Lets start with what needs improvement.
- Expotique Crowding: Fitting 15,000 runners plus their guests into a few tents in Georgetown for the expotique seems like a logistical nightmare. It was so crowded I could barely move to see what was going on.
- Port-a-Pottie Availability/Lines: Lets be honest, women have to go to the bathroom all the time as it is. Make that 15,000 women who have been hydrating for race day? Yikes.
- On Course Crowding: A wave start was implemented this year but I felt the course didn't really thin out until mile 7. Even then I was still weaving through people.
- Preparedness at Water/Food Stations: At some of the later water stations I filled my own water cup because the volunteers couldn't keep up. After the race the volunteers were having trouble getting all the food bags ready to keep us moving as well.
- Availability of Merchandise: You could pre-purchase a lot of race merchandise online which I thought was great, but if you didn't order right away a lot of it sold out. Luckily most of it was available at the Nike Georgetown store. Things like finisher gear was only available at the finishers tent after the race where I head a lot of gear sold out early. There was also some online, but again, it sold out quickly. If you're a local, you could head back to the Nike store for finisher gear in the days after the race but unfortunately that isn't the case for everyone.
Now onto the good stuff!
- A Race Specific App: This is where you can find everything from course info to your race pass to pick up your packet. Later it held your results & finishers photos.
- Fast/Easy Packet Pick-Up: Scan my race pass from my phone, check all my info on the screen in front of me. Done. Easy.
- Perfect Weather: I know you can't control this one, but it really just made race weekend that much better. Temperatures were beautiful for walking around Georgetown on Saturday then cooled off just enough for the race Sunday.
- Fast and Flat Course: There was minimal elevation change throughout the course.There weren't any spots that suck out as making me think "OMG I can't make it up this hill."
- On Course Support/Entertainment: Except for the stretch on the Potomac Golf Course, there were spectators cheering you on everywhere! In addition to the spectators were awesome drum lines along the course to get you pumped up.
- Volunteers: All the volunteers were so helpful and friendly throughout the entire weekend.
- Water/Fuel: On course fueling and food was fantastic. There was water or Nuun every 2 miles. Whole Foods handed out orange slices and chocolate on the course in addition to there being mini Luna bars and Cliff shot blocks.
- Marketing/Branding of Race Weekend: Nike knows what they're doing people. It was an event not a race. From personalized message boards with your name, to race merchandise I'll actually want to wear again.
- Free on Course Photos: Kudos to Nike on this one. All your photos are delivered directly to you We Run DC app and can be downloaded for FREE from there.
- Finishers Necklace: Come on, did you really think I was going to forget about the best part? The Tiffany's finishers necklace! It's beautiful and I never want to take it off.
QOTD: Have you run a Nike race either in DC or San Francisco? What do you think is done well or needs work on?