Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Case of the Ocean Drive Medals

My mom still has the pictures from Sunday on her camera - I will post them when I have them because believe me, one of them is HYSTERICAL.

For now: I did OK. I didn't break any personal records, but I ran much faster than I thought I would given the hip injury. I finished in 1:22:46 - that was good for 79th place out of 491. Here are the overall results.

We had a great day for the race, too. Just sunny and warm enough that the heat wasn't oppressive, and while we did have a wind, it didn't knock me down. The rain kicked in long after all the runners crossed the finish line. Thank goodness because it was so powerful the night after the race that it woke me up at 3am (I stayed over at the Starlux in Wildwood because of work, with mom taking Emily home after the race).

Now, the controversy: The finishers of the Ocean Drive 10 did not get medals this year (marathoners did). I thought that was odd, as did other runners milling around the finish and complaining over breakfast at Dock Mike's. I've run the race three times, and swore I got a medal when I finished the first two times.

So I emailed the race director. He said that we were given medals on the anniversary of the race only, something he repeated later in a group email: "In an attempt to clear some confusion concerning the OD 10-Miler: In 2009, we issued a commemorative medal to all 10-Miler finishers to celebrate the 10th anuual running of the that event. As a policy, we award a finisher's medal to ODMarathon finishers only."

Then why do I have these?

As you can see from the dates, these are two finishers medals from the 2008 and 2009 races. Bill Scannon, another blogging runner, told me he had one from 2007 - he remembers giving it to his son at the finish line that year. Here's my blog report from the 2008 race with medal on; and the same for 2009.

Like with the White Heron/Blackfish nonsense, I throw my hands in the air over this one. I like the race - don't get me wrong - but now that I've run in a bunch of longer distance races, I can see why this is not a fan favorite.

They still don't do chip timing. That's when you're timed starting from when you cross the START line, not from when the start gun goes off. I ran this in 1:22:34 according to my GPS watch, but I couldn't muscle myself to the top of the starting line, so my time reflects the 10 miles PLUS whatever I ran to get to the start. There was no Gatorade at aid stations until mile 11. The streets in Wildwood were not completely blocked off from traffic (which almost resulted in a runner in front of me getting hit). And then this medal thing?

I've also been told that a new half marathon is coming to Wildwood in Spring 2011. If you have a limited budget for racing as I do, these issues start to factor in. I've enjoyed running the OD10 in the past, but it might need a makeover to stay on the to-do list.

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dhm said...

I love that those medals are rectangles. That's the perfect shape for a medal that just says "FINISHER."

Jen A. Miller said...

Haha. Those are actually the BACKS of the medals - I wanted to show the dates.

dhm said...

Hah, right. Still, I haven't seen medals that shape before, I don't think.

FLYERS26 said...

I looked everywhere for my '07 medal, but I gave it to my son, and who knows what happened to it.
I do have my '08 & '09 medals.

What I don't like is being lied to. If they didn't do medals because of costs or if it was an oversite, just say so, don't lie! I'll have more respect for you for owning up to it, instead of making up an excuse.

Progman2000 said...

I wanted to run this marathon this year but ended up passing on it since it didn't fit in my schedule very well. But I thought the price was a little high, considering what you get for comparable priced marathons (street closures, Gatorade throughout, schwag, etc). The fact you got jipped on the 10mi finisher medal (after they have given them out in years past) makes this race look a little more cheesy. You should follow up with the RD with a link to your blog.

Jen A. Miller said...

I sent that picture to the race director and asked for an explanation. His response was that no where did they promise us medals. True, but not an explanation. Not good, guys. Not good.