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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Worst. Race. Ever: Hot Chocolate 15k 2011

Want to run the worst race of your life? Run a RAM Racing event. Everything possible that could go wrong will go wrong. Sorry to start this post off so negatively.... but I can't help myself :).

To start things off, you had to purchase a "parking pass" (which was like $15) to park at Rosecroft Raceway. No one enforced the parking passes, so you could have easily parked for free. Next, you had to hop on a bus to the starting line, which wasn't THAT bad, but our driver had no idea where they were going. Once you arrived to the start, it was FREEZING (I'm pretty sure it was below 30 degrees) and there was one small tent for all of the thousands of runners to stand in. Obviously we all didn't fit. About half an hour before the race, they started to corral us at the starting line. They kept doing a count down for when the race was going to start....but it never started.... 1 hour and 15 minutes later the gun went off. We literally stood there and froze our hineys off for 1 hour and 15 minutes. If we had used the "premium" we were given (which was simply a black trash bag with the Ram Racing logo on it), we would have been even colder!  There was no way to stay warm (since we had already handed our bags in) except to huddle together like penguins. Also, you couldn't leave to go to the bathroom, which made the wait that much more painful!

We were told that the race was delayed because of an accident on the highway, even though there were no police reports of accidents - only heavy traffic and there was not enough parking for all of the runners (they had originally had the race open to like 4,000 runners and 20,000 runners wound up being there). Once the race started, we found ourselves running on uneven pavement, and even in the same direction as traffic at one point!! They had one lane closed on a four lane highway and we ran the SAME DIRECTION as traffic, so if a car decided to swerve through the cones or one of us tripped and fell over the line of cones, we were toast. Once we crossed the finish line (which was uphill), we had to walk a half mile up ANOTHER hill to the "chocolate festival". Sounds great, right? Nope. Barely gave us any chocolate! I definitely think this race was a ripoff and would never recommend an event put on by RAM Racing to anyone in the future.

Overall rating? F
Main complaints? Everything that could have gone wrong did. They didn't enforce the parking permits, started an hour late, and the premium SUCKED
Favorite parts? None. Well, maybe the fact that a Prince George's County cop was actually SMILING made it okay haha
Communication before the race? C
Expo? D. Bad. Should have bailed for the actual race once I realized how bad the expo was
Premium? F. Basically the equivalent of a black trash bag with a sticker thrown on
Water Stops/Aid Stations? C. Barely any.
Finisher's Medal? None
Finisher's Festival? We had to walk a mile uphill to get to it once we finished and it was not unlimited Ghiradelli Chocolate like we all thought - we only got a little bit
Would I run this race again/recommend it to anyone? Nope! I would actual not recommend anyone ever run a race put on by RAM Racing

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