Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure St. Louis...what a disorganized MESS!

The background:

I had not intended on participating in the St. Louis Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure but I found out just yesterday that a friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has a tough few months ahead of her...surgery, chemo, radiation therapy. I decided yesterday afternoon, the day prior to the race, to sign up. I also like to run the occasional 5K here and there so it seemed like the perfect idea.

The problem:

I just got back from the race downtown and what a colossal disappointment. It was incredibly unorganized. It took me 15 minutes just to find the registration tables. People were wandering around aimlessly not knowing where the runners should go or where the walkers line up. I was shocked that there were no volunteers to direct people to registration, the start line, etc. UNREAL.

I found the registration table through word of mouth just 5 minutes before the start for the run. There were no more medium shirts so I took a rain check to pick my shirt up at a later date. Not a big deal. The ladies behind the booth handed me my race number for my shirt but had no pins for me to attach it. WTF?! What am I supposed to do with this?! "They didn't give us any pins", was the response. GOOD GRIEF.

At this point the runners are going or so I hear some screechy lady announcing through a microphone but I still have no idea where the start line is nor can I find it in this unorganized sea of people. The majority of the people out there seemed preoccupied with eating or trying to get free stuff from the vendors. The placement of the vendors was ill thought out or perhaps not thought out at all. It only created a massive traffic jam of people before they could even get to the start line. I've been spoiiled by well-oiled machine races like the AF Marathon in Dayton.

I prefer to run...that's me. If you're walking, fine but do we really need all the strollers mixed in everywhere making matters worse? I saw some guy pulling a giant tortoise around on a wagon. What in god's name does that have to do with breast cancer? Let us not lose sight of the real issue. There were so many crazy t-shirts, capes, outfits, bunny ears that it got on my nerves...the race seems more about dressing up and being cute than anything else.

The bottom line:

I blame myself for attempting to register and then find the start line. I should have just focused all my energies on finding the start lines when I first arrived but I assumed all the runners would need to be wearing numbers. Maybe arriving 25 minutes prior to start was not adequate time. If that's the case then this definitely isn't the race for me.

I wound up walking but I swear the mob drove the start of the walk more than anyone running the event. I was walking at around 8:40AM and I thought that portion wasn't supposed to start until 9AM. After one mile, I called it quits and headed home. I'd come down there to run, not shuffle. Furthermore, all the previous incidents had put me in such a foul mood that I honestly did not feel like dealing with hordes of people trying to leave once it was all over.

I am disappointed that circumstances prevented me from truly supporting my friend as she fights an uphill battle. I hope I can find some other way to rectify the whole left in my heart. The Susan G. Komen Race just ain't the thing for me. I need something quieter, more serious, and with less pink.