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Let's be real honest right up front, I hated just about every minute of the Tulsa Run this weekend. And honestly, it left me wondering if I'll do it again next year. 
You can read last year's recap here

I'll be honest and say that I wasn't mentally in the game for this race either, which also made it tough. I've never mentally quit so hard. I did finish the race but it wasn't pretty. There was a lot of hills, a lot of walking, and a lot of negotiating with myself over those 9 miles on Saturday. 

The Course

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I know you are use to my recaps starting with the medal because that is my favorite part of each race, but we HAVE to talk about this course.

Let me point out a few things first....

1. This year they changed the course to a more traditional route. The last two years I ran this race it was pretty much just an out-and-back on a mostly flat course with a big hill at the end.
2. I live in Tulsa, I train for all my races in Tulsa, and I'm not a stranger to the fact that Tulsa is hilly.
3. This is my third time to run this race. 

Now, back to the course. The picture above is courtesy of the Tulsa Sports Commission. That elevation map is a little scary. The word on the street is that due to an upcoming construction event taking place along the usual route, the course was changed. I'll just say, I'm not a fan of the new course. It felt like if we weren't coming down a hill, we were going up one at all times. Not to mention the race stared at 9:00 am which is a pretty late start for a race and I noticed a lot of traffic that had to wait on runners. I will say that this course was way more scenic than previous years but you paid for it in hills. 

Now here is a factor that the Tulsa run has no control over. The weather. It has been unseasonably warm here in Tulsa for a couple weeks. When the Hubbo and I pulled out of the drive way an hour before the race, it was already 69 degrees. When we got back in the car after the race, it was 85! Too hot for this Ginger who is not a hot weather runner! To put it in perspective for you, the first year I ran this race it was so cold, I wore a hat, gloves, long tights, long sleeve shirt, and a jacket the entire race! This year I wore a tank top and shorts and still overheated. If the race had started earlier, or the weather had been better, maybe this race wouldn't have been so hard. I will say that one week before this race, I ran an 18 mile training run which was very hilly as well and that seemed much easier than this race for some reason. 

The Medal

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The first two years I ran this race, the medals looked pretty similar. But this year, they a change to the overall layout of the medal and I like it. The color scheme and logo are the same, but the different shape gives it a different vibe to the medal. Couple that with the fact that I don't have a lot of rectangle medals and I consider this one a win!

The Shirt

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The Tulsa Run always has a long sleeve technical shirt as part of the swag you get for running the race. This year was no different. This year's shirt is great and all, until I put it on and found a giant hole had been cut in the arm of my shirt. It looks like it had possibly been cut with scissors when they were trying to open a box of shirts or something. 

I am sure that I have a Tulsa Run Shirt Curse because there has been something wrong with each shirt I've received over the last three races. Every. Single. One! 
The first year all the shirts were too small for everyone!
The second year I ordered mine a size larger trying to avoid the too small problem but when I noticed how big it was at the expo, they wouldn't let me trade it in for a smaller size. It was a men's shirt! Not a unisex shirt.  Why do races do that even though women outnumber men at most races?
This year, I got my shirt with a big hole in it. 

::Insert Sad Music Here:: 

The Water Stops/Post Race Food

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This is where the Tulsa Run needs to get their shit together. The water stops were awful again this year. Last year one of the last water stops ran out of water! How does a race that has been around for over 35 years not have a good system down for water stops??? 

This year, at more than one water stop, I had to stand there and wait for a volunteer to fill a cup with water so I could take it and continue walking while I drank my water. 
Then when I crossed the finish line they were out of water! How in the world do you run out of water at a finish line?!? 
Luckily, a volunteer had just walked over to the finish area and opened 1 case of water as I was about to exit the race and I managed to get a bottle. There were several people out on the course after I was and I really hope they had a truck load of water brought in for the people who finished after me.

Then as I'm going through the post-race food tent I was surprised to see that they had really skimped on the food this year. They had bananas cut up in to small pieces which is fine, but they had bagels they had also cut up into such small pieces that the box of bread looked like nothing but crumbs! Then they also had granola bars that they had opened and cut up into very small pieces as well. It was sort of embarrassing. This is a huge race with over 9,000 people participating and I was embarrassed to be from Tulsa and have the Tulsa Run represented that way. The Hubbo and I signed up for this race when it was first available (meaning the cheapest rate) and it was still almost $40. 

I would rather skip the post-race food all together and see that money be donated to charity. I would like to say THANK YOU to all the volunteers who works so hard to provide this race for us! Races couldn't happen without people like you! Also a big shout out to the Beer Stops! Yes, stops as in plural. Towards the end of the race at two different locations there were tables set up with cold beer. I figured I needed to do something to jazz this party up so I happily obliged and drank a cup from each station. It made me forget how hot I was for a split second so it was totally worth it! 

Overall Experience Summary

Overall, this was just not my day. It was too hot, too hilly, and I'm still adjusting to my new meds while running. Also I couldn't get my Garmin to connect until I had already ran .75 miles. I finished the race in 1:53:52 which is not close to a PR for me, but I'm totally fine with it because I walked, I finished, and I brought home another medal and that is all that really matters. 

Question! Have you ever had a race run out of water?

 


Comments

10/27/2014 6:19pm

Never ran a race that ran out of water but I hear this problem a lot. And it absolutely ruins the race for people. The fact this race has been around for so long shows they definitely need to listen to their runners and get it together! Glad to hear you at least got a different medal to remember it by, but sucks you had to suffer through all those hills just for that! Way to push through it and hope you're next race blows this one out of the water (or lacktherof!) :)

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:43pm

LOL Thanks Jeremy. Lesson learned, I should probably start carrying my own water for this race! I really wish they could send out a survey and ask for help improving.

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12/02/2015 12:58pm

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10/27/2014 6:52pm

Ginger, I am sorry they didn't have their $hit together. To me it would be the three strike rule. I am happy you finished.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:40pm

Thanks Don! I'm glad I finished too! I'll definitely remember this for next year when it's time to sign up and I'll for sure think twice before I commit.

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Angela
10/27/2014 7:40pm

15k is my favorite distance & while I enjoyed the idea it was a bit ridiculous. I felt sorry for the volunteers trying to get out water at the stops. It wasn't their fault they were given that kind of system yet i'm sure we were all a little grumpy with them. The heat was exhausting. I had hoped for a PR but had to except a finish. If the race had been 7:30 am I could have PR 'd no doubt. I didn't get water at the end but they did bring in more & I was able to get one 10 min after my finish. I took my medal & my finish & was happy. But was a bit unorganized for a 30 year race.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:39pm

Glad you were able to eventually get water! I agree, definitely not the volunteers fault at all. I could tell they were trying hard. I tried to be extra nice to the water stops that were struggling. Good job on finishing a tough race!

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Steve
10/27/2014 8:54pm

In all the races I've run and volunteered at, I've NEVER experienced a water shortage! Glad I sat this one out. Hope to see you & meet Hubbo at the Rte 66 half!

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:35pm

I appreciate you volunteering at these races Steve! We'll definitely be there for Rt 66, but aren't we running the pub run soon? :)

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Bethany
10/27/2014 10:41pm

I was a spectator this year, and I was hot! I looked at the hill profile the morning of, laughed and said Good Luck. Good job for finishing, it's hard to fight the mental battle.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:29pm

Thanks lady! Are you ready for your marathon?

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Shaun
10/28/2014 6:43am

Wow, I have never seen a race actually run out of water. You would assume that is the most important thing to have especially if it's hot weather. Sorry you had a bad experience

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:33pm

Thanks Shaun! Lesson learned. Get your head in the game before the race and carry your own water! :)

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Chris
10/28/2014 9:00am

Given their history of logistical flubs, they probably should consider hiring a competent race organizer for next year. I agree it's embarrassing for that to happen, especially over multiple years.

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:32pm

I really hope they get their act together. I'm really shocked the Tulsa Sports Commission has allowed this to happen. If they would send out a survey, I'd gladly give them constructive feedback on how they can improve.

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Megan
01/02/2015 10:35pm

I know this is super late but I got mad reading this. You should email them anyway! Suggest a survey for after the race and suggest things they can change too. Maybe get your running buddies to email them too? Did/do they have a facebook page you or someone you know can post on?

Megan
01/02/2015 10:36pm

Mad at the Tulsa Run organizers. Not you! You're awesome!

RunGingerRun
01/04/2015 8:23pm

Thanks Megan! The Tulsa Run doesn't have a FB page, but Tulsa Sports Commission does, they are the organizers of the race.

10/28/2014 1:41pm

So... crap. It boils down to the whole experience being crap. I need your help. I need to feel better about you guys having such a hard time. PLEASE tell me those $40 you spent was on both of you ($20 each) Tell me you didn't spend $40 per person for bread crumbs and no water. That's $40 total right? Riiiiight?

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/28/2014 5:28pm

Frank, I wish I could tell you that the $40 was for the both of us, but that would by lying and lying is wrong. :)

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Donal
10/29/2014 11:11pm

No water for me too! The food was crap! When QT was a major sponsor there was plenty of food and water. The course was tough but it was what I trained for. Let's try again next year!

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RunGingerRun - Sarah
10/30/2014 9:50am

Ugh! So sorry to hear that Donal! Really hoping next year will be better.

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