This past weekend was the 5th time I’ve run the Newport 10k and the second time as an official blogger for the race. It’s always been a fast race for me – despite all the turns it is a fast course – but this year I knew it wouldn’t be for a variety of reasons, but I definitely wanted to be there, in part because it is a USATF Team championship race, and in part because I’ve always enjoyed it.
This year the results show 1862 finishers (I’m told there were 2285 registered), which appears to be a huge increase over previous years (1330 finishers reported last year and a similar number the year before). As usual things were well organized, but for some reason this year, the line for collecting t-shirts was managed differently and caused a huge backup. The total number of registrants obviously caused issues as I heard those who registered on the day being told that there were not enough t-shirts, but they were also being told that they would be sent one after the event which I would not have expected (usually the warning goes out that t-shirts may not be available for late registrants and that’s just a chance you take). This appears to show that the organizers care about making the experience positive for the runners.
What perhaps wasn’t so positive (but ultimately maybe out of the hands of the organizers) is the condition of the course. There are always potholes on the course – small, but still there – and this year the conditions of the road seemed worse and I did see people stumble into them particularly early on when jostling for position. I did spot that larger potholes had been filled relatively recently so it could have been worse. There were also parts of the boardwalk section that are in need of replacement (you could tell that some parts had been done recently, but other sections were very worn and not too dissimilar from the potholes on the course for the runners.
Ultimately the condition of the course doesn’t seem to have affected the speed of the runners as the fastest times were very much in line with last year, despite the warmer conditions.
As usual I was terrible at taking photos, but luckily there are many on nj.com
The race is always followed by a raffle, and many gift certificates were up for grabs to those who waited around long enough. There were definitely fewer businesses providing prizes this year, but those that did seemed to provide more gift certificates, but overall there seemed to be fewer winners.
As an official blogger for the race, I was provided a free entry. This does not influence my posts in any way, and it’s worth pointing out that my posts about this race predate my official blogger status.