Disclaimer: I understand that after writing a review of something that it might make some people upset and others happy. We all claim to desire change but when challenged with change we tend to fight it with hurricane force. My goal in reviewing the races that I participate is solely based on my experience with the race. Each review will be honest but try to highlight the positives moreso than the negatives.
HAROLD’S NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY 5K RUN/WALK
BIB # 129
Date: June 4, 2016
Actual Distance: 2.9 miles
Location: Columbia, MO
Time of Race: 10:00am
Race Beneficiary: Central Missouri Humane Society
Registration or Check-in Process: Easy. Signed up online and picked up bib and shirt right away on race day.
Course Difficulty: Easy [out and back] and relatively flat. The 5k started in a park and followed paved path for first ½-1 mile and then turned to trail path and ended back at the same park. The race began on a sidewalk and funneled everyone through a tight path at very beginning [not good for dogs on leashes which equated into a tangle or two]. Granted, it was not a certified course but the course was not the full 3.1 miles but was marked as such. It had the same start and finish line. Turn around point was marked at 1.5 miles. Interestingly enough, there was a 3 mile marker towards the end of the race despite the 5k not actually reaching 3 miles in total. Being a dog friendly race, there were a couple times that leashes were tangled and caused a traffic jam.
Family/Child Friendly: Yes and No. [Music had many F*Bombs blasting over system in downtown Columbia] I guess that’s a personal preference but not really child friendly. Children were allowed to go with parent on the race or be pushed in a stroller which is a plus for those needing to do so. Letting children run begins the run-bug at an early age which is a positive.
Pet Friendly: As stated, many dogs were there with their owners. Very Pet Friendly. They did hand out packets of dog food at the end of the race as well.
Race Swag: There wasn't a lot of swag with this race. We did not receive a Swag Big. They did give a shirt & race bib and handed out packets of dog food at the end of the race.
Post-Race Food: Fresh and On-Site made doughnuts, Beer, water, coffee, Popsicles and small cup of recovery drink [chocolate]. They did not have the typical post race food: fruit, yogurt, energy bars, Gatorade, etc. The spread was pretty good and the doughnuts were awesome! They did have on-site vendors so that you could buy recovery products.
Race Environment: Music was playing. Many dogs were there as the race was supporting the humane society. This race was dog friendly and many runners took advantage of that and ran with their dog. There were plenty of people cheering at the finish line as finishers crossed. A dancing robot was at the halfway point and later at the registration tent. Runners were encouraged to dance with the robot.
Additional Comments: Overall, it was a functional race. It was their inaugural race with it's own quirks. There were no medals or official time keeping. The Harold’s National Doughnut Day 5k has potential to be a really fun race. I’ve run a lot of small races and this race could be one of those that could be a ‘I’m going to come back’ type of race. There are some things that I would suggest for that to happen.
1) The course doesn’t have to be certified. It can simply be a Fun Run but the distance still needs to be 5k distance or advertise it as 5k[ish]. Even unofficial time keeping would be cool. Medals aren't necessary but it would gain more attention from people searching for races to compete in.
2) Have those running with dogs start in the back. It is not a penalty to them but makes it easier for those not running with dogs to not get tangled up in the event of a tangle. Many runners are still training and want to compete despite it being a 'fun run'. It was cool to see all of the dogs there and made me wish that my dog was better trained so that I could take her out and run like that.
3) Play family friendly, or simply edited, music. F*bombs suck. I get that kids will hear it at school, home, out in public or wherever. The race was advertised as a fun environment and it’s got to be tailored to everyone for that to happen. Simple fix would be to play the radio version.
4) Running on roads may help. The Start and Finish Line funnelled through the vendors. On the return, it made it very congested as runners were to run on the same sidewalk that people were standing on to visit the vendor booths.
1) On-Site Freshly made doughnuts. Hands down my favorite part!
2) Dancing Robot – I didn’t dance with it but I did give it a high-five at the turnaround.
3) Shirts and Bib design was pretty cool. The Doughnut had a headband of icing on it with a long john next to it. Bib had a doughnut on it.
4) The 10:00 am race start gave time for those driving any distance to get there with plenty of time and be able to have received plenty of sleep before.
Any time one can eat a freshly made doughnut at the end of the race -- that's a win in my book!