Thank you so much for participating in the 2015 Baltimore Running Festival! The 15th anniversary of this event was more than 20,000 runners strong! We appreciate you coming out and showing your Baltimore Pride. From the participants to the volunteers, the local authorities and event staff, we all came together to make this a great day for the City of Baltimore! Once again we received high marks with 94.25% of you saying you would recommend the event to a friend!
Our team has reviewed your survey feedback and have read all of your comments. We take these very seriously and try our best to consider all of your suggestions. With an event of this scale, it can be difficult to coordinate and, yes, sometimes there can be issues resulting in an unfavorable experience for you. Our goal is to minimize those issues. After reading through your feedback, here are the top concerns we will strive to fix next year:
EXPO LAYOUT AT M&T BANK STADIUM: We hear you loud and clear on this one. M&T Bank Stadium provides a very unique venue for the expo that has a distinctively Baltimore flavor. However, it is a football stadium and thus not designed perfectly for a race expo. We understand the frustration of the bib and t-shirt pickup process. The venue is very long and narrow. We need to stretch the crowd by putting the pick-up stations at opposite ends to prevent overcrowding in one area. Also know that we have a responsibility to our vendors and sponsors who to attend the expo. We know this setup was not ideal for a many of you and we will make this process easier in the future, especially those on tight time restrictions. Good news for those who did not like the stadium—we will be back in the Convention Center in 2016.
FINISH LINE/ RUNNERS VILLAGE AREA: Many of you made suggestions regarding the finish line area. In conjunction with the Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore Police, safety and security are major factors in a large public event such as this and play a role in the set up and organization of the finish line and village area. Medical personnel need easy access to the finish chute at all times to assist those who need it. With more than 20,000 people crossing the finish line we need to keep the runners moving into the Runner’s Village so that crowds don’t build up. While our volunteers generally receive a very high rating with runners, we understand that some additional training and more volunteers may be needed in this area so we may continue to provide top notch customer service next year. Regarding the food selection, we choose post-race food and drink items that supply needed hydration and calories to your body. With such a large race size, we cannot provide a full meal in the runner’s area. However, we will explore other items to stock in the Runner’s Village based on your suggestions. We will continue to offer an array of vendors in the Celebration Village that can provide you with a more substantial meal for you to enjoy with your fellow runners, family and friends.
MARATHON RELAY BUSES: We understand that the marathon relay buses coming back to the finish line area were an inconvenience and that a few buses took between 30-60 minutes to return. This is unacceptable and we have already identified the problem with the bus company. The plan we laid out was not followed and the bus company has taken responsibility for this major error.
5K START: The 5K has become one of the most popular distances of the Running Festival. With the added focus and the addition of more charity teams into the field, we will adjust some of the logistics involved as well. Next year we will put more emphasis on asking runners to stage according to their pace and explore the implementation of a wave start for the 5k. Keep in mind that with five races all using the same finish line, the timing of each race is critical and must be precisely coordinated.
We will take these above items into consideration for 2016 and do our best to fix them for you. This is YOUR race and we want to make it the best experience it can be for YOU! Thank you once again for participating in the Baltimore Running Festival and showing your Baltimore Pride by supporting this great event and the City of Baltimore.
See you in 2016!