My Profile

@bibster

Merrimack, NH Raving since 2016 Active 3 years, 5 months ago

About Me

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My Races

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

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Reykjavik, Iceland Aug 24, 2019 4:33:31

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (5)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Reykjavik, Iceland Aug 24, 2019 4:33:31
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 28, 2018 4:50:04
Marathon Manchester, NH Nov 6, 2016 4:37:48
Marathon Lowell, MA Oct 16, 2016 4:36:31
200 Mile Relay Bretton Woods, NH Sep 16, 2016

My Raves

I really enjoyed the Reykjavik Marathon 2019. Surrounded by days of rain, the weather on the marathon morning could not have been nicer. It was 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit … MORE

I really enjoyed the Reykjavik Marathon 2019. Surrounded by days of rain, the weather on the marathon morning could not have been nicer. It was 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit from beginning to end. The first half was flat and scenic as advertised on the website. We ran right along the waterfront past the Harpa Music Hall and the Sun Voyager. However, they never mentioned that the second half was very hilly. The second half was mainly on bike paths through parks and along neighborhoods. I never would have seen these parts of the city without the race. The metal and t-shirt were pretty basic but I achieved a PR and left very happy.

The race is the morning of Reykjavík Culture Night which takes place all across Reykjavík with celebrations in city streets and squares, in museums and businesses. Many roads are closed and stages are set up on the main drag for free concerts. Fireworks over the harbor cap the festivities. I’m not sure if it’s so much a “culture” day as it is maybe their version of “The Purge.” I could hear drunk revelers from my hotel at 3AM. The next morning the streets were littered with trash but street cleaners were already working first thing in the morning. With all that said, it was a blast.

We did the Golden Circle Tour the next day that includes waterfalls, a geyser, an Icelandic Horse Farm and a visit to the Secret Lagoon, a thermal spa. The Secret Lagoon is not much of a secret, there were a couple hundred people there but it might be better than bathing with thousands at the Blue Lagoon. The water is maybe 100 degrees Fahrenheit; a little less than my hot tub at home.

Recommendations: 4 days is adequate to do it all unless you want to go hiking or camping too. Stay at the Radisson Blue 1919; it was 3-minute walk to the starting line and I was able to use my own bathroom and bypass the portable toilets completely. The hotel is a small boutique hotel in the middle of everything. It was a great location and we walked everywhere. The rooms are small by US standards. They are building a new Marriott a few blocks away that should be a great location too. They do not tip in Iceland, it’s all built into the price you pay for dinner. There isn’t a line for tipping on any credit card slips so if you must offer more you need to give cash. Servers do not expect it. My last tip …. Do not try the smoked puffin!

DIFFICULTY
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PRODUCTION
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SCENERY
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SWAG
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My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I have mixed thoughts about the Marine Corps Marathon that I ran this year – 2018. The Pros: • It is a huge event with 30,000 or more runners. The … MORE

I have mixed thoughts about the Marine Corps Marathon that I ran this year – 2018.

The Pros:

• It is a huge event with 30,000 or more runners. The Marines do a good job of organizing a race of this massive size. The expo is huge and has a ton of sponsor booths to go through. It was crowded but manageable when we were there on Saturday afternoon.
• The course in many areas is very scenic and you get to see a lot of the Capital.
• There are plenty of water stops and you do not need to carry water or Gatorade. There were at least 4 food stops.
• Lots of portable toilets everywhere along the course.
• The race ends at the Iwo Jima Memorial and the medal is very cool.
• I stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton near the Pentagon and was able to walk to the Runner’s Village and starting line. Getting through security was fairly quick and including the walk around Pentagon only took me about 40 minutes.
• There are bands playing in many locations on the route. Most of the run has tons of spectators and you will hear plenty of cowbells.

The Cons:

• The expo was a nightmare and we should have had our packages mailed to us. We took the Metro and a shuttle bus to get there and it was at least an hour each way. Using an Uber is not an option because the traffic was crazy outside the Gaylord Expo Center.
• The shirt has to be the ugliest race shirt I’ve ever received. It was a running (pardon the pun) joke with the runners before and after.
• With 30,000 runners it was shoulder to shoulder for the entire 26.2 miles. It was very difficult to get in your stride; people cutting you off or walking in the center of the road constantly throw off your rhythm.
• Parts of the race are on closed highways and exit ramps with no spectators. These sections felt long and arduous. There are two sections with long out and back loops – repeating scenery and you get a real feel for how many runners are in front and behind you.
• I had thought the course was closer to monuments than it really was – mainly you saw them all from a distance.
• It was a mass of humanity and we were herded everywhere. It’s hard to fault the Marines for their crowd control. There was a lot of waiting at the beginning and end of the race. It took an hour to get out of the lines after the finish (chaos) – everyone was lined up for water, Gatorade, snack boxes, bananas, etc. We could get out and when we did there was no direction to get to a shuttle back. My runner partner and I fought are way out and humped another mile to get clear and request an Uber.

Overall, it was a great experience and that evening and the next day we went sightseeing. It’s a beautiful city to visit and everyone we came across was very friendly. If you like a BIG marathon this is for you! You will NOT PR since there are so many participants. If you like a smaller atmosphere (where the pack breaks up after a couple miles) and are running to make specific time, do not run the MCM. In short, I’m glad we ran it but I won’t run it again.

DIFFICULTY
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My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

No expo beforehand but it was an easy no-frills way to pick up your bib and shirt at Millennium's store quickly. I think Millennium Running tried their best to put … MORE

No expo beforehand but it was an easy no-frills way to pick up your bib and shirt at Millennium’s store quickly.

I think Millennium Running tried their best to put on a good experience for the runners. There was a Marathon, a Half Marathon, a Relay Marathon and a 5K all on the same day. The sponsor tent area was good and Veteran’s Park made a good athletes village. But there were only 584 runners in the marathon, with maybe a matching amount of half marathoners. When the half peeled off you could really feel the difference. I wasn’t a fan of the relay going on at the same time. It was discouraging to see the fresher runners on the same course – it was the first race I’ve seen that with that format.

The first half was pretty brutal – really hilly and mainly uphill. The 2nd half wasn’t as bad but the Goffstown Trail was a gradual uphill for 2 miles before looping around the women’s prison and coming back. The hills and trail had you pretty beat up by then but looking into the yard at the women’s prison you realize it could be worse. It was a lot of runners to put on a fairly narrow stone-dust trail be careful of the roots and rocks. I saw a couple face plants. Besides for that loop, you actually had to pass the finish line on Elm Street and run a loop across Bridge Street (2 miles) before coming back to the finish. So discouraging to see the finish and then find out you had 2 more miles to go.

Water stops were good – Powerade at every station with Gu’s at two of them. Volunteers were very nice. More spectators along the course than I would have thought. Overall, I hated the course and other runners I talked with on the road were not fans either. Shirt was very nice! Parking was plentiful and close to the starting line.

This could be a nice race if a friendlier course can be mapped out. To be clear, I thought the course was terrible but everything else about it was good.

DIFFICULTY
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PRODUCTION
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1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Baystate Marathon is perfect if you like a smaller well managed race. There were probably about 3,500 runners between the full and half marathons. The course is fairly flat with … MORE

Baystate Marathon is perfect if you like a smaller well managed race. There were probably about 3,500 runners between the full and half marathons. The course is fairly flat with just enough rollers to keep you honest. A lot of runners BQ here.

There is a good crowd at a bridge midway where your fan club can cheer you on three different times but otherwise there isn’t a crowd throughout. Part of the race is through neighborhoods but when you cross the river you are suddenly on a quiet stretch of road with beautiful foliage and river views. Fortunately, I’m a slow enough runner to take it all in.

The volunteers are all wonderful. The water station are manned by local schools and have a lot of spirit. There is water and Gatorade at each stop and GU is available at a station you run past twice. The volunteers are what make this race special. I like that I park very near the start/finish line – easy out and in. It usually a chilly start so it’s great to be able to spend it in your car. Plenty of portable toilets at the beginning and one at every water station.

The medal this year was the nicest I’ve ever won. It had a slot where the runner slides past a background of the bridge on the course — I’m not doing it justice — it’s cool!

The expo was good, not a lot of freebies but well attended and easy in and out. Communication from the organizers up to the event was also very good. There was hot soup at the end, bananas and a frozen yogurt bar sampler. The food tent area was at full red foliage fall colors.

Not a lot of frills but a really well-run (pardon the pun) race. This was my 3rd time running it and I like the vibe of it very much.

DIFFICULTY
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My Media

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

A couple days in a van with sleep deprivation and six sweaty partners - what could be better. The website has all the details so I won't bother digging into … MORE

A couple days in a van with sleep deprivation and six sweaty partners – what could be better. The website has all the details so I won’t bother digging into that except to say the race is well managed – medals were awesome but the kale salad at the end was not what the body was craving.

This is all really about how well you like the people you are sharing the van with. You have to enjoy the conversation, music and disorganization that comes with sharing a small space for 200 miles and 30 hours straight. You really don’t need to get along with the other van on your team – you only see them a couple times. We rolled out the sleeping bags for a couple hours twice but it was loud with other vans rolling in. I got very little sleep, maybe two hours in 30 hours.

The runs during the night were fun and the team spirit on our team was terrific. As expected, the last leg for each runner was tough but made you feel a sense of accomplishment.

I enjoyed the race very much but it was entirely because I had an awesome group of runners in my van.

DIFFICULTY
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1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?