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.
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.
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.
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.
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?