, 7:30am

On Sunday, I ran the Blue Moon Half Marathon and you may already know that I had a little issue around mile 10 but here is my full recap and review of the entire race.

Blue Moon Half Marathon

The day before the race, I picked up my race packet at American Running Company which is my local running store. The line wasn’t long and I got my bib and shirt within a few minutes, easy peasy.

Me at blue moon

The morning of the race I got to the venue about 45 minutes before the start. I got in the line for my timing chip and it moved pretty fast. I was able to get the chip and put it on my shoe within about 5 minutes and then I immediately went to the port o potties and stood in line for around 20-25 minutes. In my opinion the organizers of this race needed more port o potties. There never seem to be enough for the amount of runners participating. Anyway, after using the port o potty, I made my way to the start line about 8 minutes before the race was set to begin.

blue moon half starting line

In the pre race email, the organizers mentioned there would be pace markers, however, none were visible to me so I lined up where I though the 8-9 minute mile pacers would be. Unfortunately there were 2 big problems when the race started. The first was the amount of people running in a small street. It was bottlenecked for at least the first mile and a half. The second problem and the thing that pissed me off were the amount of slower runners and walkers, yes walkers , in front of me. When the race started I began to jog and almost ran into the 6 race walkers in front of me.

The first mile goes through the streets of Ozona and I was able to run the first mile in 9:16 even with all the weaving around people. The second mile continues through Ozona and then down to the Pinellas Trail. You run up the trail bridge and onto the Pinellas Trail. It is the only hill on the course and not too bad. You continue to run on the trail for about a mile and then turn around and go back. I ran mile 2 in 9:11 and mile 3 in 8:58.

At mile 4 you start to head toward the water and you run through several neighborhoods. I can only remember seeing the water at one particular location and that was somewhere between mile 5 and 6 I think. Miles 4-7 went by really fast and I ran them in 9:08, 8:47, 9:03 and 9:12.

I believe it was at mile 7 where we then began to repeat the course. I ran mile 8 in 9:08. At mile 9 I started to have some issues with my stomach, (see this post) and I ran mile 9 in 10:35. There was supposed to be a port o potty located at mile 9.75 but I never saw it. I ran mile 10 in 13:47 after spending some time with the trees.

MacGyver didn’t know it at this point but he shot this video was just after my trip to the trees.

Miles 11-12 were kind of a blur since I had already run the course once and this was the second loop. I ran those miles in 9:45 and 9:35. The last 1.1miles just plain sucked, not because of the course, but I was pissed off and my stomach was cramping again. I finished that 1.1 miles in 10:10 and here is the last leg of the race:

I’m actually laughing every time he takes a video because I’m dying to tell him what happened at mile 10! LOL At least I can laugh about it now.

Official chip time 2:06:54

When I finished the race someone was waiting at the finish line to cut off my timing chip. Once that was done I had to go back toward the finish line and ask the girl who was working that area for my medal. The race organizers gave everyone the option of a medal or a beer glass so I guess instead of having someone hand you one or the other, you had to go ask for it. I was kind of annoyed by that.

Blue Moon Post Race Party

The post race party was in full gear by the time I finished because the 5K runners were all finished and already drinking or drunk. I went to the food table but all I saw was apple pie and it didn’t look all that appealing. In all fairness, I only stayed about 15 minutes at the post race party so I can’t accurately tell you about every little detail. I can, however, tell you that they ran out of beer and medals so anyone who finished the ½ marathon after me probably didn’t get either.

After the race MacGyver and I hit a few garage sales and then headed home.

And here is my official review:

Location: Ozona, Florida The location was okay but I thought the scenery was kind of blah and the double loop course made it seriously boring.

Race Map: You can see what I thought about the race map here but in essence it was a joke.

Race Fee: The race fee was affordable. $55 if you pre registered by Oct. 27th. After Oct. 27th it went up to $60 and if you registered race day it was $65.

Price Money: They did give out $300 in Prize Money for the top 3 male and female finishers. 1st place was $75, 2nd place was $50 and 3rd place was $25.

Packet Pickup: Packet pickup was easy peasy for me and I had no issues at all.

Parking: Parking was a pain in the butt. There are limited spaces downtown and several people told me the parking lots they were told to park in were all full.

Race Support: The volunteers were nice but not all that knowledgable. I asked several times for the port o potty locations and no one knew where they were or they gave me the wrong info. There were sufficient water stops but I was only offered Gatorade once and they never offered gels or anything else that I was aware of. The girl handing out the medals and beer mugs seemed confused and you had to ask her before you got one. They ran out of medals and beer so many of the finishers didn’t receive either. Parking was a pain in the butt as well.

Swag: The t-shirts were a bit on the small side which I didn’t mind but if I hadn’t asked for a medium and taken a small, it would have been too small for me and that’s what I normally wear. The medals were okay. Other than discounts at the running store there really isn’t any other swag, well, except for free beer but they ran out of that.

Overall: I don’t know if I will run this race again next year. While the entry fee was affordable and the race directors seem willing to make it a great race there were issues that I also noticed at some of their other races. The start line wasn’t clearly marked with pacers, they ran out of medals, they ran out of beer, most of the people didn’t know where the restrooms were and there was only one place that I was offered Gatorade and that was at mile 12.5. It just wasn’t all that enjoyable to me and even if I wouldn’t have had the incident at mile 10 it still just wasn’t a great course. And maybe it’s just me, but the people running the half marathon paid twice the amount to run and yet the 5k runners got almost all of the beer and food. That annoyed me. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this race a 5 at best. If the race directors make some improvements it could be fun but it wont be at the top of my list. ever.

What’s the worst race you’ve ever run and why?

12 thoughts on “The 2013 Blue Moon Half Marathon Recap and Review

  1. FYI 5k had issues too… It was actually about 3.30 miles and the clock was set for the half marathon finishers so no one really had a tru time… My GARMIN said 25.21 at 3.1 the chip time said 26.27…. No bigger though …. Just annoying…. Don’t worry the food that was out looked awful!!! It was a gorgeous day though and the price was right!!!! I totally agree with the parking…. Mr. Policeman and I nearly duked it out when I was trying to leave …… Hope to see you soon !

    • I’m glad it wasn’t just me who had a bad experience. I tried to point out the good things but other than the packeet pickup, there just weren’t any. I also heard some of the 5kers actually ran 5 miles, did you hear that? Crazy. I have run quite a few of Premier’s races in the past few years but they seem to be getting worse and worse. I’m glad you didn’t beat up the policeman but they were jerks. Let’s hope the womens running half is way better, but I have a feeling it will be.

  2. I also ran in blue moon 1/2. I was not impressed by the way this race was handled, but this was my 1st half marathon. I am running in best damn race in feb ’14, they do a much better job. Ran their 10k last year.

    • I am so glad I’m not the only one who was unimpressed. I do like the people from Premier Racing but I think they really need to work on their program if they want repeat runners. I missed the best damn half last year but I am seriously trying to fit it in for this year. Congratulations on your first half! Do you love it? Isn’t the half just the best? It’s my favorite in case you couldn’t tell, ha ha.

  3. I joined a local running not profit called DC road runners. I tried a couple of their races, but I had similar issues, the races are cheap, but there are no finishers medals and the community group kicked me out of their Facebook group because I posted a blog race recap which really hurt my feelings, you know its not easy getting a blog off the ground mine less than a year old. I also did not like the MCM that everyone was raving about, but I just chalk these things up as learning experiences, and next time I will stick with the Rock n Roll Series, I love music so races with music themes or that pamper you like the Nike Women’s Series, are more up my alley. I love that you have a supportive husband and he did videos of you, It was great to see you in action! My husband sleeps in and is not an early riser so he misses all my races.

    • It really does suck when race directors and local running groups cant handle honesty. It makes me feel like they don’t want to improve and if that’s the case those kinds of races aren’t really for me anyway. I love the rock n roll series but they cancelled the one we had here in St. Pete but we do have iron girl and the womens running series which I highly recommend because they were so women friendly and supportive. I was going to sign up for the nike series this year but it’s so expensive and my schedule is so tight i decided to postpone til next year.

  4. Sorry to hear the run wasn’t as much fun as it could have been. I’m a crazy slow runner but even I get annoyed when people start a run walking in front of me – the last thing you need is a motivation killer to start the race. The shirt does look cool though!

  5. Hi Dear
    Good job, I hope you are very well. and i hope next time you will have a race that you evaluate 10/10 . not like this one 5/10. But anyway,be happy that you are practicing your hobby!!

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