Sometimes people just want an apology when something goes wrong.
And the officials of the 35th annual Cooper River Bridge Run are doing just that.
First, race officials sent out a letter four days after the race to the more than 30,000 participants that waited for at least an hour for the race to begin.
The letter reads, “On behalf of all of us associated with the management of the Bridge Run, as Chairman of the Board of Directors and as Race Director, we both offer our most sincere apologies to each and every one of you who endured the unprecedented problems that you were faced with during the 35th and largest edition of the Bridge Run. As a testament to our continued efforts for perfection, we will be taking the necessary steps to help ensure this will never happen again. We pledge to do our very best to present to you the highest quality 10K race that Charleston Area residents and visitors deserve and nothing less!”
And then over the weekend, we received an email with a video apology.
I have participated in this race before and never experienced any problems. The race was supposed to start at 8 a.m., but it was delayed several times with the announcers unsure of what was delaying the start. The race finally got started under way around 9 a.m. While an hour delay may not seem long, runners had stopped hydrating their bodies knowing the scheduled gun time. Runners and walkers arrived on the Mount Pleasant side of the bridge and ready to go by 7 a.m. and in their corrals by 7:30 a.m.
Once the race started, it was smooth sailing for me. However, for participants towards the end the same can not be said.
After the race and hearing from different people that participated, I could only think about the varying reports that followed the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon.
The race had more than 44,000 participants and also encountered problems, according to news reports and many Facebook comments. Thousands packed into the Mandalay Bay Hotel at the finish with nowhere to go, stuck for hours, passing out, vomiting, you name it.
A few days following the event, the Marathon Show with Joe Taricani did an interview with Peter Englehart, the CEO of Competitor Group, about the problems at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon.
As a participant in local and destination races, I appreciate the fact that organizers can admit fault and look to fix the problems before the race comes around the next year.
So far, Bridge Run officials said that they are going to cap 2013 race to 40,000 participants. While I hope that is one thing that helps, I am still concerned. Organizers had sent emails prior to the run saying that there were more than twice the number of registrants as the previous year. Many people including myself want to tackle the bridge, but not at the sacrifice of having a great experience.
For now, I will accept the apologies that have been shared and look forward to what 2013 will bring.
What do you think about the apologies? Does it make a difference?