My Profile

@alaskey

Salt Lake City, UT Raving since 2019 50 States hopeful/finisher, 100 Half Marathons Club Active 1 week ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Oct 19, 2019 1:33:17

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (47)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Auburn, AL Feb 18, 2024 1:53:55
Half Marathon Death Valley, CA Feb 3, 2024 2:03:28
Half Marathon Lehi, UT Nov 23, 2023 1:54:20
Half Marathon Big Bear, CA Nov 18, 2023 1:36:01
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Oct 21, 2023 1:45:03
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Sep 9, 2023 1:41:48
Half Marathon Heber City, UT Jul 29, 2023 1:47:55
Half Marathon Pine Hollow, UT Jun 24, 2023 1:50:23
Half Marathon Bend, OR May 20, 2023 2:04:57
Half Marathon Kitty Hawk, NC Apr 23, 2023 2:14:04
Half Marathon Montgomery, AL Mar 11, 2023 1:58:59
Half Marathon Franklin Lakes, NJ 2023 1:54:33
Half Marathon Lehi, UT Nov 24, 2022 1:52:36
Half Marathon St. George, UT Nov 19, 2022 1:40:44
Half Marathon Council Bluffs, IA Oct 22, 2022 1:56:04
Half Marathon Sacramento, CA Oct 2, 2022 1:53:04
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA Sep 18, 2022 1:57:39
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Sep 10, 2022 1:43:56
Half Marathon Payson, UT Aug 27, 2022 1:41:43
Half Marathon West Yellowstone, MT Jun 10, 2022 2:11:49
5K West Yellowstone, MT Jun 10, 2022 24:41
Half Marathon Wilson, WY Jun 3, 2022 1:59:16
5K Wilson, WY Jun 3, 2022 23:34
Half Marathon Lehi, UT Nov 25, 2021 1:53:35
Half Marathon St. George, UT Nov 6, 2021 1:46:30
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Oct 23, 2021 1:51:47
Half Marathon Pine Hollow, UT Jul 31, 2021 1:46:12
Half Marathon Ketchum, ID Jun 26, 2021 1:50:38
Half Marathon Vernal, UT May 8, 2021 1:54:09
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Oct 24, 2020 1:54:04
Half Marathon Jackson, MS Feb 29, 2020 1:54:54
Half Marathon Huntington Beach, CA Feb 1, 2020 1:53:56
Half Marathon San Diego, CA Jan 11, 2020 1:50:11
Half Marathon Lehi, UT Nov 28, 2019 1:51:53
Half Marathon St. George, UT Nov 2, 2019 1:34:51
Half Marathon New Orleans, LA Oct 26, 2019 1:46:47
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Oct 19, 2019 1:33:17
Half Marathon Empire, MI Oct 5, 2019 1:47:23
Half Marathon Washington, DC Sep 29, 2019 1:55:40
Half Marathon Moline, IL Sep 22, 2019 1:56:00
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Sep 14, 2019 1:35:40
Half Marathon Alta, UT Aug 17, 2019 1:36:00
Half Marathon Bountiful, UT Jul 20, 2019 1:46:00
Half Marathon Lubec, ME Jun 23, 2019 1:59:22
Half Marathon Portland, ME Jun 22, 2019 1:48:22
Half Marathon White Sulphur Springs, WV May 11, 2019 2:02:35
Half Marathon Versailles, KY Mar 30, 2019 1:52:43

My Raves

Wow, I'm glad I drove the course beforehand because I forgot to check the reviews and the hills would have killed me had I not been mentally prepared for them! … MORE

Wow, I’m glad I drove the course beforehand because I forgot to check the reviews and the hills would have killed me had I not been mentally prepared for them! It was surprisingly cold and overcast this morning, like really cold. Low thirties. Since I’m traveling I didn’t have a lot of choices in what I could wear so felt every bit of the temperature. The course starts right outside of the stadium and climbs up and out to the town of Auburn. Well marshaled and marked course as you run up and up and up through the neighborhoods and then a park. Coming back onto the campus, you get to run through campus on your way to the track where you take a lap before heading into the finish on the 50. Just mentally prepare yourself because there are some real slogs up hill with not a lot of downhill relief. As you finish, there are people who are in the stands but then…wait for it…the only way out is a climb up the stairs to the concourse. The finish festival is outside the stadium. There was no chocolate milk, energy drink or fruit. I mean, it’s 9A in the south so soda and a hot dog is normal I guess? AG winners don’t have to wait for a ceremony, you can just go pick up your bling (which was really nice bling). The medals this year were football helmets and the AG were gold/silver/bronze helmets. Parking was plentiful. Only about 1200 runners for the half and a total of 4000 for all the races (5K and kid’s mile and half). Really cold throughout but rather it be cold than hot, especially on those hills!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

I had heard about this from a friend and thought it would be a good excuse to go see Death Valley--which it was, but the race was nothing to write … MORE

I had heard about this from a friend and thought it would be a good excuse to go see Death Valley–which it was, but the race was nothing to write home about. It is VERY low frills with LOTS of rules. Because it is run within the National Park, the NPS permits require very specific rules, which I can sort of understand but…one of the rules is NO headphones, NO exceptions. I run with Shokz (so open ear, can have full conversations with you no problem). I asked the question and it was non-negotiable NO. OK fine, the race is supposed to be on open road and that could be dangerous if people can’t hear…except it wasn’t on open road. Which is the second problem. They changed the course a few days before to be through Mustard Canyon. Sounds exotic. But since the race is described as a road race, I had road shoes. It was NOT a road race. It was a gravel/rock trail with a little bike path. You had to run to the 10K turn around, which is through the canyon on loose gravel mixed with chunks of rock that roll under your feet, constantly causing you to risk falling or twisting an ankle. Not to mention the pounding on the rocks and gravel with light road shoes. My feet were so sore I could barely walk the next day, AND it was terribly slow. You had to do the canyon four times since they had you go to 10K turnaround and back and then repeat the loop. You were required to stay OFF the pavement. Well that sounds nice in theory except the shoulder was loose dirt/gravel that banked steeply away from the road bed. You literally could NOT run on the shoulder. It wasn’t possible. If you were caught on the road, the threat was DQ. You also had to somehow run opposite the marathon and 10K people that were passing each other back and forth, all on our own loops of the same course. It is not a chip timed race. They literally shout out your numbers and manually capture your time, which meant no results until that evening. The medals were tiny. The shirts were Fruit of the Loom, nothing special. One aid station at the turnaround point and one at the start/finish. They only had watered down lemonade and water (Carry your own, trust me). Death Valley was super cool to see but there is nowhere to eat (unless you want to pay $$$$ for really bad food at the restaurant, I’m not kidding, four dollar signs like on Yelp). We stayed at the Ranch at the Oasis which was fine but pricey, but also literally right where you need to be. Packet pick up is morning of the race. I’m glad I got to see Death Valley. I would not run this race again…my feet still hate me for what I did to them.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I've run this one a lot and as always, Runtastic does a wonderful job. This may be their biggest (not sure, but seems like it) because so many people are … MORE

I’ve run this one a lot and as always, Runtastic does a wonderful job. This may be their biggest (not sure, but seems like it) because so many people are able to participate in one of the distances they support (5K, 10K, Half, kids fun run). I love that they have a half on Thanksgiving and appreciate the work of the staff and volunteers that make it happen. The medals are always amazing, and if you trilogize, you get extra bling. The finish line is super, pie, chocolate milk, massage, hot cocoa…

They updated the course this year and I think it was a big improvement, you go through the golf course much farther than previously where you used to run to a parking lot, run in a circle (that was always a giant cluster) and I think they tweaked some of the rest of the course along the trail.

This is a great one for your whole family with tons of easily accessible parking, an early enough start time (7:45) that you aren’t blowing the whole day and still not so early that you’re exhausted.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

This was my fastest since 2019 and I loved this course. You need to be on a bus between 4 and 4:45 AM (ooph). The course starts in a little … MORE

This was my fastest since 2019 and I loved this course. You need to be on a bus between 4 and 4:45 AM (ooph). The course starts in a little village called Forest Falls on the state route that goes to Big Bear Lake. It was supposed to be cold and rainy and thankfully, it was neither (sadly, I was dressed for both). The start line had tons of portalets which was nice. The race literally is a straight line down the canyon with no turns other than road serpentines (be smart, run tangents!!). The grade is not outrageous so you aren’t trashing your legs but it is a definite downhill (I think the total elevation loss was close to 3100 ft!). Plenty of water stations with a surprising number of bathrooms available at those. The only turn was at mile 12 when you’re coming into the finish. This was a flat-ish segment which challenges you mentally after the downhill, and then you are at the finish line which as all Revel races are, has amazing support and food and cool clothes to wipe your face with. Weather was perfect, overcast and 40-50. Buses take you back to the parking area (which was huge with plenty of spaces to avoid stress at o dark thirty). Loved this one, hope to do it again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is one of my favorites each year. Runtastic does a great job no matter the race, their courses are outstanding and the medals are to die for. This year … MORE

This is one of my favorites each year. Runtastic does a great job no matter the race, their courses are outstanding and the medals are to die for. This year there were 2 shirts to choose from which was nice. It wasn’t nearly as cold as usual this year which was also very nice. The course finishes in Sugarhouse Park with a somewhat painful uphill slog in the last mile (hang in there!). One issue that I hadn’t noticed in prior years (but isn’t the race’s fault at all) is when we were entering the first neighborhood after the canyon, the pavement was such a mess it was a serious hazard to your ankles if you weren’t watching closely. If you were running fast, this could have been really scary. Always love Runtastic races, you can’t go wrong

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

This is the third time I've run this race and have always loved it but the new finish is a really nice improvement. The half and full have buses that … MORE

This is the third time I’ve run this race and have always loved it but the new finish is a really nice improvement. The half and full have buses that take you from different parking locations this year. The full parking lot/bus pick up is the same as the finish line and the half bus leaves from the same place as it used to. There is a TON of parking and a ton of buses to the start. You still get up to the start WAY too early given how cold it is (start was supposed to be 6:45 but a bus was late so they delayed till 7…and we were up there at 5:40). The new start does not have the up the canyon to hairpin and run back down anymore which is a bonus. The canyon is a solid 8 miles and the new course starts from the mouth of the canyon to the finish. Mile 8-9 runs through the park and ride and drops down onto BCC trail which is a bike path and gets you another mile downhill which is nice. Then mile 10 has a climb up to street level that makes your quads want to cry and then you’re fairly flat for mile 11-12.5 ish. The last half a mile or so is an uphill slog to the finish which you really, really feel because your quads were shredded from the canyon. The finish festival is much bigger than I recall from prior years and had great food. Only downside is if you’re a half marathoner, you need to find the buses (not obvious, hidden on a non-visible side of the building…) and then ride back to the start. Take it from me, drop a pin when you park your car. All the parking garages look exactly the same and you are parking in the dark. Figuring out where you are compared to where you were several hours earlier is not a game you want to play when you’re tired and sweaty and are not interested in walking all over god’s creation. Good medal and good food at finish. Love the swag, this year they had arm warmers and a nice shirt with other really fun shirts and stickers for sale.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

So the challenge with this one is location--Heber is a SMALL town on the Wasatch back without a lot of hotel options and given that you need to be on … MORE

So the challenge with this one is location–Heber is a SMALL town on the Wasatch back without a lot of hotel options and given that you need to be on a bus between 4-5AM, being close is sort of a requirement. I live in SLC but driving from my house is slightly more than an hour, even without traffic and there is no way I wanted to get up that early. So, if you are a baby like me, you could stay in Park City which means only about a 30 minute drive that time of the morning which is certainly a bonus. There are lots and lots of places to choose from if you go this route. The field is smaller than most Runtastic races, I’m assuming due to the location but that just means you can be more competitive in your age group. As in most of the Runtastic races, it’s a canyon run. The bus takes you to the top, in the pitch dark and as the sun slowly comes up (likely while you’re in the porta-potty line LOL), you can see where you are. This canyon is heavily wooded with aspens which makes for a beautiful course with lots of bird sounds as the sun comes up. Given it’s a July race, even if it’s hot in the valley, it’s perfect up top (you start at nearly 9000 feet). The downhills can be very steep but remember, don’t fight the hill, use gravity to fly! There are water stops/porta potties at the odd miles. It’s a fairly straight line race which helps with tangents (people, stop following the curves! Run the middle!). The finish is a long straight away on FLAT road into a neighborhood and then boom, there’s the finish. The medals that Runtastic does are always awesome. This year was a 3D mobile butterfly that was super cute. They also have other distances and proceeds go to an autism center. Expo is not anything to write home about but honestly, the shirt, sticker and medal they have makes it worth the race. Will run this one again for sure.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Timp was moved to June this year, flip flopping with Heber Half. That meant that the start time was a little earlier and the sunrise was a little earlier (read: … MORE

Timp was moved to June this year, flip flopping with Heber Half. That meant that the start time was a little earlier and the sunrise was a little earlier (read: hotter by finish). Love this course, one of my all time favorite Runtastics with amazing scenery down from the reservoir. Because of how wet the winter was there was epic creek flow still and lush greenery. Runtastic always has great shirts (insider tip: go at least 1, if not 2 sizes bigger than you think you are, they run hella small) and cool things in the bag (tattoos, decals, stickers). Finish festival is good but again, you are parking in the dark of night, you will NEVER find your car in this huge lot if you don’t drop a pin. Nothing looks the same, it’s a symmetric park with parking in every possible direction and where the buses pick up is not where the finish line is. You will definitely regret wandering around looking for your car at the end of a quad trashing course.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

I was in town so ran this knowing I wouldn't likely love it. It's mostly trail with a few miles total of paved segments. You start out in a park … MORE

I was in town so ran this knowing I wouldn’t likely love it. It’s mostly trail with a few miles total of paved segments. You start out in a park and pop on the riverside trail that quickly turns to crushed cinder/limestone and then full on dirt single track. The issue is, the race starts late (9A local) which means 1) if it’s going to be a hot day, you don’t get a jump on that and 2) the trail is crowded by Saturday folks out for walks or bike rides or runs, sometimes with kids/old people/dogs who don’t know what to do for trail etiquette. The first 3 miles are through dirt trail up and down and through the woods which is pretty but has the technical challenge of tree roots and rocks and people who don’t move their dogs or kids causing constant trip hazards. After you finish this segment, you run on the paved trail along the river for a bit through a HIGHLY trafficked area (it literally has a mall and multiple river access points) so this is a real hazard and requires constant dodging and weaving. Then you come to more trail–some crushed cinder, then gravel (like full on break your ankles gravel), then dirt and some monstrous hills that –bonus– may or may not have mountain bikes tearing down them. The course marshals were great at traffic control but since this is a small race, you easily could lose sight of the person in front of you and the signs are not frequent enough, you could easily make a wrong turn or take the wrong fork. I was constantly in free of losing the person in front of me and not knowing where to go. Because the course is somewhat challenging, there aren’t a lot of water stops, and it was HOT. I highly recommend carrying what you need. There were some hills that were so staggering I had no choice but to walk (and I live in the mountains). At about mile 8 you turn around and head back along the same dirt/gravel/neighborhood/paved section but now it’s later in the morning and it’s RIDICULOUS crowded. To the point that you sometimes have to stop because people would not move and their dogs would try to trip you. The finish was nice, you get a beautiful sunflower. The medal was meh. Instead of a shirt (which you can buy), you get socks. There are only awards/ceremony for overall and masters. If you AG, you get a ribbon. There are tons of other activities like jazzercise, yoga, stretching, lots to do for kids, good food (but no water bottles? Just shot glasses of water and tons of beer??) It was SOO hot, I wish they start around 7A before it heats up but I guess this was an anomaly. This one really took it out of me between the course and the heat but I still got 2 AG. Not a big field so the older you are, the more competitive you can be.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

Given I live at 5100', I was planning on this being a great showing since it's at sea level. Unfortunately, I had a horrible cold so this ended up being … MORE

Given I live at 5100′, I was planning on this being a great showing since it’s at sea level. Unfortunately, I had a horrible cold so this ended up being a struggle-fest. The expo was tiny but friendly and informative. The start line was small with only 2 corrals that they pre-seeded you in. The very beginning of the course was gravel which I hate but that gave way to pavement for a bit, then hard pack dirt through a nature preserve. You do a short out and back south, and then you are back at the start where you do a lap around the school track before you jump on a bike path through the woods and then into a neighborhood. Really lovely course that is flat as a pancake the entire way. after about 8.5mi you double back to towards the start but then turn and run into the Wright Brothers National Monument site and around the actual monument. That was a nice way to finish. The medals were nice and there was a whole festival at the end but unfortunately I felt awful from my cold so didn’t participate. Under different circumstances, this could easily be a PR course.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

I live in the west where mountain running requires you to understand tangents so you aren't running farther than necessary. This race was dead on every mile marker UNTIL mile … MORE

I live in the west where mountain running requires you to understand tangents so you aren’t running farther than necessary. This race was dead on every mile marker UNTIL mile 8 when suddenly, everyone’s GPS was reading 8.3 or more. Same thing at 9, 10, 11, 12 and then then finish 13.47 for me. Seriously, WTH? Packet pick up was easy to get to and navigate. You got a nice water bottle and shirt, there was supposed to be a beach towel but they had supply chain issues. I stayed at the Renaissance downtown because of it’s location, only a couple of blocks from the start/finish. DO NOT waste your money on this. Hella expensive, super noisy (aka NO sleep at all because of people in the halls all night, trains blowing their whistles, car alarms, totally ridiculous). Important note if you run for time, this is a gun time start, chip finish. This sucks because people don’t know how to self seed and you end up stuck behind people from the minute the gun goes off. There were a fair number of water stops and lots of course marshalls to keep you safe. It’s run on the roads of Montgomery which hare variable in terms of quality which means lots of potential for a twisted ankle. It’s March in the south so the weather can be touch and go but it was fabulous this year, crisp, cool and without terrible humidity. You finish in the outfield of the baseball stadium. The medal was ok, the post race food was over the top good–biscuits, grits, real eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes and two beers (??). The food really was nice. What wasn’t nice was finishing a race just before 9 and them not doing AG awards until 10:45. The awards were final but OMG. First off, no one stays that long unless you win and secondly, most hotels require check out before you could possibly get your award, get back and shower, and not all hotels will do late check out. Overall, did it because i was here for another reason and always looking for new states on my second quest but not sure I can recommend

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

Local, small production through the local Y. This year it supported a community child who died of Ewing's Sarcoma. PPU is the day of the race. There was plenty of … MORE

Local, small production through the local Y. This year it supported a community child who died of Ewing’s Sarcoma. PPU is the day of the race. There was plenty of parking with a shuttle to the start and from the finish. The course was through the community with lots of police to support road crossings. Course was not difficult. Swag was nothing remarkable but honestly, I’d rather the money go to the cause in these small races. Plenty of places to stay in the communities in the area.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

I've run this 3 times now and always enjoy the opportunity for end of the year swag. It can be crowded at the start as you work your way out … MORE

I’ve run this 3 times now and always enjoy the opportunity for end of the year swag. It can be crowded at the start as you work your way out of the golf course. You jump up onto the Jordan River Parkway which is a nice winding path along the river. There are climbs that are short but can hurt if you don’t plan accordingly. Coming back, the last mile is flat but there is nearly always a head wind or tail wind on the first half and the opposite on the second half (you cross a bridge and then run back the way you just came from to get to the finish). Be prepared! The medals are awesome, the food is incredible. Love the AG awards. Will always run this one if I’m available!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

This is an all time favorite that I try to hit over and over. They moved it this year to the weekend before Thanksgiving (used to be first weekend of … MORE

This is an all time favorite that I try to hit over and over. They moved it this year to the weekend before Thanksgiving (used to be first weekend of Nov). Because it is now after DST, the start time is later (9A) and you don’t have to be on a bus quite so early which is lovely. It’s cold up top but they have space blankets and SO MANY porta potties and hot chocolate/coffee. This is incredibly well supported at the start. you cannot beat the scenery, you run into Snow Canyon and it is staggering to see as the sun lights the rocks. You come out of the park around mile 8 and then the work really starts–you have some flats and some hills that hurt because of your canyon legs. As you finish, you’ll be running through some neighborhoods and then up into the high school track. Push hard! The medals are good and the AG awards are always nice (not another medal, usually pottery or some statue thing). Great food at the finish. If you’re a 50 stater, this one is a kind UT one since the altitude isn’t awful (top of canyon is not even 5000 ft).

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I was in the area and needed the state for a repeat 50 state collection. This is a rail trail run with really, really small field. You have mass start … MORE

I was in the area and needed the state for a repeat 50 state collection. This is a rail trail run with really, really small field. You have mass start (like barely 100 people!) and it’s on a crushed gravel rail trail. I ran in road shoes but wish I would have worn gaiters since I got pebbles in my shoe that drove me nuts. You run through the trees and it’s fall in the midwest (it was warm–shorts weather) and the leaves are falling so it’s pretty and quiet. Literally no one but you and an occasional biker and the birds. Some water stops but I wear a hydration pack which was helpful given how warm it was. Because it’s rail trail, FLAT FLAT FLAT (said by the person who lives in the mountains–someone at the start warned me about the “hill” as you head out. It is “uphill” to the halfway point but that is so gradual you do not notice, and it’s downhill back. The medal was wood which was cool and there was great food (including popcorn kernels from a local farm).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Had a weekend available and wanted to come to Sacramento to see family so was able to squeeze this one in. The packet pick up is at the start/finish line … MORE

Had a weekend available and wanted to come to Sacramento to see family so was able to squeeze this one in. The packet pick up is at the start/finish line so that allowed some prescouting. The shirts are super cute and nice material. You also get a sticker and aluminum cup. Start is in 3 waves (honor system) that was nice because at the very least, people expecting to be less than 2h could be in one “herd” which is good because they course stays pretty dense for the entire course. There was no time that it thinned out noticeably. The course is very wind-y (as in lots of turns, not the weather feature) which gives the allusion of running farther than you really have. Be smart and pay attention to tangents given the number of turns. You can add serious mileage if you’re not paying attention. The crowds were everywhere in the neighborhoods and the water stations were super well staffed with great volunteers that were super enthusiastic. The course takes you through neighborhoods and the park and then up towards the capitol and the Tower Bridge and Old Sacramento. They had lots of way points to update people on your status. Finish line even had a huge arch telling you had 1/2mile left (love that). Medal was a cowbell which made for hella noise at the finish line. Lots of food but get this—free beer (ok), but NO CHOCOLATE MILK. It’s a race about cows! How can there not be chocolate milk??? overall, great production, would recommend it for beginners, flat course with good support!!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Was in town for work so ran this while here. The crowd support was second to none, the November Project was having a meet up and wow, can they make … MORE

Was in town for work so ran this while here. The crowd support was second to none, the November Project was having a meet up and wow, can they make noise! I love that the packet pick up was scattered over multiple days, that increases ease of access tremendously. The start was easy to navigate and they only let corrals go one at a time which really eased crowding early on (much appreciated, I wish more races did this). Lots of porta potties spread out all over so no need to wait in a single, painful line. The course is flat as a pancake without unnecessary twists and turns. I love that you know where the finish is based on running past it at about mile 5…that mentally focuses you. There were more than enough water stops with great volunteers working them. The weather was sunny and humid, but it had been nice days prior so just luck of the draw that I got a humid day. The course is pretty enough and you get to see the elites circle back since the course doubles back at mile 9. Medal was good, post course food could have really used chocolate milk but otherwise had decent spread. No AG awards.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I’ve run this one 3 times now and love it every time. It’s COOOLD at the start but they give you Mylar blankets (which looks hilarious to see the farm … MORE

I’ve run this one 3 times now and love it every time. It’s COOOLD at the start but they give you Mylar blankets (which looks hilarious to see the farm of space people trying to stay warm before the sun comes up). Tons of porta potties spread out so you don’t have to all be vying of the same lines. This year, the swag included a choice of shirt type (triblend or tech) and a hat with a Velcro patch on the front that if you place, you get an AG patch to put on it. The medals are big and cool. The course is challenging but not painful (some are awful when you come out of the canyon, you are forced to climb right away, this has a couple miles of flat before a drop into the finish line. The canyon has lots of curves so be smart and learn to run tangents or you will unnecessarily extend your time. The last 5 are a long straightaway. You can see the finish easily with a mile to go. Good post race support. Will keep running this one because of the experience and the course!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Utah (and Runtastic) are known for their wicked fast canyon races--extending our race season through the summer without the penalty of heat. This one was another one where you need … MORE

Utah (and Runtastic) are known for their wicked fast canyon races–extending our race season through the summer without the penalty of heat. This one was another one where you need to be on the bus between 4:30-5:15 for a 6:30 race start. I live in SLC but am a morning wimp so got a hotel in Provo (really the closest you can get and it was still 20min to the bus) which makes morning a little more tolerable. It is pitch black at the top which is just a hair under 8000ft. The grades are steep and there are s-turns in the road so be smart and run the tangents. I was tearing down at a decent clip, along with everyone else before I started having some thinning of the crowds around mile 5ish. The bulk of the run is in the canyon and you don’t get to flats and rollers until mile 9 or so. That’s also the first time you’ll see the sun break over the ridge. Only for a minute though and you’re back in the shade of the trees. The run out to the finish is flat but you can’t see it, there are a couple of turns to make. Don’t slow down, it literally is around 2 turns and you’re there! Great finish food/choc milk/OJ/powerade and as always, incredible medals.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

This was my second worse half marathon. I literally only signed up for this knowing it was a trail race because I wanted to do the Grand Quad, which is … MORE

This was my second worse half marathon. I literally only signed up for this knowing it was a trail race because I wanted to do the Grand Quad, which is the 5K and Half in Grand Teton the week before and then the 5K and Half in Yellowstone.

Their production is among the best in the country (and I’m a 50 stater nearing 100 completed half’s–I’ve seen a lot of productions!). Their communication is outstanding, their deferral policy is forgiving, you can even legally transfer your bib.

This is not a course for a novice or someone just starting to run half marathons. This was a highly technical trail that was brutal and had more than a few walking wounded as a result. The race starts out the same as the 5K on tiny bit of pavement, then chat/gravel and rapidly deteriorates onto Forest Service Roads. The roads were deeply rutted, badly water logged (wet spring) with standing water, deep mud or marsh and no good route through it. Then, they had heavy equipment on the course that had chewed up the road making soft powder, loose rocks, dangerous sticks/branches/logs strewn everywhere you had to pick your way through. I wiped out badly at mile 9 (along with many others apparently, having witnessed at least 2 other wipe outs personally and seeing the bloody mess at the finish line of many more). Mile 9 was rock/boulder/sand and there was no place to pick a path that wasn’t sketchy. The hill from mile 5-7 (no lie, that long) was not runnable, and I live at altitude and train in the foothills. If you’re a flat lander, it’s gonna hurt BAD. I literally NEVER walk in a race and I decided survival required power hiking that.

I took second AG (which tells you something with that time) (I took home a total of 12 medals for the two weekends of running). Snack box was great (actually went online and to the store to buy more of some of the things in there they were so good) and chocolate milk at the finish is always bonus. They do awards 5 deep at every category which is amazing. The shirts are great too.

Advice–get your housing situation squared away a year in advance. I was originally registered for 2020 but you know…Covid…When I booked that housing, I waited till maybe 6 months before and there was NOTHING anywhere near the start which would have meant camping and I’m too old to camp before/after a race. This time I learned my lesson and booked a year in advance and found an incredible condo within walking distance of the start and a couple blocks from the park entrance.

While I loved the production and I loved the medals, I will not run this race again. I will literally have scars to show for it and I prefer to run fast on pavement.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I ran the Grand Quad, which is the 5K and Half in Grand Teton the week before and then the 5K and Half in Yellowstone. These were my first Vacation … MORE

I ran the Grand Quad, which is the 5K and Half in Grand Teton the week before and then the 5K and Half in Yellowstone. These were my first Vacation Races and they did not disappoint. Their production is among the best in the country (and I’m a 50 stater nearing 100 completed half’s–I’ve seen a lot of productions!). Their communication is outstanding, their deferral policy is forgiving, you can even legally transfer your bib.

This course is tiny bit of pavement followed by chat/gravel, then dirt with some mud. The 5K is essentially flat but you do have to run through a dry culvert with rocks and soft dirt that requires caution to not break a leg. Coming into the finish is a sharp turn on loose gravel that nearly caused me to wipe out. I took second female masters which gets you more bling and an annual park pass (I took home a total of 12 medals for the two weekends of running). Snack box was great (actually went online and to the store to buy more of some of the things in there they were so good) and chocolate milk at the finish is always bonus. They do awards 5 deep at every category which is amazing. The shirts are great too.

Advice–get your housing situation squared away a year in advance. I was originally registered for 2020 but you know…Covid…When I booked that housing, I waited till maybe 6 months before and there was NOTHING anywhere near the start which would have meant camping and I’m too old to camp before/after a race. This time I learned my lesson and booked a year in advance and found an incredible condo within walking distance of the start and a couple blocks from the park entrance.

I can’t say enough good about VR. Highly recommend.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I wasn't setting any personal records on this course, it's higher elevation than I live and a steady climb from start to finish but holy cow was it amazing. The … MORE

I wasn’t setting any personal records on this course, it’s higher elevation than I live and a steady climb from start to finish but holy cow was it amazing. The scenery cannot be beat. You literally run along and over the Snake River and see osprey and eagles hunting. You then turn up the airport road and run with the Tetons on your side for half the race. The pictures have the snowcapped Tetons as your backdrop. The medals are to die for (I scored 12 overall for the 2 weekends of racing). The race director/crew is second to none. The people you meet and see at all 4 races are wonderful and become fast friends (ha, get it?). Snack boxes and chocolate milk were awesome, the shirts are great, the swag for sale was fun…I would run this one again in a heart beat. It was one of my favorite half’s of nearly 100 so far.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was my first Vacation Races production. I originally registered in 2020 but then...well you know what happened. I deferred last year because of a HS graduation and finally got … MORE

This was my first Vacation Races production. I originally registered in 2020 but then…well you know what happened. I deferred last year because of a HS graduation and finally got to do it this year. Wow, just wow. First off, they are outstanding communicators and have great info throughout the time leading up to the race. Packet pick up was convenient and easy. I did the Grand Quad which is the 5K and Half in Jackson one weekend and then the 5K and Half in Yellowstone the following weekend. For that, you get a medal for each race, the Moose Doubler for both Jackson races, the Grizzly Doubler for both Yellowstone races, the Bison Doubler for both half’s and the Grand Quad for all 4. On top of that, they do awards 5 deep in each category and the top 3 overall in each gender and top 3 masters overall in each gender got an Annual National Parks Pass (I scored 2 by winning Masters in 5K and 2nd in Masters in Yellowstone 5K).

The course is manageable and flat but at altitude so be aware if you’re a flatlander. The snack box for both races is great, I actually went to local stores or online to buy more of some of the food included since I hadn’t had it before and it was great. Really can’t say enough good about VR productions. Highly recommend.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Repeat runner, looking for a race in November…enjoy Runtastic events because they know how to do the swag like no other. Course is a huge meh, and the fact that … MORE

Repeat runner, looking for a race in November…enjoy Runtastic events because they know how to do the swag like no other. Course is a huge meh, and the fact that people have no idea how to self seed is frustrating because the course is narrow to start and finding a line is hard. I had to dart out and around on the grass several times. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this is in the valley and not a canyon race, you’ll work for it—lots of hills on a golf course and in the neighborhoods. Love the gratitude signs to understand what we all should be grateful for. And the medals! And the pie!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I've run this one 5 times now and it never fails to impress. This year at the start line they had propane patio heaters, buckets of handwarmers, mylar blankets, hot … MORE

I’ve run this one 5 times now and it never fails to impress. This year at the start line they had propane patio heaters, buckets of handwarmers, mylar blankets, hot chocolate, gels and bananas…wow! Because it was the 15th anniversary, they had quarter zips which were really nice and the medal was awesome! It was like a sun catcher and seriously big! Finish line was great, chocolate milk, cookies, pizza. AG awards were outstanding trophies (they always have great AG awards). The only thing I wish they would improve was corralling–people do not understand the simple concept of if you are not racing or a speed demon, don’t crowd the front. The first 2 miles were way slower than they should have been given the course because of the ridiculous number of people who were at the front who did not belong there and did not understand how to yield. If you DO follow appropriate corralling, you are penalized by being stuck behind people who do NOT.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Runtastic always does a great job—from their shirts (which do run small ladies, size up for sure) to their incredible medals and their age group medals and their trilogy medals…Love … MORE

Runtastic always does a great job—from their shirts (which do run small ladies, size up for sure) to their incredible medals and their age group medals and their trilogy medals…Love the run down the canyon, even if it was raining, fire pits at the start line and fun finish line. They listened to runners a few years ago and reversed the direction of the finish in the park to minimize a hill at the end (thank you!!!). You can never go wrong with a Runtastic Race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

As a local, it's really surprising it took me 9 years to run this. Now, to be fair, if you live in SLC and you have to be on a … MORE

As a local, it’s really surprising it took me 9 years to run this. Now, to be fair, if you live in SLC and you have to be on a bus in American Fork between 4 and 5 in the morning, that’s harsh. I was a wuss and stayed in a hotel down in Lehi to make the morning drive only 15min and it was worth every penny.

The buses leave from a park (hint, drop a pin on google or you will never find your car given you are arriving in pitch dark and the finish is a way from the parking, you’ll be completely turned around to find it after) and take you up the American Fork Canyon. I had never been up there and going up in the dark kept it a surprise for the run down. At the top, be smart and realize there a couple of different pit toilets available so don’t stand in line forever at the portalets. There is a guitarist who apparently doesn’t mind early morning gigs. They have a minute of silence where you use your flashlight (from the swag bag) as a remembrance of those who have died from cancer.

The start unfortunately was a little chaotic. I do not understand people who do not understand how to queue up. You are a hazard to others and in danger yourself when you are slow or a walker and try to start with the sub 8min crowd. The first 8ish miles are in the canyon and it is staggeringly beautiful. The cliffs soar above the road, right up next to it. There is a creek running down the side of the road (we still have a LITTLE water out here…not much). In addition to portalets at aid stations, there are also pit toilets along the way at campsites or picnic sites. If you can bob and weave around the crowd and find a gap, you can run and look at the amazing rocks all around you. It was hard to maintain a tangent because the cant of the road was very exaggerated in places making it almost painful to run the best path and you’d be forced up or down the lane to find a more flat surface. There were definitely some steep downhills that you need to know how to handle (if you are a flatlander, find a hill to practice on. Fighting grades this steep will TRASH your legs. If you work WITH the hill, it will boost your split and you won’t be dying tomorrow. As you leave the canyon, you have to do a U turn and head straight back towards the canyon where there are down canyon winds, right in your face, as you are now heading up hill. That was a bit harsh…this is also when you meet up with the 10K crowd, who unfortunately were running 2-4 abreast (or walking) and did not understand yielding. You then enter the golf course and it becomes hilly. As you move through the golf course (dodging walkers with headphones), you eventually come out and jump on a bike path. They had a mist station which was nice…and then…the impact sprinklers that someone had on. This was welcome because it was getting hot and you were working hard but wow, it was a lot of water and for at least 0.1-0.2 miles so you will get thoroughly soaked. I looked like I jumped in a pool! Leaving the bike path, you’re nearly down as you round a farm and run through a neighborhood and finally come up on the park where the finish is. The sun never really broke over the mountain till nearly the end which was a welcome relief because it was only when the sun came up that the heat started kicking up.

The finish line was a little skimpy on food, only half bananas, cuties, granola bars and water. The medal was incredible (all Runtastic medals are!). The swag included a really nice shirt with a great design, a string bag and some fun stickers and tattoos.

I always love Runtastic productions and would definitely do this one again. If you do 3 Runtastics in a year, you get a trilogy award that a medallion from your medal goes on. Definitely check this one out!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Badly wanted to get back to racing and found this gem. We love Sun Valley no matter what time of year it was and I was willing to pay a … MORE

Badly wanted to get back to racing and found this gem. We love Sun Valley no matter what time of year it was and I was willing to pay a premium for the race and the location. I was in the Saturday group and in the first wave for the half (ie, bus at 4:30A and start at 5:30). While I certainly whined about that, I was glad it was the case. I was done before some of my family were even awake for the day! Packet pickup was small but with really helpful volunteers. Shirts were nice and you had a choice of tech or cotton. Additional swag included a nice thermal tumbler. The parking in the morning was easy and convenient. The buses were top notch (no school buses here!) and masks were required. Drove out to the start line and the bus dropped off the first wave. We all lined up single file and literally started one at at time. Running down the shoulder of 75 as the sun came up and the full moon set over the mountains was beautiful and quiet. Occasionally I’d pass or be passed but in general, it was like a run on my own which was great for pacing and time—no need to dodge and weave, no bad mannered runners running multiple abreast and failing to yield and no human loud speakers to contend with. Gentle downhill was nice and when you get into town, you know it’s all downhill from there. The run in to the finish is great and there is a great backdrop for pictures against the mountains. Absolutely loved this, love Revel and hope that this isn’t really a limited edition. My daughter ran her 20th (at age 20) and my son ran his first (at 18) on Sunday. Thank you Revel for catering to the race hungry and making it worthwhile!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

I had deferred this from COVID hell year to this year and this was my first race since October. Vernal is no thriving metropolis and the expo was nothing big … MORE

I had deferred this from COVID hell year to this year and this was my first race since October. Vernal is no thriving metropolis and the expo was nothing big but the convenience of having it in the hotel we were staying at was nice. There was a bus that left the hotel for the start so we didn’t have to go to the official start line to get a bus. Up before the crack of dawn and going up the canyon was made easier by the roll out of bed and go to the parking lot bonus instead of having to navigate yourself somewhere. At the top it was chilly and I don’t quite get why you need to get to the top so early and then stand around and wait. I’d much rather have less time standing around in the cold or a later start that allowed sleeping in a little later. The first couple of miles in the canyon were somewhat sketchy due to crowds and broken asphalt daring you to twist your ankle. Try to pick a line and maintain…coming out of the woods, there is a turn and a little bit of a slog up a hill but then the downhill resumes. At mile 6.2-6.7 there is the Sprintasaurus where you too can run like a fool whose head is on fire to see what you’ve got…take a tenth of a mile to recover and then keep moving. Unfortunately at mile 11 there was a controlled burn of a field that nearly choked us to death due to the wind blowing the smoke right onto the course. Come around the bend and the finish line isn’t far. The medals are awesome as always, including the AG awards. Runtastic is one of my favorite race producers (I’m running almost all of their races this year). Really recommend them.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Runtastic is by far one of the best race organizers out there. Normally I race 1-3 times a month. This year COVID has destroyed my racing schedule. I haven't run … MORE

Runtastic is by far one of the best race organizers out there. Normally I race 1-3 times a month. This year COVID has destroyed my racing schedule. I haven’t run a race since the first week of March and my speed is hurting for it. I deferred a couple of races that were scheduled to happen this summer because I wasn’t sure it would be safe but went ahead with this one because I think Runtastic did have safety measures in place. Packet Pick Up was well done with plenty of space to avoid crowding. The race shirts are always fun (ladies, they run REALLY small, trust me. I usually wear a small and I’ve tried every size from S to L and the Large is the first to fit me like a normal small would). The backpack had a fun sugar skull on it and they write your number on the bag in case you forget to put your bib tag on it. The race this year started at the top of East Canyon to keep everyone in the canyon in Emigration instead of having to run through Sugar House and tie up traffic there. The buses were filled but you had to wear a mask and they checked temps. In previous years they had you on a bus no later than 6:30 leaving at 6:45 and starting the race at 8:30 which meant a LONG, cold time at the start. This year, they moved the start to 8 (THANK YOU!!!) and we actually didn’t get off the bus until 7:40 which was perfect. Time to go to the bathroom (lots and lots of portages potties) and get rid of our bag before toeing the line. Costume contest was fun with cute ideas to be sure. Headless horseman was a Dia del Muerto instead which was cool. The start was more crowded than I expected. The first 3 miles are down East Canyon. Then, the Haunted Hill from Hell…UP from the reservoir for a little more than 1.5mi. Absolutely brutal slog and I live at altitude and run in the hills. Once you crest the hill to the old start line, it is a long, steep down hill with flats and rollers in the last 5. I have PR’d at this race twice before and always place or win my division but wasn’t in racing form this year and the walk up the hill out of necessity killed my time, but I did recover my average split on the steep part of Emigration. The medal was AWESOME as usual and they were handing out masks at the finish if you didn’t have one for the finish line festival. Highly recommend this and all Runtastic races.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I'm on my second round of 50 states and trying to run different races than the first round. This one gets a lot of press so I thought I would … MORE

I’m on my second round of 50 states and trying to run different races than the first round. This one gets a lot of press so I thought I would try it. I stayed at the Westin which is the ultimate in convenience: 5 min walk to packet pick up and start/finish line. The “expo” was not so much an expo as a couple of small booths and a line. Definitely not a production number. That being said, good news is you can walk in get your bib and get out. The start was chilly this year, high 30s but it warmed up quickly and was perfect temps.

The start line is for all races at the same time, self seeding. There is a 5K, 10K, half and full. People continue to not understand the concept of self seeding and you take that number of people from that many races and put them together for a group start and you have a giant cluster. You literally can’t pick a line because you are elbow to elbow with everyone. It doesn’t begin to thin till after 2mi where the 5K peels off. Another problem is the course. The course is a ridiculous meandering path through downtown and some neighborhoods, you are constantly turning, running over the centers of round abouts and doubling back on your course. For the early miles, you are packed like sardines into a lane and you are running right into the sun. This makes you functionally blind and unable to see what is coming on the ground, which is very relevant on this course because apparently MS doesn’t invest in repaving roads that are so badly damaged they have cones in the middle of the street with signs marking danger holes for cars. You have to pick your footing carefully or you’ll roll your ankle or worse, trip and fall. The pavement is so chewed up, uneven, gravel in places and ginormous holes that I’m surprised more people don’t fall. At the first water stop, it is so bottle necked due to the people who don’t self seed correctly, all 4 races, the narrowness of the lane that you have to practically slow to a walk just to get through. Very frustrating.

There are some hills but nothing dramatic and nothing that lasts a long time. The course support is spotty with some cool things (the band at Jackson State University was neat, a guy playing amazing electric guitar), but there wasn’t a lot more than that. The finish line is split because the marathoners have to do a second loop (OMG I have great empathy for them). The food is meager–a banana, some gold fish and a granola bar. Only water, no chocolate milk. There are computers to check your finish results.

The shirt is only meh and the medal was big but disappointingly ugly.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I had heard this was a good race, and looking for races in February, you take what you get since there aren't many choices. Flew into LAX and stayed in … MORE

I had heard this was a good race, and looking for races in February, you take what you get since there aren’t many choices. Flew into LAX and stayed in Fountain Valley (15min inland and much, much cheaper). Got in too late on Friday night to go to packet pick up. On Saturday AM, they actually opened early (supposed to be 10 but they opened closer to 9:30 which was nice since the mile race was at 11). Parking is a super challenge by the beach so we paid $15 for all day parking at a beach lot that was super convenient. I’m not a fan of assigning bibs to runners at the expo–room for error is great and it happened to me that they did it wrong and I found out after the race that my bib wasn’t associated with my name. To be fair, the timing company did fix it when I provided proof (Garmin data and a picture of me finishing) that it was me but stressful nonetheless. I ran the Beach Mile on Saturday AM. It was an out and back on the soft sand at 11A so it was hot and HARD. There are no land speed records to be set here but that’s ok, it’s fun. The medal was actual rubber for this race. Next AM, the 5K starts at 7A and the Half starts at 7:45 so there were some that ran the 5K and then ran the half (gunners!). Parking is available for shuttles or you can drive around and find neighborhood parking for free if you’re willing to gamble. I found a spot less than a mile from the start that was free. The race is waved but on your honor which is frustrating since people frequently put themselves where they don’t belong creating a cluster at the start. The race course is FLAT with an out and back with a side lollipop. Since the full starts so much earlier than the half, the middle and back of the pack marathoners are encountered first at about mile 3-5 on the half course. The course then starts to get pretty congested because of the lollipop stem (3 lanes for those going out and 1 coming back so winners of half are needing to pass slower marathoners and things get choked). This wasn’t awful, just noticeable. Good course support throughout. Weather was outstanding, cool and foggy/overcast. Finish line is visible for at least half a mile and it’s a straight, flat run in. Expo is open afterwards. Medal was cool with a real wood surfboard and medallion and a bonus medal for running the Beach Mile the day before (pick this up in Expo after race). Enjoyed this race, would run again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Wanting to keep a 12m streak going for races, I needed a place that wasn't snowing in January. I love San Diego and wasn't disappointed--perfect running weather. Packet Pick Up … MORE

Wanting to keep a 12m streak going for races, I needed a place that wasn’t snowing in January. I love San Diego and wasn’t disappointed–perfect running weather.

Packet Pick Up was at Road Runner Sports (unpaid endorsement–love their online store, prices are excellent, especially if you pay to be a VIP–it will pay for itself) and deals on last year’s models are always great). It was nice to be in the store to be able to shop and you get a 20% off coupon for use while you’re there. Parking is plentiful so that is nice. Shirt was meh and ran very small. I’m on 5’3″ and a lightweight and a medium was skin tight. Upsized to a L to have some breathing room. It was pretty boring design.

Race morning they said was going to have tight parking and that freaked me out a little. I left my hotel (only 5min away) at 6A to be sure to find parking. I got to the first lot and the road past that was closed. I got a spot and while sitting there, they opened the road so I decided to move the car. Again, since they made a huge deal about how parking was going to be tight, I went to the very next lot and parked. That lot ended up being a 1.5 mile walk to the start!! There was SO much parking I could have gotten within a quarter mile of the start easily.

I was really cold at the start since the sun hadn’t come up yet, it was only 43 degrees. They started about 5 min late which only led to more shivering. People were generally well behaved with self seeding. The course is FLAT as a pancake which is lovely and pretty scenic as you run out onto a little island, run around the edge of that and then back towards the finish line, overshoot that to one direction, double back and overshoot the other direction and then double back. The 5K and 10K share the course with you which wasn’t a problem–it’s the people that come to the park to ride their bikes, run in the opposite direction, walk their dogs or walk 5 abreast with a stroller. That was pretty challenging to navigate. There is a part where you run through packed mud/sand which wasn’t awful but it ended up with dirt in my shoe which was frustrating because that rubbed the rest of the race. Lots of water stops and gels available. Got to watch the birds and water skiers for distraction.

The medal was a “chalk board” that you could use chalk markers to write your resolution on and a magnet on the back. Food options were limited but there were lots of vendor tents. Unfortunately, then had to do the long haul back to the car…By the middle of the race, the temp had warmed to a comfortable 50 and sunny so that was wonderful racing temps.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I love Runtastic Events--they put on a great production no matter which race you run. I tend to volunteer at the Thankful 13 (every hour you volunteer is an 20% … MORE

I love Runtastic Events–they put on a great production no matter which race you run. I tend to volunteer at the Thankful 13 (every hour you volunteer is an 20% off a race!!) and did again this year at Packet Pickup. This also is a good opportunity for me to appreciate what it feels like when there is a crowd at the table and the volunteers are going as fast as they can…calm down people! Don’t shout out your numbers, hand them to me so I can read them (ps, please write legibly and preferably in numeric order if there is more than one!!). After 6 hours of volunteering, I went home to sleep before the race. A huge snowstorm was headed in so I didn’t know what to prepare for. Next morning, it was cold and snowing in parts of the valley but not at the race start (just snow showers). You can hang out with the heaters and fire pits in the garage until race time which was nice. The race starts out in Thanksgiving Point and then winds its way through the golf course before connecting to the Jordan River Trail. This is wonderful because it’s paved, scenic and relatively flat (some tough, short inclines were icy so you had to go slow). As you start, the crowd thins (this is a huge race since there is a distance for the whole family, there are lots and lots of people). Running along the river is quiet and pretty. There are dozens and dozens of thankful signs which are nice distractions and humbling to read (“Thankful for a cancer free year” made me tear up…wow I have it easy). You come off the trail to run through some quiet neighborhoods and since it’s Thanksgiving morning there is hardly any traffic at all. After a few miles in the neighborhoods, you rejoin the Jordan River Trail and head back. There are some underpasses that were a little icy so you had to be careful. I made the mistake of worrying too much about wet feet and chose to run in trail shoes which beat the crap out of my feet since I was running on pavement. There is a small segment of the JRT trail that you double back on (it’s sort of a squished figure 8 course with a stick in the middle that is out and back) and then you veer across the river to make it to the finish line. We were lucky and it was only snow showers and cold but not freezing cold…until literally the last 0.2 miles. Uphill into a head wind…ooph! Cross the finish line and get an incredible medal (Runtastic does the best medals!). Hot chocolate, rolls and pumpkin pie were waiting in the garage out of the wind. Age group winners (yea!) got another huge medal and a turn on the podium (it’s the little things that make me happy!). Overall winners took home Thanksgiving feasts. Parking is abundant and free–all the businesses in the area are closed for Thanksgiving so literally you could choose just about anywhere and you were in easy walking distance of the start/finish.

I can’t say enough great stuff about Runtastic Races. If you can’t run them, volunteer…these ladies run a great show. And check out their Black Friday pricing! You can buy a pass to ALL their races at a huge discount, or buy a trilogy pack (they have special medals for those who run 3 in a calendar year).

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

If you're a 50 stater or looking for a beautiful, warm (but not hot, perfect temps, warming by finish) to run in November, this is the race to run. This … MORE

If you’re a 50 stater or looking for a beautiful, warm (but not hot, perfect temps, warming by finish) to run in November, this is the race to run. This was my 3rd time, I’ve PR’d here once, got a second best time here and debuted my 16y daughter at one. This is amazing. You go to the top of the canyon in the dark and watch the sun come up and light the volcanic park beautifully. The first 2-3 miles feel flat but are net downhill, then the canyon really starts. Blazing fast downhills through the petrified sand dunes and volcanic fields. The sun lights the red rock in a stunning way. You tear through the park, temps are cool to cold but you’re fine as you are running. At mile 8 you come out of the canyon and the real work starts. It’s neighborhood running on flat bike trail or street with rollers for a solid 5 miles with some steep but short uphill climbs. Hold on and you can still PR. You finish on the high school track with all your family waiting. Chocolate milk and huge muffins at the finish. Got a finisher’s hat and a huge metal. Gu on the course which is nice. Age group awards are incredible. Huge piece of pottery (decreasing size for 1st, 2nd, 3rd), gift card for shoes at local running store, some other swag. Expo isn’t big so you can be quick. Fly into Vegas and drive 2ish hours, fly into SLC and drive 4.5h or fly from SLC for $200 round trip. Lots of places to stay. LOVE this race. Will run over and over again!!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Was in New Orleans for work and was fortunate to have this available. Packet pick up at the hotel (Renaissance Arts Warehouse District) was convenient but small. Not really an … MORE

Was in New Orleans for work and was fortunate to have this available. Packet pick up at the hotel (Renaissance Arts Warehouse District) was convenient but small. Not really an expo. Shirt was really nice (unisex sizing), nice color, comfortable material. Race morning the start was delayed by 30min because of rain resulting in people having problems getting there (shout out to race organizers for not stressing people out by forcing an on time start). The start line was not well marked (but follow the masses…). Course had to be detoured due to Hard Rock Hotel falling down a few weeks ago. Start out with a 1.5mi out and back to the Super Dome and then another long straight away out to Audubon Park where you run a lap and come out to return around mile 9. To say this was flat is an understatement. SOOOOOO flat. I train and live at altitude so a combination of sea level and flat was a dream. Plenty of water on the course. Finish line is at a long straightaway so you can see it and not waste effort on turns (LOVE this kind of finish). Medal was decent. Food was not great–no bagels/pretzels/cookies/chips/chocolate milk. There was red beans and rice, jambalaya or hot dogs and beer. Good bands playing. Awards took FOREVER–winners were done by 9:30 even with late start and they didn’t do awards for anything including the 5K till nearly 11. It was freezing by then and standing around forever was no fun. Be aware they only do first place age group, masters, grand masters, seniors and overall. This was a disappointment. Pictures are not free and there weren’t really photographers on course, just at the finish.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

This is a favorite of mine--and not just because i've massively PR'd twice. The shirts are always good, the medals are ridiculously awesome (often have moving/opening/swinging parts), the age group … MORE

This is a favorite of mine–and not just because i’ve massively PR’d twice. The shirts are always good, the medals are ridiculously awesome (often have moving/opening/swinging parts), the age group awards are incredible and the race production over all is well done. You need to be on the bus between 6-7A and the race doesn’t start till 8:30–be smart, bring warm clothes and drop them in a bag before the start. They have fire pits and hot cocoa at the top of the canyon, more than enough porta potties, and space blankets. They do have a costume contest at the start you can participate in. The headless horseman is super cool (beautiful horse) and watching the sun rise over the mountains can never be beat. I couldn’t feel my feet for the first 3 miles because they were so cold but trust yourself and open up the throttle. My first 3 miles were mid-6 minute miles which is just time in the bank for later. Be smart and run tangents–it always kills me to watch people running the curves like lemmings. You add serious mileage if you keep doing that! As you come out of the canyon the work gets harder. Know that the last 2 miles are the hardest with a tough climb into the park but hang on, you can still do it if you’ve banked enough time in the canyon. As you finish, there is a tunnel to run through and then there the finish is. Headless horseman is there for pics, there is a PR bell and pizza and chocolate milk. Seriously, this is an outstanding race. HINT: volunteer at any of the Runatastic events and get 20% off a future race for every HOUR you put in! I can usually get at least one free race by working one of the ones I don’t run. Another fun thing is run 3 Runtastic events in a year and get a trilogy award–there are charms on each metal that can magnet onto the trilogy medal you can get at the end of the race. So cool!!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

We used to come up to Sleeping Bear Dunes in the summer because it's a wonderful little lake town in Northern Michigan and was cool at night, beautiful dark skies … MORE

We used to come up to Sleeping Bear Dunes in the summer because it’s a wonderful little lake town in Northern Michigan and was cool at night, beautiful dark skies to see the Milky Way and Big and Little Glen Lakes are amazing, crystal clear lakes that are wonderful to play in. We’ve never been in the fall so I wanted to give this race a try. This is a small production, <500 runners for the half. Packet Pick Up is small and only a couple of hours on Friday night and pre-race Saturday morning. Empire is a village so there is no problem finding it or finding parking. The shirt was nice, cool emblem on it. They were selling previous year's shirts but they are smart and don't put the year on it so it isn't obnoxious to buy them. $5 a shirt couldn't be beat. Temp at the start this year was low 40s and overcast. The race starts out for the first 1.5mi on the road and quickly jumps over to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. This is a wide paved trail that runs for miles and miles through the forest. It was beautiful and quiet. Be smart and run the tangents! I can't believe the number of people that follow curves like lemmings, adding distance to their race. There are some challenging grades (7-11%, marked for cyclists) with a brutal hill at mile 4-5 and 8-9. But remember, what goes down, also goes up. You can bank a little if you're smart on your downhills. The return on that steep part was a challenge because it's long and steep but keep at it and once on the other side you can lay down some speed miles to the finish. There were plenty of water stops and porta potties along the way. Spectators can find you in several places, and with it being an out and back they don't have to move too much if they don't want. The half turns at the Dune Climb and returns to Empire. The start time is an hour after the marathon so you aren't sharing the trail with them. The 5K is after the half so again, good course management. The medals were really nice, and age group awards this year were coasters with the emblem on it. The post-race food was little skimpy, but there was beer so that was a plus. I would definitely come back and do this one again, I love Glen Arbor and I loved this race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This is a low budget production that let me get a DC race. Not a lot of $ so wasn't expecting too much. The packet pick up is only morning … MORE

This is a low budget production that let me get a DC race. Not a lot of $ so wasn’t expecting too much. The packet pick up is only morning of (hint, stay at the Key Bridge Marriott and you are directly across the river from the start, 0.5mi to walk there). Start is in waves since there is a lot going on on the tow path. Surface is crushed gravel so hard to make land speed records for sure and you have to watch divots and large rocks to not turn an ankle. It was hotter than hell this year–74 at the start with humidity in the 80s and climbing to 80 degrees by the finish. Water stations were used for dousing oneself for survival. Run with a hydration pack–there aren’t a lot of stops and there are no porta potties. It’s a simple out and back. The finish is nothing remarkable, Costco snacks. Swag was a challenge coin since it supported a military organization.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Ran this as part of the 50 State Half Marathon Annual Meet Up. Wouldn't have gone otherwise since it's somewhat hard to get to (you can fly to MLI which … MORE

Ran this as part of the 50 State Half Marathon Annual Meet Up. Wouldn’t have gone otherwise since it’s somewhat hard to get to (you can fly to MLI which is minutes from anywhere in the Quad Cities, but not a lot of flights. You could instead fly to Chicago but the drive is stressful and it’s about 2.5h). There are plenty of places to stay near by in any of the cities that make up the QC (Moline, Rock Island, Davenport, Bettendorf). Be aware that this year the construction to replace the I-84 bridge seriously jacked everything up. The expo isn’t a big one but there is a really fun Pump n’ Run option. You weigh in, based on your weight you are assigned a set amount to bench press and a different amount to curl. You do as many reps as you can without resting and with good form and this goes towards a reduction in your time from the race. There are separate prizes for this. The course is generally late with the exception of getting up and down on some of the bridges. The bridge to Rock Island is metal and since it was raining cats and dogs this year was scary slippery. The shirt was nice this year, the bridges on the shirt were highly reflective. There is a race poster you can collect for free. The medal was a nice size and quality. The post race had tons of food to choose from. It’s a loop course so spectators can see you in more than one place. The last 0.2mi is off a bridge and a down hill with a turn and then a straightaway for a quick finish.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was my first Revel race. It was outstanding! The expo is really well organized--you start upstairs getting your bib and then going down through the expo. There is an … MORE

This was my first Revel race. It was outstanding! The expo is really well organized–you start upstairs getting your bib and then going down through the expo. There is an app you can download to collect codes and earn points towards a drawing for various prizes. The shirt was a nice shirt, with several upgrade choices ranging from tanks to long sleeves to hoodies. The bag for pick up is your drop bag and includes gloves and a mylar blanket–very welcome given how cold it can be at the start. As in most canyon races in UT, you need to be at the bus well before the sun comes up. There are lots and lots of buses with more than enough parking (don’t be a lemming and follow the line, realize there is parking every which direction and it’s all about the same distance to walk to the buses!). The buses leave by 5:30A and take you up the canyon. I promise, it will be COLD at the start. Plan accordingly!! You are going to be standing around for no less than 45 minutes (and possibly much longer) and the sun isn’t up until just as you start. There are lots of porta potties at the start. It’s self seeding. You start off running up hill for a short bit before u-turning and tearing down the canyon. There is nothing more beautiful than running down a canyon as the sun comes up. If you’ve run Run Elevated Little Cottonwood, the difference here is the grades are less steep but you run longer in the canyon. As you run down, pay attention to the tangents. Every year I see people hugging the curves. You can easily add several tenths of a mile doing this. There are lots of support stops and the canyon is mostly closed to traffic so it’s a great run down. As you exit the canyon, you continue straight to the finish line on the roads through the city. Around mile 11 there is a bit of a challenge up hill but you will be rewarded by a wonderful, fast down hill to the finish line. Lots of food and well organized gear check at the finish. Awesome medal and you have a very short walk to your car from the finish. Love, love, love this one.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

If you're from Utah, you know the Cottonwood Canyons are beautiful no matter what you're doing in them. Run Elevated doesn't really have an "expo", you pick up your packet … MORE

If you’re from Utah, you know the Cottonwood Canyons are beautiful no matter what you’re doing in them. Run Elevated doesn’t really have an “expo”, you pick up your packet at the local running store. Shirt is ok. You have to be on the bus god awful early to avoid the heat at the finish. The start will be COLD. It doesn’t matter how hot it will be during the day, it will be freezing at the top–you will be at nearly 9000 feet elevation. This makes it beautiful and dark. There is nowhere to get warm so plan accordingly with your clothes or your drop bag. There are plenty of porta potties. The start is just as the sun is coming up but it doesn’t really come into the canyon till you’re nearly down. The first 8 miles are in the canyon and the grades are super steep. As you leave the canyon, gravity feels like it is turned up to 11. Your legs will be rubbery, even if you train here in these conditions. The 5 miles outside of the canyon are some of the hardest I’ve ever run because of the thrashing your legs take coming down (but your heart doesn’t have to do anything then!). There is a “short” hill in the neighborhood that is beyond brutal. It is staggeringly steep and your legs will be screaming. I have yet to be able to run up this. They call it the elevator. The very last 0.5mi is also super hard. As you come towards the finish and round the bend and have to cross the road, it’s an uphill that feels surprisingly hard. Good food at the finish and well organized gear check. Medal is ok.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Running in the middle of summer in Utah is a challenge due to heat. This was an excellent find. The course is FLAT which is surprising in this area. The … MORE

Running in the middle of summer in Utah is a challenge due to heat. This was an excellent find. The course is FLAT which is surprising in this area. The “expo” was a challenge because the email was not clear about where to go. It said the gym associated with the Middle School. If you’re not from the community and you search google for the Middle School, you get there and walk around the entire campus trying to get into the school only to discover the gym associated with the Middle School is in the rec center next door. Once you figure that out…that’s where the start is the next morning. Great thing about the race is it starts so early, the sun didn’t break over the mountains till nearly mile 8. This kept the temperature desert cool which was wonderful. Course is a loop, some of it on a rail trail which means pancake flat. Small climbs in second half. Good medal and since I won my division I got a cool belt buckle. Full pancake + egg breakfast along with ice cream and all the other regular post race food. This was an excellent find and very affordable.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

I ran this one as a back to back with Portland, ME because I wanted to get New Brunswick. It is definitely off the beaten path and if you choose … MORE

I ran this one as a back to back with Portland, ME because I wanted to get New Brunswick. It is definitely off the beaten path and if you choose to do this one, PLAN AHEAD for housing! Look at VRBOs all over (we stayed in Whiting) or look on Campobello Island. Don’t wait, there is nothing in this area at all. You MUST do packet pickup by a deadline on Saturday night since you have to cross over to Canada to get your bib, then check in with US Border Patrol on the way back in for a sticker. Without this, you aren’t allowed to cross the next day. We had the lobster dinner (on the Canada side) for $22 you get a whole lobster, spaghetti, potato salad, cole slaw and dessert. Super good food CHEAP, and there isn’t really a lot of choices around anyway! Expo is very, very small but the volunteers are locals and so friendly. Next AM, buses leave 5:30A-7A (Eastern Time, be aware, Canada is on Atlantic time and your phone can randomly switch towers so figure out how to turn that off before you go), from Lubec. At the border, the Canadian Border patrol takes your customs declaration and you go to the start. It’s beautiful—and chilly. The race starts old fashioned (no starting mat, time is gun time for start, chip for finish). You run out to the point and then turn back and run the coast. Apparently some years they have seen whales and eagles. The people along the course are super friendly (Santa is at mile 3ish—not kidding), and everyone waves and if they can see your bib name, they call you by it. The course is HILLY. And I mean HILLY. Be prepared. I was running a back to back so had no extra to give but it was worth it, the scenery was nice to look at. You flip mile 12 before the visitor center where you got your bib and then brace for the final hill climb to the bridge and then up and over. You go through Canadian customs where they will give you high fives, then power over the bridge (wind whips through there) and then through US Customs where they too give high fives. Round the corner and turn on the burners for the finish under the lobster traps. Results are posted on paper and there are custom, hand made medals and hand made prizes by the same artist for AG. Age groups are 10 years, not 5. Excellent food—Dunkin Donuts, chocolate milk, Greek yogurt with Maine Blueberries, ice cream, bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter…the volunteers were awesome. Really great people. Totally worth it, would do it again.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

This was my 50th state (66th half) so I have a lot to compare it too. The expo left a lot to be desired, we got there right before 2 … MORE

This was my 50th state (66th half) so I have a lot to compare it too. The expo left a lot to be desired, we got there right before 2 when it opened and thank goodness since they only had 4 or 5 people working the table and they were assigning numbers as you came up which added a lot of time. You needed to show an ID to get a beer bracelet which was also confusing making people stand in line that weren’t even old enough to drink. By 4P the line was down the stairs, out the door and curving up the block. There was no expo to speak of with only one retailer and some freebies for locals. The tank instead of a shirt was nice and high quality. The start line was easy to get to but was self seeding which of course is a nightmare since people aren’t honest and put themselves where they really shouldn’t be. The first mile was crushingly slow due to massive crowd and inability to spread out. There were a few hard hills but very, very short, no climbs. Overall, was generally flat. On the back bay you are running on crushed gravel which was nice but it had been raining for 2 days so there was a lot of jumping of puddles. At the end, there was a brutal uphill that dumped you onto a cobblestone street for the last 0.2 miles which sucked because you cannot sprint on cobblestone without breaking your neck. The medal was nice, you get 2 beers, a pizza slice and an ice cream. Water stations were plentiful and they had wet towels after mile 9 I think at about every mile which were appreciated. We got lucky on the weather, there was a wind that kept the humidity at bay and it was slightly overcast which was also nice.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I'm running all 50 and chose this one for WV because I had heard that Harper's Ferry is brutally hard and humid, Hatfield and McCoy is hilly and hard and … MORE

I’m running all 50 and chose this one for WV because I had heard that Harper’s Ferry is brutally hard and humid, Hatfield and McCoy is hilly and hard and I wasn’t looking for a crazy hard one. Top it off with the fact I was coming off of an injury that had hobbled me badly enough I couldn’t run at all for the 4 weeks leading up to this. That explains my time but the good news is, I finished.

First off, the Greenbrier is an interesting resort–very old and sprawling. It is also expensive so helpful money saving hint is stay in one of the nearby towns at a vacation rental. We had a wonderful VRBO in Lewiston, a 20-ish minute drive to the start but totally worth it. Packet pick-up was easy and not terribly crowded. The shirt was a nice quality shirt (I wouldn’t run in it because there is a large screen printing on the back that would make it horribly non-breathable). I paid for an extra breakfast buffet for my husband ($55), don’t forget to get the bracelet at packet pick up. There is a night before dinner you can buy and a morning of breakfast, we didn’t do either.

You park at the train depot and there is a frequent shuttle to the start. You can walk easily if you want for a warm up if you aren’t running late. It was a humid, overcast day. The start was supposed to be a self regulating seeding. People are very bad at this. This is a course that is super convoluted through a golf course and there is a 10K and a 5K that is also running on the course at the same time (staggered start). You will need to pay attention to signs and course marshals to know when you turn. You will see people all over and it’s hard to tell who is in front and who is behind. There as some wicked hills but they are short. The last few miles of the course are on the other side of the road, you go under the street by tunnel and then have to keep running on the course on the other side before crossing back. There is a hill up to the finish.

After the race, you can use the pool (OMG this was a bonus, being able to soak your feet felt so good). You get a champagne flute and then the brunch. I will tell you if you are paying for an extra, you will be disappointed. It is a nicer spread than a regular race but it is not worth $55. You can eat outside or inside. The medal is nice and is the same image as the back of the shirt.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

My Followers