We Don't Race for the T-Shirts
Mostly I'm there to compete to run hard with and against whomever happens to line up. Fitness and participating in a community event also are part of the deal, and I can accept that there are dozens of reasons why people go to local running events.
Since moving here I've generally liked doing the Chena River Run. It's a rite of spring and the most competitive local 5K for the entire year. Helps that the course is certified, although somewhat slow, it's mostly flat and you know that the distance is accurate (which is getting increasingly rare these days).
Among the downsides are parking at the finish, where they threaten to take your car and first born if you park on the road, goofy loud jazzercise for 30 minutes at the start area while you're warming up.
This year however, we have some new developments. The entry increased to $20. $20 for a 5K fun run? Getting a little steep there.
And my newest peeve: race shirts. You pay the above $20 and get a tech shirt, but who wants to be a billboard for some 40 sponsors? It's downright ugly.
How about making one or two mid-sized logos of the Primary sponsors on the sleeve or back and call it good?
I'd also like to see a little bit of recognition/incentive for those who run fast. Everybody finishes, noshes on Subway, Power Aid, and Granola bars for 20 or 30 minutes and then disperses. Two weeks later you get a ribbon in the mail for your age group award, and I think top 3 get a trophy or medal (my highest finish has been 4th).
How about a very brief awards: thank the organizers and volunteers and recognize the top 10 overall. Top 3 get the trophy or plaque and then 4-10 a medal. I haven't been close to top 10 in recent years but would still like to have faster/competitive runners recognized for a job well done.