A Message to Our Participants
Dan Lakin – Life Time Run Brand Marketing Manager
Thank you to everyone who participated in last night’s Twin Cities Orthopedics Torchlight 5K presented by NOOMA. Life Time Fitness and Life Time Athletic Events takes pride in holding ourselves to high standards. However, sometimes unexpected hiccups happen to the best of events. We would like to offer transparency and address the concerns which have been raised by some participants.
At last night’s event, we began investigating a potential course discrepancy as soon as our first finishers crossed the finish line and voiced concern. As thousands of runners were already on-course we were not able to address the course measurement at that time.
The Torchlight 5K course was certified by USA Track & Field (USATF) last week (see certified course here). Certification maps are used by our operations team to set the course once roads are closed.
At first glance, we were confused and concerned as participants were telling us one thing but our course measurements were telling us another. After personally evaluating GPS data submitted by participants, collecting and observing photos from the course, and taking time today to re-evaluate the course we found an error in where the turnaround was placed. This error resulted in a 3.3 mile course, instead of 3.1 mile as intended.
Some who have previously participated have raised concern on the placement of this year’s finish line. Yes, early last week, we were instructed by city and emergency management to create an emergency evacuation lane and to do this we moved the finish line South. This originally caused the course to be short of 5K and lead to the need to make up the distance on the course and thus the 1st Street turnaround. Had the above error not have happened, we would have had a perfect 5K.
We by no means are passing responsibility to USATF and we are evaluating our operational procedures and processes to prevent this from happening in the future.
Understandably concern has been raised as many of you have trained and race to find your personal best. Working with our timer, we have adjusted the course length in the timing data to reflect 3.3 miles. This change will show an accurate pace per mile vs. the 3.1 mile previously reflected in results. Results posted are now official and final.
We would like to offer you to race with us again, on an accurate course, with a 50% discount to our annual Turkey Day 5K (currently priced at $30) on November 23. You will also receive exclusive registration into the 2018 Torchlight 5K at only $20 before we open registration to the public. Please watch your email on how to take advantage of this offer.
Last night I asked many participants: “Why do you run Torchlight?” Responses varied from “It’s our tradition” to “I want to get healthy” to “In memory of my dad” and more. It is for these responses and more that we enjoy producing events such as the Torchlight 5K and do everything in our power to provide a safe, fun and great experience. Thank you for being part of our Torchlight family and we apologize that we had this blunder.
If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to Athlete Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for racing with us and continue to Run With Fire,
Dan & the entire Life Time Fitness events team