Army 10 Miler Discussion/Survey Group

I got called out of the blue a few days back and asked to participate in a two hour discussion group being conducted by a 3rd party survey company on behalf of the Army 10 Miler race organization.  In exchange for my time (during the evening), they’ll be paying me fifty smackaroo’s!  Hey, I’m easy (no, not that kinda easy…well..actually, on second thought…)!

It sounds like they might be grouping us into discussion groups by age, because when I asked what time it was her answer was ‘depends on how old you are’.  After I told her, then she gave me my assigned time slot.  It’s super close by to where I live, only about a 5 minute drive – so it’s easy for me to participate and provide my feedback – with the hopeful goal of improving the race.

I was honestly fine with all of the things that affected me during the race this year.  I didn’t have any issues with water when I came through, or any other on-course issues.  But, I do recognize very well that it didn’t go so well for many others though.  Most of my comments will be more logistical in nature.  For example – a friend mentioned (and I agreed) that at the finish line there was no place to just sit in the shade waiting for others.  It was merely a vast parking lot wasteland.  Having some big tents (even just over the concrete) would have been very useful for those waiting for others.

I figure they know the ‘obvious’ things – i.e. – like not having water or not enough finishers medals.  I’m sure those mistakes will NEVER be made again.  It’s the less obvious things I’d like to focus on providing feedback for, or the things that may not have been brought up a many times thus far.

Another example is that while many of the small organization tents (most for different military units) were available at the finish ‘expo’, it was not at all clear if they were open to the general population.  I (and others I talked with) found this a bit of a turnoff as all of the after-race stuff seemed heavily geared towards just those groups, sorta like a big private party.  While I’m sure I would have been welcomed at some booths/tents – that’s not the general feeling I got walking around.

So… if you have any feedback you want me to pass along, either post here – or if it’s more private in nature – shoot me an e-mail using the link on the side.  I definitely want to help them make it a better race!


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  1. Did you just asked to get privately e-mailed about being easy? ;)

  2. 50 bucks! If I were only so lucky. One thing I’d tell them is that they should have had more caloric liquids (ie Gatorade, juice, etc) at the finish line. After a hot and humid day, not only did I feel dehydrated, but I was nauseous from the heat. Some calories besides cookies and bagels (can’t eat when nauseous) to take in would have been nice. I know they had bigger fish to fry this year with the lack of water out on the course, but I felt deprived after the race of a nice bottle of gatorade/juice.

    I also agree about the tents…I’ve never ventured over there and usually just finish the race and metro home.

  3. That’s neat that you get to be a part of putting on a race–being on the other side of things. Good spectators and support helps–providing them with incentives to come like shade, bleachers, vendors, entertainment. I love an interesting course and music too. And make sure the water is cold! Very important. Also, if it’s hot, ice is a must. Definitely need some fruit at the finish line, maybe even some muffins or bagels.

  4. I was a bum this year and did not run it. But I think more belly dancers for us spectators.

  5. I really had fun at the Annapolis Tri this year! Great course, well-managed, and I’m sure they’ll work out the bugs by Year 2. I recommend it!

    link to

  6. Anonymous

    Our entire office is participating in the 10-Miler and want to know what the training regime should be for the last two weeks? Also, any tips for 1st time runners and what to eat the morning of the race?

    How strict is the “NO I-Pod” Rule?

    Thanks so much for any input.


  7. Hi DB-

    RE: First time runners

    It’s a very first-time friendly race. Just allow LOTS of extra time pre-race, especially to get through security and the bathroom lines (crazy long). Also, ensure you have a good meeting point picked out for post-race, it’s really really difficult to find folks depending on exactly where they are and if they are in/out of the secured runners village.

    Beyond that, just remember to go easy the first mile (basically until you cross into the district) – as folks get caught up running too fast initially…and pay for it later.

    As for the iPods, the biggest issue is safety. While they don’t enforce it, I’ve seen two specific situations at ATM that help illustrate why.

    1) Two years ago, an ambulance was trying to get through…ironically, the only person not moving out of the way was wearing headphones

    2) There’s a ton of disabled veterns (as well as non-vets) in the race doing it in racing wheelchairs. Many times they get caught up in the main field (even though they go earlier). I saw multiple occasions where they couldn’t get around folks with headphones, despite yelling. After all, they’re trying hard too – so they are also out of breath and all that yelling takes quite a bit of energy (and slows their race).

    Good luck, and enjoy the race!