Roller Coaster Race Recap!!

9 Sep

RollerCoasterRace logo

Disclaimer: After deciding to register for the event, I exchanged emails with the Race Director and was offered a discounted entry fee. ALL opinions are my own. 

So, I’ve mentioned this race, The Roller Coaster Race, a couple of times…You know…here. And then here. When I was at the Hartford Marathon Red Dress Run for Women back in July there were flyers for this race out on one of the tables and I was ready to sign up right on the spot! Which, if you know me, you know didn’t happen cause, well, procrastination!


Cause, well, I do love a good Roller Coaster. And any opportunity to get a new Proof of Time on a 10K is nice. AND…the event benefits the local YMCA (up in Agawam, Mass). All good things.

So let’s have a look:

Pre-race:  There wasn’t much race specific communication sent out – other than a discount code to pass on (which you know I did, the more the merrier!) and requests for volunteers (CRUCIAL!). A week or so before the race we got final instructions – for me, that’s really enough. I already spend enough time skimming through emails and not reading that I don’t need to get a lot of reminders to delete or ‘mark as read’.

Packet Pickup: Pickup was to start at 10 on Saturday morning. Since I was doing both the Coaster 5K and the Feet 10K I wanted to get there as soon as I could on Saturday so I could get to Six Flags of New England at rope drop…er…opening 🙂 which was 10:30. So you know I got to packet pickup around…um…10:25 🙂 For me, this went pretty smooth. I met Wendy (who handles the Twitter account for the Race as well as loads of other duties, not the least of which was DJing the finish line!)  and got my roller coaster wristband, my shirts and instructions as well as my park ticket. Then moved on to RD Adam Slate to get my bib and introduce myself. And then it was on to the RACES!!

Roller Coaster 5K: Well, let’s just call it like it is here. A chance to ride roller coasters all day if you choose!! Normally in a thrill ride situation such as that offered at Six Flags, I am with other people – and maybe that’s what makes me so nervous!! This time I was on my own and had a BLAST!! Though, much ginger was consumed throughout the morning and early afternoon for sure! Part of the packet we picked up was a listing of the roller coasters in the park with their distance in feet. 5K or 3.1 miles is approximately 16,405 feet. When I first registered this was a daunting number to me…but once I started riding it didn’t take long to hit that mark!!

First there was Thunderbolt! An old wooden coaster that was really a great old-fashioned ride!

Then I hopped on Bizarro!!  I was disappointed that I couldn’t carry my things on the ride cause I would have LOVED a picture from the top — you go up right along the Connecticut River and the view is AMAZING!! (as you can see below!)


I went on this one twice. In a row! 10, 800 feet baby!!!

The next ride I went on was Catwoman’s Whip – which apparently isn’t a thrill ride but it was fun. And a coaster. So…


Again, fun! You can kind of see in the picture that the track is never too far above the ground.

Next, in keeping with the Batman theme…I went on BATMAN: The Dark Knight — lots of upside down and sideways here!! And it was one of those coasters where your legs dangle!! Wheeee!!!!


I also went on a non-coaster ride or two — the New England SkyScreamer. Billed as the tallest swing ride on the planet! It was a little unnerving but another one I wished I’d had a camera on!!

But I did get a picture from the bottom!!


I also went on the Skyway — an old lady ride if there ever was one! But I like that I could take pictures of some of the coaster I did NOT ride on —


Also, this one, Mind Eraser, wasn’t open when I went by there so it’s on my list to do next time!!

I ended my day early-ish since I knew I had to get up pretty early for a 7:30 race start — but couldn’t leave without a character picture right?!


Race Day: Got out, shockingly, a little later than planned because I tried to take a picture in my mirror


but still got up to Agawam again and got parked with no problem. Or, at least no problem that could have been avoided had I read the instruction sheet I was given the day before! I figured it would be a small crowd and it was. Which makes me nervous cause…slow and (foreshadowing) a distinct possibility of being last with this small of a field!


But I was READY to go!!


The course was a loop through the park, then hitting some residential streets before doing a big lap of the parking lot and then another loop through the park.  And at one point I was almost in Connecticut again.


The parking lot part was kind of boring. And hot. But there was water available there and I was playing tag with the other person who didn’t want to be the last one so that was fun!!

We ran past the finish line before the second loop of the park and let me tell you how tempted I was to pretend I was done!! Hahah…but I didn’t. I finished the last loop. Though at this point, I figured the other woman who had been last had done just that because I didn’t see her again. I accepted my DLF fate and pushed on.

And let me tell you how worth it it was!! Now, I’m not a huge fan of a lot of public ‘fuss’ but when I came up to the finish people were yelling and cheering and it really felt good! And, it gave me what I needed for a final push over the line!! So – thanks to all the other runners and volunteers and staff peoples!!!

As I walked out of the chute, the cheering started again which meant A. I wasn’t last and 2 -the other woman hadn’t dropped out!!! Yay lady I played tag with all morning!!!

And, for the real kicker on the day – as if that great cheering wasn’t the best thing to happen all day…


Yeah. Apparently I was the oldest woman running on Sunday! I’m pretty sure that has never happened before 🙂 I mean, I *KNOW* it’s never happened before cause I’ve never gotten one of these before!! Though as my friend Willie says “Keep in mind Anne, that you weren’t the only female in your age group, you were just the only one with the strength, heart, and desire to answer the gun at that particular race” which made my afternoon!

The Swag: Well, part of the packet was a park ticket and my wristband for the Coaster “race. A cotton t-shirt for Saturday’s event (black) and a tech shirt for the 10K (grey)


2 medals —


What I would change: Not a lot. I tend to have pretty basic needs when it comes to races. Not to say I wouldn’t change *anything*! Cause there’s always room for improvement – even with the biggies! I had friends running who had a couple of other issues but my experience was different – your mileage my vary!! They’ve also sent out a post-event survey that I will definitely be filling out!

  • Course – maybe work with the park/city to get more street distance in, less parking lot! Also since most theme parks have mascots (in the case of Six Flags they have Loony Tunes –  Sylvester, Tweety, Bugs!!) get them out on the course, especially in the parks!!
  • Medals – I love that the ribbons for the medals are different but it might be nice if the medals also differentiated between “ride” and “race”.
  • Timing – not like race timing but event timing! Maybe make it possible to do the ride and the race on the same day instead of having to get a separate park ticket if you wanted to go back to the park after the race. And, I was talking with Adam and he mentioned that in St. Louis this is actually how it works out – the ride and the race events are on the same day and he’s hoping to be able to work this same way in other locations
  • Other Extras – Initially there was a dinner on Saturday evening planned but not enough folks signed up for it. Maybe setting it up as a post-race breakfast or lunch. I don’t know on this one! I did enjoy the post-race chocolate chip cookies and bananas! Also, more potties. We had access to the park potties while in the park and before/after the race – not sure if we could have used the ones in employee rest areas. And this would really just be a bonus because if you have a normal size bladder you can probably make the 2 or so miles before you need a potty again!!

So, overall, for a first year event up here, I think things went well with a few kind of expected glitches. I would love to see a series like this expand – cause as I may have mentioned, I love roller coasters 🙂 There are already events in St. Louis, MO and Branson, MO and they look to be adding one up in Lake George area, NY. I would hope though, that they don’t expand too quickly since I think that’s where a lot of ‘specialty’ events get into trouble.




5 Responses to “Roller Coaster Race Recap!!”

  1. Meranda@fairytalesandfitness September 11, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    What great medal! It’ nice when races give you extra perks like admission to things ( like the parks). We did a race in VA that gave us free passes to Busch Gardens. That was nice!
    Oh, and I am one of those people who only ride the “old lady rides”

    • outrunningthefork September 12, 2014 at 6:00 am #

      Was that the Race for Freedom in Williamsburg? I did the 4 miler this year and was BUMMED I didn’t have a chance to use my pass to the park!! 🙂

  2. Deirdre Murray Knapik September 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Greetings from the lady you played tag with!

    Right before the race started, I knew I was going to be last – I even mentioned it to my friend. I just wanted to finish, and finish at a time faster than my last 10K in July (Gillette Stadium).
    Both goals accomplished (shaved off 57 secs mi/min) and I have officially started training for the Star Wars Half Marathon at DisneyLand in January. I am following the Galloway plan and doing the Rebel Challenge 10K + Half and also throwing in the 5K at the start.

    Thanks for the game of tag. You were awesome! Hope to see you again and I will be following your training progress here. A friend of mine did Dopey last year – that’s amazing!

    Shall I save you a seat for the RRI 10K in Sturbridge on October 5th?

    • outrunningthefork September 9, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      Yay!!! So glad to meet you!!! And congrats on your PR, though, I was pretty certain that *I* was going to be last before I even started!!!

      I’m gonna be in Orlando on Oct 5 but will definitely keep this race on my mind! But I’m sure we will cross paths again!!

      And great luck with Star Wars — lots of great people running that one!!

  3. Jenereesa @ ScootaDoot September 9, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Bad ass!!! How cool is that?

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