Geist Half Marathon 2009

This race was pretty good overall. The whole prior week I was expecting a rainy morning, so I did not get as mentally engaged as I should have been. The weather did turn out to be quite humid, but the temperature and wind were not bad. The t‐shirts were upgraded to long‐sleeved tech shirts at the last minute, which was an unexpected nicety. However, had I paid the extra $26 to participate in their Month of May Marathon Club, I would have been irritated, since one of the perks of the extra fee was supposed to be an upgraded tech shirt.

Last year, there was no additional charge for the Month of May Marathon Club, so that was another reason why I did not participate. I definitely do not think it would be worth the money for such a low‐value benefit.

This race seems to be positioning itself as a “premium” race, what with the fancy shirt, running through all the rich neighborhoods, offering a low‐value voluntary upcharge, etc. For a premium race, it seems like they should be giving out gel packets too. Why not?

I appreciate that the organizers of the Geist Half did not use the increasingly popular D‐tag timing system. D‐tags are flimsy and unreliable, in my opinion. While I admit that I do not have access to reliability statistics, they almost certainly cannot be as reliable as other systems. I’ve used them at least half a dozen times since October 2008 and witnessed more failures than I have seen in years of racing with other timing systems. My sister in law received no official time for her first marathon (what a drag!) because the D‐tag broke while she was removing it from her bib, and I have seen D‐tags lying in the street along the course because they fell off runners’ shoes.

There was some fun at the starting line, with SpongeBob SquarePants in a boat to see everyone off. The announcer called out for SpongeBob to wave at the crowd, and it took him a good 15 seconds to get himself into a standing position. I found that pretty funny. Also, there was a very nicely done missing man formation flyover.


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