I ran (that’s a pretty loose term for me), the 2014 Camp Eden 5k several weekends ago. Not being in the best shape yet and still struggling, this was a difficult race for me. I was fairly happy that I was able to complete it and feel good doing it. I’ve only done a handful of 5k’s and finishing has never been an issue. It is nice, though, to finally feel better while doing one. Maybe next year I can increase my pace and/or finish it without walking.
Before: Registration was easy. They have their own website (campeden5k.org) with all sorts of information on the race. Actual registration is through another site (active.com, I think), and there was no processing fee added in.
Even though it was a pretty remote location, the camp itself was easy to find. The turnoff from the highway to the camp was clearly marked and once we got the the camp, there were plenty of attendants to direct us to parking. It’s a small event, only 100 or so runners, so there weren’t any crowds to deal with. They did a great job of letting everyone know where to go for the start – runners in front, walkers to the back, 1k walkers even further back, etc.
During: The course itself was an out-and-back for the first 3/4 of a mile or so, then two laps around a big loop. Sort of a figure 8 where you do the top loop once and the bigger lower loop twice. While this wasn’t a trail race, it was all on dirt roads with a lot of climbing and descending. I’m finding that I definitely prefer trail running, so I really enjoyed this course. There were plenty of water stations, four I think, manned by friendly folks. This is a run/walk event, so there were plenty of people walking the course.
After: The goodie bag had a protein bar, a sports drink powder packet (“Tang Sport” – who knew?!), and a tube of lip balm. This is a family race and they have a bbq and family fun event afterward. But, I had a date to get back home and bottle some homebrew, so I didn’t attend any of the post-race festivities. The t-shirt was a standard cotton affair.
Overall: For anyone thinking of doing this run, I recommend it. It was pretty challenging, but definitely doable by anyone who can walk the distance. The uphill portions were hard for me to run up, but easily walkable.
My only negative was the number of unbadged (ie, private) armed “security” along the race. I’ve run and observed 5k’s in Denver with several hundred particpants, plus the spectators, and not seen as much armed security. Sort of gave this little church camp a bit of a compound look. I’m not at all squeamish about firearms, and I wasn’t scared/intimidated/etc. by their all black “security” uniforms, it just seemed a little out of place and unnecessary to me. But then, I’m no fan of security theatre in any setting. Seems that a Sheriff’s patrol car with one deputy would have been a sufficient display, and instead of “security” spread out along the course, having a few first aid type folks spread around would have been more appropriate. But then, I suppose most of this course is on private property, so maybe a deputy couldn’t be spared for this and they had to handle that on their own. At the minimum, maybe the ninjas could hide in the trees next year.