color run mess, update

After my scathing report on the Color Run yesterday, all the participants received an email from Color Run officials. In the interest of fairness, here is the meat of it:

Thank you so much for your participation at this weekend’s inaugural New England event.  Our happy little team of health minded folks completely loves our runners.  We wanted to specifically address Saturday’s challenges and offer our support to you, and our commitment to putting on an event that leaves people with terrific memories and motivation, not frustration.

We want to state clearly that the total experience at The Color Run is our responsibility. You are there to do our event and as such, we must make sure everything you experience is at the high standard we expect. To date, we have put hundreds of thousands of amazing runners through the event under this standard. Saturday’s events did not meet these expectations. Although it does not make up for any frustration you may have felt, there were factors on Saturday that lead to some very distinct challenges.

For a summary and quotes from Amesbury Police and the Sports Park, see the news story here:

As noted in the article, Amesbury Sports Park, who has handled shuttling for many other large events at their location, also handled this weekend’s shuttling of runners (No parking funds went to The Color Run).  42 buses were in operation on Saturday and 32 buses on Sunday.  Due to the accident related freeway closures on Saturday, all traffic was re-routed to side streets creating bottlenecks everywhere for the buses and regular traffic.  This affected primarily shuttles coming to the start line from the college at Haverhill and the shuttles picking runners up from the Sports Park.

Please know that we realize the commitment, energy, money and time involved in the decision to do The Color Run.  Not many things are more frustrating than sitting in traffic and standing in line.  Way too much of that occurred during Saturday’s event.  Once The Color Run team received communication from the Amesbury Police and Sports Park, the extent of the freeway closures and shuttling delays, we made our way to the forming shuttle line crowd to provide water and a level of entertainment to help with the situation. We recognize that we missed many of you in this regard and for that, we are very sorry.

I appreciate that they sent this email, taking responsibility and apologizing. It shouldn’t be so rare for an organization to so completely say “sorry, our bad,” but it is and I commend it. I also appreciate the explanation, finally. However, it is still unlikely that I will participate next year. I am not convinced they did everything they could have on the spot; their entertainment choices remain obnoxious; and the standing in line wasn’t just frustrating, it was a health hazard. I don’t want to risk that experience again.