- The course was too dark. The reason why I find this funny is that two years ago for the Tower of Terror 13K 2008, Disney handed out glow-in-the-dark race shirts and bibs. Then, there were SO MANY flood lights that you were never actually in the dark to see them glow. And people complained that the course was too well lit. I didn't have any troubles with the course being dark, so it must have been at another part of the course that I didn't run since I was doing the relay.
- The course was too crowded. This was my big complaint. It needed to be in waves, and it made it not very fun for Relay runner #1, since the course NEVER cleared for me. It was a shame, but hopefully easily corrected next year.
- Relay runner #1 arrived after Relay Runner #2 finished. I got on one of the 30 or so waiting buses that were empty when we first approached after I finished, but then I waited on the bus for about 40 minutes. This wasn't a problem for me and I was happy to get the rest. I can see that if you were really fast this may have happened. Apparently there were other runners who finished after me that didn't get on a bus right away. That does suck, so I'm sorry that happened. I do acknowledge that there was a ridiculous line to get through security for the relay runners. I had actually forgotten about it until I saw it in the Facebook comments.
- Relay Runner #1's finish was anti-climactic. I can say this was kind of the case. That is what gave me the "now what?" feeling at the end of the race.
- The after party was too crowded. You know, it's funny. I completely, 100%, agree, but it was actually about as crowded as I was expecting. I did the Tower of Terror race for two years and the after parties both years were just ridiculous - including in 2009 when we waited 45 minutes to pick up our bag (and that's why we didn't check a bag for this race). They definitely should have had at least some rides open, and I was shocked that the shops weren't open in World Showcase. I'm sure some runners would have liked to have browsed or made some purchases.
I do, though, have a little bit of a "What did you expect?" about this complaint. You KNEW they were selling tickets to the after-party. The race started at 10pm. Give yourself 15 minutes to cross the starting line. Then, assume you run the half in 2:45 (I know to many of my readers this is slow, but that's about average for a Disney race, and likely the bulk of those complaining were 2:30 or slower). That alone puts you at the finish line at 1am. Finish line business of getting your food, getting your bag, getting your medal, wandering and trying to find your friends will, at any reasonable large race, take you 20-30 minutes. Now, it's 1:30. You want to go to the bathroom, change your clothes? You aren't expecting a line for the ladies' room? REALLY?? I'd give that process 30 minutes. Now, it's 2am. You have an hour. So, even on a good day, you're only going to have an hour of after party. If you finished slower or ANY of the lines were longer than that, you're getting down into MINUTES of after party remaining. I knew this going in because I paid attention and did the math. I'm just not sure what the expectation was -- how long did you THINK you'd have? Anyway, it's an inaugural race, so I expected some kinks.
- Bag claim was apparently a nightmare. Again, I kinda knew this one, as it's not any different from any of the other Disney races. Really, they need to get a deal with UPS like the Rock & Roll races do. And, frankly, they needed to end the race somewhere else where there was more room. The finish line should have ideally been in the parking lot, and the race should have started earlier to give everyone more time. The "sick" part of it was apparently that the smells in the bag claim area were making people sick. I had that experience at the Baltimore Half in 2008, so I can totally understand. I had to wait in line in the hot sun for my Maryland Double medal, and the food smells were gross.
- The wine & dine theme should have been carried through at the Expo. I think that's a great idea, but hardly a severe oversight. I was shocked to have an Expo at all, since the Tower of Terror race only had packet pickup and a couple of t-shirts available for purchase.
Anyway, so that's some of my thoughts. I can see the complaints and I understand. I'm sorry others had such a negative experience. I feel like I must have just known what to do and how to make it work, because I really had a great time.
I'm not certain if I'll do the race next year, there are a lot of factors that I have to consider first. But, I really liked the race, so I hope they make some changes. The finish line should be somewhere else, bag pickup at the finish line should be better staffed, the start should be in waves, the after party should have rides and shops and should be longer, the race should start at least an hour earlier.