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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '14

    when i first heard about this event during the summer of 2014, i was eager to sign up for this new race. knowing that it would take place in hellyer … MORE

    when i first heard about this event during the summer of 2014, i was eager to sign up for this new race. knowing that it would take place in hellyer county park along the coyote creek trail was another plus as i’d run a few races in this area in the past and enjoyed the events.

    for this event, participants had 3 distances to choose from:
    half marathon (13.1 miles)
    10k (6.2 miles)
    5k (3.1 miles)

    i chose the half since i’d never run a half along the coyote creek trail and was interested in running something new.

    the pros:
    +FAIR REGISTRATION PRICES only $45 for the half since i signed up almost as soon as registration opened and applied a 10% sports basement discount. early bird prices for the 10k and 5k were $40 and $35, respectively, before any additional discounts were applied.
    +BIB AND TSHIRT pickup the day before at sports basement in campbell
    +SHORT SLEEVE DRI-FIT SHIRT with the “Monster Dash” logo, which was a cute green and purple monster. i appreciated that they had both men’s/unisex fit and women’s cut available.
    +CLEAR MILE MARKER signage at every mile, with different colour signs for each distance so that runners knew where the turnarounds were, or if we overshot!
    turnaround so that we would not run longer than the specified distance!
    +STAGGERED start times, 8am for the half, 9am for the 10k, and 9.10am for the 5k to avoid congestion
    +CHALLENGING COURSE in my opinion, as the half had several turns, and gentle rolling inclines, enough to force you to pace yourself so as to not run out of steam toward the end!
    +TONS of AID STATIONS throughout the course, i counted at least 10 along the half course, which averages one station every 1.3 miles.
    +PLENTIFUL RESTROOMS in the form of official park restrooms and porta-potties at the start/finish area. since this was a small event, i never had to wait in line to do my business which was great!
    +VARIETY OF POST-RACE REFRESHMENTS, which included orange slices, bananas, KIND bars, clif kid z-bars, lara bars, and trail mix.
    +CUPS of water available at the finish. props to the organizers for not giving out bottled water and using recyclable paper cups!
    +LOTS OF FRIENDLY VOLUNTEERS assisting with bib pickup and registration pre-race, manning the aid stations on the course, directing traffic at forks in the trail, and handing out medals at the finish line.
    +COSTUME CONTEST post-race, which featured many very creative costumes like rainbow trolls, bacon and eggs, various super heroes, and women who made their costumes out of plastic shopping bags!
    +FINISHERS’ CERTIFICATES for the top 3 men and women per age group, per distance. i finished 2nd female, and 2nd in my age group, so i walked away with a colourful green and purple certificate.

    the cons:
    -paying $6 for parking inside hellyer county park
    -the distance for the half course was short, as i got 12.95 miles on my garmin. i like to run the tangents, which technically should allow me to get to 13.1 if measured accurately, but i was definitely short. while my time was faster, the average pace was about the same as i’d run for my other haffies this year.
    -last minute changes to the half course, and by last minute, i mean an email at 4am the morning of the race to let us know that there was some construction along the northern part of the trail and therefore the course would run along the southern portion of the trail. after spending the evening before studying the map and memorizing the water stations, i had to throw all that out and go into the race without knowing exactly where the stations were.
    -since this was a TINY race, i was told 350 total registrants (for all 3 distances) at the packet pickup, i was actually running alone for most of the half marathon. as of today, results show only 53 finishers for the half, which explains why i was running solo after the first couple miles.

    despite the last minute changes to the course, i give props to the race organizers for scrambling so quickly to re-mark the course, re-shuffle the aid stations, and re-organize volunteers to allow this event to run smoothly. i did appreciate the volunteer in a bright costume at the half marathon turnaround point directing everyone to turn around.

    BIG THANK YOUs to the race organizer, marnie oshan for successfully putting on this family-friendly event. and THANK YOU to all the kids (i’m assuming high school ages kids) who came out at the crack of dawn to man aid stations and hand out water along the course. i know that i called out at a few of you to come closer to hand me water as i neared the aid station, so thank you for doing this! i also noticed that as i missed tossing my cup into the trash can while whizzing by, but on the return route, that cup had been picked up, so THANK YOU for picking up that cup due to my poor aim.

    overall, a well-organized event, so thank you moshan productions! i look forward to participating in another one of your events in the future!


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