Here are my unsolicited 2 cents after 1 Ascent and 3 Doubles:
The Ascent needs to be broken up into multiple waves Ė maybe one every 10 minutes or so. In the past, this would have presented a timing nightmare, but with the use of timing chips, it should not be an issue. Having runners spread out into 6 or more waves, assigned by qualifying times, would cut down considerably on congestion in the Wís and at the early aid stations. I donít know if this would present any issues with the marathon given the two-way traffic. Unfortunately, part of the problem is that runners donít line up based on ability, donít run the early part of the race based on ability, and a few handled the congestion quite rudely Ė elbowing their way up to nowhere. The bottom part of the Ascent was not much fun this year. I really think itís gotten worse and will continue to do so if not addressed.
The food is simply inadequate, both at the aid stations and at the finish. The aid stations need some better runner energy food such as gels or chews. Jelly beans are great for a mountain hike, but not for a race Ė you simply canít chew and breathe properly. The finish line food is woefully inadequate. Getting portioned a single slice of pizza and a cup of instant lemonade is just shameful. These arenít cheap races and I know there are significant expenses but they need to figure out a way to provide more and better finish line food. Itís hard to imagine that more sponsors and food donors canít be found for a race of this magnitude and prestige.
Please make some adjustments to keep these races high caliber.