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From Nick

  • Have received some feedback that taking the Bus is a pain - some runners have a ritual of going to their cars to cleanup and change clothes after a hot run - also, it takes less planning to leave when they want to
  • Give myself plenty of time at Tom's on Fri. START EARLY. Lots of sorting into piles to do.
  • Start at Tom's on Thur by myself?
  • Get dry goods shopping done early; a week?
  • Good aid station leads go a LONG way; they will even bring they're own people and unique foods!

From Jim


  • We had 215 runners this year, 90 of which were 50k runners. Fed approx 300 people.
  • Penske truck rental went smooth. We still made 4 trips with personal vehicles shuttling stuff from Gaithersburg to Columbia
  • We had tables arranged in the shelter & truck unloaded by about 5:50 am First bus arrived about 6:10, which was perfect.
  • Chutes for finish line as well as for the 50k runners beyond the timer worked out GREAT.
  • At noon, we blocked off & removed the chute after AS4 so late runners could not continue.
  • Spray off station & hose was popular & caused less of a muddy mess than in previous years.
  • Having 2 volunteers at AS4 was good as this was a VERY BUSY area for ALL runners. They could have used a third volunteer to occasionally spell them off.
  • Soda at all the AS was poured into small cups. Lot less wastage this year of drinks from liter bottles. Water, Coke, Gatorade, & Tailwinds were by far the most popular drinks. No interest in Ginger Ale. Ice packed into running packs was popular
  • All runners checked out with Race people. No chasing them down after race this year.
  • As usual, the freezer pops were a BIG hit for runners & family members. Ice cold cokes at Finish was also popular
  • Ice cold dish towels at the Finish Line were limited so we only gave those to the 50k runners. Didn't ask for them to be returned.
  • One of the Park Rangers took some distant pics of our shelter in action. They will be producing an article in 2017 about the Park's useage. (He even had me sign a release for the pics !)
  • All the food was really good quality, cooked right, & were ample portions. The cut of meat for the BBQ may have been a cheaper grade than previous years yet flavor was still good
  • Many compliments on having multiple beer choice selections. Also less waste. Only kegs were the ones Jeremy brought & maintained
  • We brought 6 bundles of wood & 2.7 bags of charcoal. Only used 3 bundles of wood & 1.7 bags of charcoal
  • Many, many compliments from people saying how smooth this event ran. They also said they could witness & appreciate all the logistics & planning that went into the event.
  • Loading & unloading of truck went quickly & efficiently. Repacking was more organized by UCF & Storage dropoffs so that made it much quicker to unload on Sunday


  • We still did a lot of extra transporting of materials from Gaithersburg to Tom's despite the planning we did. Four trips total, including the grocery shopping
  • We forgot to divvy up the bananas & bread to the AS boxes the night before.
  • Could have used more small cups at all AS
  • No interst in chocolate or trail mix at AS4
  • No free pizza & gazpacho cold soup like previous years.
  • In the future, recycle cans at Shelter ?
  • The Park was closed by 11:30am due to full utilization. It didn't casue any problems for us though. We may be nearing a point in the future to cap our runner numbers?
  • We were 1 driver short this year. Tony did a great job but when it got hectic, we could have used 2.
  • Used the first aid kit several times at AS4. No EMT in the afternoon this year so runners, family members & kids had to go there for help.
  • We were missing the large digital timer display this year
  • We got rid of the trash by having each volunteer take home a bag or two
  • We left park at 6:30pm. About an hour later than hoped, primarily due to waiting for 1 or 2 of the last runners to come in.

Suggestions for future

  • Penske trucking worked out very well. Despite mileage charge of $0.81/ mile, consider renting from local Gaithersburg area which will make for fewer shuttle trips getting stuff to Tom's. Would also make it easier on Sunday to return items & not packing our cars so full.
  • Divvy up bananas & bread to AS boxes the night before
  • Going with soda cans at AS worked better than liter bottles.
  • Should we put any fans or shaded tent onto the serving area ? This area was unshaded & hot for most of the race
  • Get more kielbasa sausages next year. We had xx servings & used all of it
  • For some odd reason, we ran out of hamburgers before 1 pm. Yet we had 50 excess burger buns
  • No more kegs ! Keep the multi-beer selection
  • Reserve only Shelter 104 & 105

From Mike (aid stations)

  • 1. Station 2 probably should be set up a little earlier… First couple runners came through before we were up and running (if 50K leaders are finishing in 4.5hrs with 7am start, first guys will come through #2 around 800/815am).
  • 2. Runners (esp 50K'ers 2nd time around) really enjoyed cold soda… Maybe keep a small cooler filled with ice and soda at stations.
  • 3. Station 2 ran out of cups 3 times. Seemed like big cups were a waste except for “dousing” runners or “extracting” ice from coolers/jugs… Maybe get a big (300 or 500 count) package of the small dixie cups, and only have couple big cups (since can be reused if not for drinking).
  • 4. Station 2 ran out of ice; not sure how many bags we got to start with, but probably need more next time.
  • 5. Station 2 supplies included one trash bag, and got more later… 3 or 4 seemed to be the right number of trash bags.
  • 6. Having 5 volunteers at Station 2 was excessive at times (particularly towards end), but it was awesome during the handful of big rushes; also, having so many people cheering 50K'ers crossing bridge (esp 2nd time around) was very appreciated by the runners.
  • 7. Swedish fish and salt caps were big hit at Station 2.
  • 8. Many runners were (pleasantly) surprised that tailwind was provided.
  • 9. Watermelon seemed to be a big hit for post-race food.
  • 10. Not sure about other aid stations, but #2 is in heavy traffic area between road, bridge, and bathroom; several “non-participants” stopped by to ask about race… maybe have handful of business cards / flyers to hand out.
  • 11. Should check first aid kits are fully supplied prior to next race… station 2 used a few things in there, including the vaseline.
  • 12. Tracking runners this year seemed to be better than last year… having aid stations keep notes on the bibs coming through seemed to help and maybe should be standard operation moving forward.
  • 13. Only “lost” runner this year was due to a runner registering for a friend that didn't run. Maybe have registration volunteers confirm if the “friend” is actually running next time.
  • 14. Compared to last year, the “Sunday” after was much easier this time (I was home by 2pm this year, last year was closer to 6pm)… Post-race packing of the truck based on off-load location order (in this case, UCF first, Storage Unit last) helped a lot, as did wrangling a couple volunteers.
  • 15. Station 2 volunteers really appreciated getting some food and beers around noon (besides having lunch at normal hour, by the time we got back to pavilion around 3pm some of the food was already gone).

From Sue

Here are some notes I jotted down for Barbara about the food: ​ Ran out of:

  • Hamburgers
  • Cheese way more
  • Fruit
  • Soda

Perfect on:

  • Kielbasa
  • Hot dogs
  • Pulled pork
  • Black bean burgers
  • Quinoa salad
  • Cake 1 ok 2 for extra
  • Over on
  • All bread
  • Hand towels kitchen side towels.

Too much:

  • One bag charcoal too much
  • Wood good but had extra
  • Start with charcoal and keep going with wood

I'm sure Barbara or Mary can help elaborate the notes.

From my observations:

  • Good to have separate lists for 50k and 25k; may need to rethink layout – sometimes it was hard to see bib # and if person had a shirt.
  • If a friend checks in for another person, confirm friend is running.
  • Cut off time for 50k after first loop is a good idea if Constantine runs again (although he self-dropped).
  • Set expectations to volunteers that not everyone gets a shirt. This year, we ran out of men's shirts and there was at least one man who wanted to buy a shirt at the end of the day. I think what we should do next year is count the number purchased, make a list of volunteers who get a shirt and order that amount and order a few extra shirts for sales or last minute runners.
  • Need to reconsider layout for shirt sales. I had a lot of people bugging me during check-in and many people are pushy especially some of the volunteers. Maybe have a separate person to deal with shirts during check-in and throughout the day.
  • Was asked about kids shirts again. Might want to make more for next year. The woman who ran while pregnant two years ago bought a shirt (we gave her a shirt last year) – she may be a repeat customer.
  • Suggestion to have check-in for 50k be at the parking lot (just for bibs – shirts can stay at start/finish). Would need to consider logistics.

From Ty

Nick – Just a quick follow-up to the race this past Sat. on Aid Station 4. Beverages were all drunk well – Water, Tail Wind, Coke, and Gator Aid – not much demand for Ginger ale. Ice packed in the running packs was a hit. The man that won the 30 mile route said our aid station looked like an Oasis when he came in after the first lap. Food – ice cycle (popsicle) were very popular as almost all finishers had one or more – PB&J sandwich, Pringles, and Swordfish went well – not much demand for chocolate or Trail mix (surprising). Runners were complimentary about the aid station and the race in general – complimenting the overall organization. Thanks for having a first Aid kit in our station as we used it on two runners’ cuts and one runner used Vaseline –lots of runners took one or two salt tablets.

Thanks for letting me be part of the event. Ty

lessons_learned_2016.txt · Last modified: 08.07.2017 16:36 by nyeates