Dominick De Petrillo knows he can't make everyone happy.
That's okay. As the compliments outweighed the complaints at the 2009 Chasco Challenge, De Petrillo and company were definitely happy with the outcome in the ninth year of the event.
"Some people running were upset the sun was in their eyes and people biking kept saying there was a strong headwind on the ride back into the park," De Petrillo said. "We strive to keep three things on this event: We keep it safe, we keep it fun and we keep it challenging.
"They train for this, they should push through the challenges at our Challenge. That seems like a no-brainer to me"
De Petrillo said there were 540 participants, the largest field in Challenge history. The event also raised about $5,500 to benefit the Alzheimer's Family Organization services and programs. This is the fourth year the event has been at the Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park in New Port Richey and just the second year there was a half-marathon.
"That seems to be really popular among the racers," De Petrillo said.
There were also 5K and 10K runs, as well as a 25K, a 50K and a 100K bike tours. When the event first started, there were just 106 participants and there used to be off-road events, but organizers did away with them in favor of the half-marathon.
However, De Petrillo realizes that the griping overheard was just a small percentage of the field. He acknowledges that if the complaint is legit — because he listens to all of them — then organizers address it and fix the problem for next year.
They won't have something holding the race back.
"Overall, everyone enjoyed themselves and everyone stayed safe," De Petrillo said. "We have to please everyone and that's going to be tough, but it's also an impossibility. We do what we can and we still think everything will be a success."