The Veggie Chase sucked and ruled all the same time. The race organizers failed on so many levels, but on a personal level it was so much fun to see my daughter finish her first race !
"The mission of the Veggie Chase is to create a fun and unique community event where kids and families come together in a beautiful, natural setting along the American River Parkway to enjoy an event inspiring lifelong appreciation of fitness, excercise and healthy food choices." The mission statement is great, but their execution was awful. Let me rant for just a second , a rarity for me!
- They ran out of kids t shirts. How does this happen?! We registered weeks ago, and all they had was adult small. Colossal fail. You gear a race towards kids and then underestimate the amount of shirts to print? It's not the volunteers fault, but I overheard a lot of angry parents at the packet table complain. Luckily my daughter didn't mind but she's not going to grow into that show for another 5 years! Race organizers: print more shirts. You will make a lot of parents happy and gain free advertising when the kids wear the shirt out to the playground/school/etc.
- The course was poorly laid out. When I mean poorly I mean, they had a flimsy bit of tape stretched over some pylons and then haphazardly positioned in a grass field.
- Every event ran late. We are talking like 15 minutes late or so. I understand that things get crazy, sure but come on ! When you are dealing with impatient children those minutes seem like hours.
- Running shoes + wet grass = cold kid's feet. nuff said.
- The announcing was inaudible and confusing. I overheard many parents venting about the announcing. The PA system was woefully in adequate and I am positive that lots of kids missed their races because the start finish lines weren't laid out clearly and the announcer couldn't be heard.
Ok so that being said, here's what I DID like about the event!
- Chipotle chips and guac at the farm event
- Promoting healthy eating
- The feeling of pride when kids complete their event and do a race "like mommy and daddy do"
- Seeing related booths from people like REI, gymnastics, etc.
- Having my daughter finish! She has a DNF under her belt (she was at my first half and declined to run thanks to some overzealous people in superhero outfits) now she's much more confident and had a ton of fun running with her friend and waving to mom, grandma, and grandpa. I'm very proud of her! She told me all day "I won daddy!" and I told her "yes you did. Sometimes all it takes to win is just to try" and she did !
Update! Lots of people are also chiming in at the Active.com forums and more blogs discussing the Veggie Chase Shirt Situation
Yet another update!
So yesterday Sam McManis wrote this about the Veggie Chase.
Today we received a response from the race director. Here's what he sent out to Veggie Chase participants/registrants.
Thank you for your patience; we are a small, all volunteer group with a limited budget trying to provide tremendous value for kids and families at an affordable entry fee (our pre-registered rate for kids was only $5!) we had a hiccup with the t-shirts (of all things!) one of our dedicated volunteers miscalculated the number of kids shirts pre-ordered (plus registration grew by over 110% in the last 10 days) resulting in a shortage. Disappointing a kid bruises a Veggie's heart...so we will provide rain-check shirts for those kids who didn't get one. If your child was one of the pre-registered participants that was not able to receive their shirt, please respond as soon as possible with your child's name, and shirt size so we can make sure their shirt is included in the count. Thank you for your patience.
You all are awesome!
Hope you all had a blast!
~ Tomato Tim