Letter: Hideaway 100 needs to be better organized
To the Editor:
Here is a race report from the inaugural Hideaway 100. First, I want to say thanks so much to all the volunteers. They were amazing. The aid stations were fantastic and I know all the competitors genuinely appreciate their support. To be honest, however, the race organization was very disappointing for me.
Luckily, I only got lost twice and not for more than one mile. To see other competitors, though, get lost for miles and miles was really sad. One female runner was completely devastated when we ran into her wandering the course. She had no idea what to do and spent hours more on the course than she should have. The guy who won the 50 miler said he got lost and ended up doing miles more than he should have. I understand that getting lost is part of doing such a long and remote race. But not having better signage combined with the fact that no one could read the course map was the reason so many people got lost. I took the opportunity to familiarize myself with the area before the race, otherwise I am sure I would have gotten more lost, too. The combination of a very cryptic map, the lack of any written course description, and misleading signage on the course was not only unfair to the competitors but also unsafe.
For me, the most disappointing part of it all was the race course being changed mid-race. I did not know until entering the park at 44 miles that I would not do the original course. My timing was off by so much, I missed my pacer and did not have the chance to connect with my friends and family. On top of that, people run 100 mile races for the opportunity to complete the 100 mile distance. To shorten that distance, and to do so on race day, was really, really disappointing.
I have done hundreds of races in my life, but honestly I have never been as disappointed with a race as this one. To put in so much time training, pay a lot of money in the entry fee, and then have the race be so poorly organized made me sad. I hope that if there is a second annual Hideaway 100, the race director will learn from the mistakes and create a better, safer, and more fair experience for the competitors.
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