My Profile

@bioprofsd

Mitchell, SD Raving since 2014 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs #7665 active 4 days, 2 hours ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, 100 Marathon Club North America

  • Rave race:

    Siskiyou Outback Ultramarathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Across the Years

  • I run because:

    It keeps me healthy and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

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

Personal Bests (11)

Race Distance Location Date Result
# of hrs = your age Manchester, TN Aug 31, 2017 105 mi
72 hr Glendale, AZ Dec 31, 2018 110 mi
55 hr Missouri City, TX Dec 30, 2017 104 mi
35 hr Williamson, WV Mar 10, 2018 39 mi
9 hr 11 min Longmont, CO Sep 7, 2019 31 mi
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 8, 2014 36 mi
50K Rockford, MN Apr 12, 2014 5:18:10
Marathon Yankton, SD 2013 3:42:50
30K Canton, SD Oct 28, 2017 4:22:29
Half Marathon Keizer, OR 2013 1:39:21
10K Fargo, ND Nov 23, 2017 54:09

Future Races (6)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
24 hr Benton, AR Nov 29, 2019
50K Crawfordville, FL Dec 14, 2019
24 hr Phoenix, AZ Dec 30, 2019
24 hr Phoenix, AZ Dec 31, 2019
24 hr Phoenix, AZ Jan 1, 2020
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 28, 2020

Past Races (135)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
50K Las Cruces, NM Nov 2, 2019 24:00:00
24 hr Des Moines, IA Oct 26, 2019 49 mi
50K Susanville, CA Oct 13, 2019 6:49:42
12 hr Springstein, Canada Oct 5, 2019 34 mi
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 20, 2019 44 mi
9 hr 11 min Longmont, CO Sep 7, 2019 31 mi
12 hr Lennox, SD Sep 1, 2019 37 mi
50K Manchester, NH Jul 23, 2019 7:34:40
50K Woonsocket, RI Jul 21, 2019 8:03:06
50K Coon Rapids, IA Jul 7, 2019 9:38:47
50K Simsbury, CT Jun 24, 2019 7:31:53
50K Birdsboro, PA Jun 20, 2019 8:49:24
50K Bear, DE Jun 18, 2019 8:55:38
24 hr Regina, Canada Jun 1, 2019 47 mi
50K Renton, WA May 26, 2019 8:44:26
12 hr McCall, ID May 18, 2019 33 mi
12 hr Webster, NY May 11, 2019 35 mi
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 30, 2019 6:44:30
50K Ovett, MS Mar 2, 2019 7:51:00
50K Kisatchie National Forest, LA Feb 2, 2019 7:17:00
50K Kapaa, HI Jan 26, 2019 8:08:52
72 hr Glendale, AZ Dec 31, 2018 110 mi
50K Grand County, UT Nov 17, 2018 7:53:56
24 hr Lilington, NC Nov 3, 2018 40 mi
30K Canton, SD Oct 27, 2018 4:24:42
Half Marathon Rutland, IA Oct 20, 2018 2:12:40
Half Marathon Mitchell, SD Oct 14, 2018 2:04:16
50K Sterling, IL Oct 6, 2018 7:21:45
50K Sharpsburg, MD Sep 29, 2018 7:55:41
50K Centrahoma, OK Sep 1, 2018 9:52:57
24 hr Shelbyville, KY Aug 4, 2018 32 mi
12 hr Rochester Hills, MI Jul 28, 2018 32 mi
Marathon Sioux City, IA Jul 11, 2018 7:19:02
50K Breckenridge, MN Jul 8, 2018 9:05:09
50K Holyoke, MA Jun 27, 2018 7:13:38
50K Olympia, WA Jun 16, 2018 6:52:31
12 hr Fairbanks, AK Jun 2, 2018 37 mi
50K New Gloucester, ME May 26, 2018 8:07:54
12 hr Terre Haute, IN May 19, 2018 31 mi
50K Augusta, NJ May 17, 2018 8:14:24
Marathon Ottawa, KS Apr 21, 2018 5:23:35
12 hr Green Bay, VA Mar 31, 2018 34 mi
35 hr Williamson, WV Mar 10, 2018 39 mi
50K Moulton, AL Feb 10, 2018 8:28:51
55 hr Missouri City, TX Dec 30, 2017 104 mi
24 hr Spartanburg, SC Dec 9, 2017 34 mi
10K Fargo, ND Nov 23, 2017 54:09
50K Las Vegas, NV Nov 11, 2017 6:39:39
30K Canton, SD Oct 28, 2017 4:22:29
Marathon Mankato, MN Oct 22, 2017 4:56:25
12 hr Dayton, OH Oct 7, 2017 34 mi
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 22, 2017 33 mi
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Sep 10, 2017 6:21:09
# of hrs = your age Manchester, TN Aug 31, 2017 105 mi
50K Hot Springs, SD Aug 19, 2017 7:20:13
Marathon Rapid City, SD Aug 5, 2017 8:06:00
50K Saint Joseph, MO Jul 22, 2017
Marathon South Sioux City, NE Jul 20, 2017
Marathon Baltic, SD Jul 18, 2017
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 9, 2017 5:27:46
Marathon Tigard, OR Jul 3, 2017 6:27:47
Half Marathon Astoria, OR Jul 1, 2017 2:45:53
Marathon Kailua-Kona, HI Jun 25, 2017 6:13:32
50K St. Regis, MT Jun 10, 2017 7:08:57
Marathon Valentine, NE Jun 3, 2017 5:43:36
50K Van Meter, IA May 27, 2017 7:35:39
Marathon Holdingford, MN May 13, 2017 5:20:42
Marathon Yankton, SD Apr 22, 2017 4:57:12
Marathon Abilene, KS Apr 8, 2017 5:12:36
50K Macleod, ND Mar 18, 2017 6:54:00
11 hr Lithia Springs, GA Mar 5, 2017 32 mi
Marathon Piedmont, AL Feb 26, 2017 4:50:55
Marathon Northfield, MN Jan 8, 2017 5:36:21
Marathon Norwalk, WI Nov 6, 2016 5:23:57
Marathon Dover, DE Oct 22, 2016 4:56:44
Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2016 5:26:48
Marathon Schenectady, NY Oct 9, 2016 4:54:14
Marathon Mandan, ND Oct 1, 2016 6:56:17
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Sep 11, 2016 5:17:52
Marathon Juneau, AK Jul 30, 2016 5:27:36
50K Ashland, OR Jul 23, 2016 9:04:05
Marathon Vernonia, OR Jul 16, 2016 5:24:39
50K Maupin, OR Jul 9, 2016 7:21:08
Marathon Portland, OR Jul 4, 2016 4:53:31
Marathon South Williamson, KY Jun 11, 2016 5:45:56
Marathon Roanoke, VA Jun 5, 2016 6:35:05
Marathon Waterbury, CT May 30, 2016 6:56:23
Marathon Great Barrington, MA May 29, 2016
50K Coventry, RI May 19, 2016 8:13:32
50K Springfield, VT May 17, 2016 8:01:09
Marathon Greenfield, NH May 16, 2016
Marathon Kennebunk, ME May 15, 2016 4:56:31
Marathon Toledo, OH Apr 24, 2016 4:36:25
Marathon Wamego, KS Mar 26, 2016 4:32:45
Marathon Cape May, NJ Mar 20, 2016 4:50:09
Marathon Jackson, MS Jan 9, 2016 4:58:06
50K Fountain Hils, AZ Dec 5, 2015 7:59:05
Marathon Seattle, WA Nov 26, 2015 4:38:50
Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 22, 2015 4:42:30
Marathon Nashville, TN Nov 14, 2015 4:26:41
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 7, 2015 28 mi
Marathon Raleigh, NC Nov 1, 2015 5:19:51
Marathon Greenville, SC Oct 31, 2015 4:47:02
Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 18, 2015 4:49:039
Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 17, 2015 4:58:01
Marathon Roscoe, IL Oct 10, 2015
Marathon Cumberland, MD Sep 27, 2015
Marathon Keyser, WV Sep 26, 2015 4:57:21
Marathon Boulder, CO Sep 19, 2015 4:50:46
12 hr Reading, PA Sep 6, 2015 31K
Marathon Indianapolis, IN Aug 1, 2015 6:55:18
50K Hot Springs, AR Jul 25, 2015 8:32:10
Marathon Lamoille, NV Jun 20, 2015 4:46:15
Marathon Wallsburg, UT Jun 13, 2015 4:36:06
50K Fish Camp, CA Jun 6, 2015 6:44:46
Marathon Boise, ID May 30, 2015 4:53:43
50K Los Alamos, NM May 23, 2015 11:17:10
Marathon Fargo, ND May 9, 2015 4:260:23
Marathon Brookings, SD May 2, 2015 4:53:54
50K Jacksonville, FL Apr 5, 2015 6:52:30
Marathon Savannah, GA Apr 4, 2015 4:55:49
Marathon Lincoln, NE Mar 14, 2015 5:38:39
Marathon Lafayette, LA Mar 8, 2015 4:47:00
Marathon Beaumont, TX Mar 7, 2015
50K Kansas City, KS Feb 14, 2015 7:56:12
Marathon Northfield, MN Jan 11, 2015
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 8, 2014 36 mi
Marathon Wakefield, MI Sep 13, 2014 4:37:50
50K Baldwin, CO May 17, 2014 8:24:20
50K Rockford, MN Apr 12, 2014 5:18:10
Half Marathon Keizer, OR 2013 1:39:21
50K Omaha, NE 2013 6:05:50
50K Sundance, WY 2013 7:57:04
Marathon Yankton, SD 2013 3:42:50
Marathon Deadwood, SD 2013

My Raves

Dead Running Day of the Dead Series

Dead Running Day of the Dead Series

I ran the 24 hour option at the Day of the Dead Zombie Ultras managed by Clint Burleson of Deadrunning.net. Clint has extensive experience as a race director as he … MORE

I ran the 24 hour option at the Day of the Dead Zombie Ultras managed by Clint Burleson of Deadrunning.net. Clint has extensive experience as a race director as he was the original founder of Mainly Marathons, so he can run a race in his sleep. I wasn’t expecting much from the course, as it was advertised as a 1.1 miles out and 1.1 mile back on a paved path along the Rio Grande River in Las Cruces, NM. I was a little disappointed though, as there were just a couple of places where you could see the river because of dense shrub-like willow trees along the edge of the river. I was also surprised that there weren’t very many birds along the course, but maybe it was too late in the year. You could see the very stark and rugged Organ Mountains in the distance from the course, but the main attraction were the people that were running. Larry Macon, who holds the record for the most lifetime marathons was there, along with Jim Simpson, Eugene DeFronzo, Eugene Bruckert, and Ila Brandli who have collectively run over a thousand marathons. There was a good assortment of real foods such as sandwiches, and water and a Gatorade-like drink available for hydration. The air was crisp in the morning, but warmed up to nice running temperatures in the afternoon. The medals were very nicely designed and were a plus. All in all, it was a good day’s worth of running.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Equalizer Endurance Run

Equalizer Endurance Run

This is a small, urban, fixed-time race, yet there are enough finisher's for it to count for the 50 State Marathon Club and Marathon Maniacs. It is a really nice … MORE

This is a small, urban, fixed-time race, yet there are enough finisher’s for it to count for the 50 State Marathon Club and Marathon Maniacs. It is a really nice venue, consisting of an approximately 1.9 mile paved loop around Gray’s Lake in Des Moines, IA. The path is wide with just enough undulations to give yourself a break by going down short hills. Overall I would describe it as a flat course though. There were also at least three bathrooms with indoor plumbing within a short distance from the course. It is in a park-like atmosphere, with some prairie plants along the shoreline and views of the skyline of Des Moines. The course was open during the day, so there were other pedestrians, cyclist, and fisherman on the course, but it was never a problem because of the wide path. The one and only disappointment for me was the aid station. The only liquids available were cola and water, and the food selection was rather limited to cookies, chips and candy. If you like to eat real food like PB&J sandwiches, you would need to bring your own. Bling consisted of a nice pullover sweatshirt that I was given after I finished. Despite the one shortcoming, I will remember the pleasant fall day, and the seemingly never-ending flock of tens of thousands of noisy Common Grackles that flew overhead for a long time. It was a well managed race that I hope to do again sometime.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

CTR Bizz Johnson Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

CTR Bizz Johnson Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

This race really exceeded my expectations. There was a farmer's market and chili cookoff at the packet pickup, which created a festive atmosphere. The shuttle bus pickup went off without … MORE

This race really exceeded my expectations. There was a farmer’s market and chili cookoff at the packet pickup, which created a festive atmosphere. The shuttle bus pickup went off without a hitch, but it was below freezing at the start which was at an altitude above 5,000 feet. My breathing was rather heavy right off the bat, but settled down after a couple of miles. It didn’t seem like I was running very fast at first, but in hindsight I should have started out a little slower or taken more frequent walk breaks from the start. The first half of the course was through mainly pine forest, but the vegetation an terrain got better the closer we got to the Susan River. The day before, I saw Scrub Jays, White-crowned Sparrows, Steller’s Jays, and some smaller birds that I couldn’t identify with certainty, but may have been Dark-eyed Juncos. Most of the finishing times were faster than the average trail run, so this would be a good race for a beginner or for someone wanting to PR. There was a good selection of food and drink at the finish, and the 50K finishers were given a ceramic drink coaster and a medal.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Beaudry Fall Classic

Beaudry Fall Classic

The Beaudry Fall Classic is run on a 3.1 mile loop through riparian woodland along the Assiniboine River just west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The fall colors were beautiful this year, … MORE

The Beaudry Fall Classic is run on a 3.1 mile loop through riparian woodland along the Assiniboine River just west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The fall colors were beautiful this year, but the weather didn’t cooperate for us. It started raining the night before the 12 hour run started, and it continued throughout the morning, turning the trail into a wet and slippery mess. It would have been a fast course had it been dry, and I’d like to give it a try again in the hopes that the course was in better condition. The loop was mainly cross country ski trails which were nice and wide, but water pooled in the middle along much of the trail. I only saw two whitetail deer, but there were also a lot of grey squirrels to keep me entertained. The lap counters seemed to do an excellent job, and I didn’t hear of anyone who felt they were short changed. There was a good variety of food items at the aid stations, but they didn’t have any soda, just Nuun drink and water. I guess if you like to drink Coca Cola during an ultra, you would have to bring your own. There were also 6 hour, 24 hour and 48 hour options, but my travel schedule only permitted me to do the 12 hour.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Goosebumps 6 & 24 hour Run & Walk

Goosebumps 6 & 24 hour Run & Walk

This was my second time at the Goose Bumps 24 hour run. This time we ran on a shortened 1.85 mile course as a result of high water. The course … MORE

This was my second time at the Goose Bumps 24 hour run. This time we ran on a shortened 1.85 mile course as a result of high water. The course wasn’t as interesting as the longer one that I ran on two years ago, but it was long enough that I didn’t feel like I had to run a zillion laps to hit my mileage goal. I ended up staying for the awards ceremony, which gave me a new perspective on the race. They started out with a door prize drawing, which lasted over an hour. They then presented cumulative mileage awards, which amounted to hoodies for those with over 100 miles cumulative mileage, and patches that could be added to the jacket for 200, 300, and up to 500 miles. They also served a catered taco bar and had a beer pod with four different craft beers (which they ran out of incidentally). The part that I liked the best about this race is all of the families that participated, both running and volunteering. There were people running with dogs, baby strollers, and whole families running together. It was really a refreshing change from the big race scene. If you like laid back races, this one is for you.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

9/11 American Heroes Run

9/11 American Heroes Run

The American Heroes Run is done on a short loop course of 1.05 miles. About half of the course is on smooth, crushed gravel, and the other half is on … MORE

The American Heroes Run is done on a short loop course of 1.05 miles. About half of the course is on smooth, crushed gravel, and the other half is on concrete sidewalk. The course goes around a scenic pond with a lot of Canada Geese, but there was little shade. The aid station was well stocked with a good assortment of food and drink. I was given a beautiful challenge coin for finishing an ultra distance, but there was no medal. The shirt was a cotton shirt that fit with the theme of the race. It was a small field, but there were some impressive performances.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Blood Run at The Good Earth Farm

Blood Run at The Good Earth Farm

This was a small race on the Good Earth Farm, near Lennox SD. The trail that we were supposed to run on was a dirt track that was soaked the … MORE

This was a small race on the Good Earth Farm, near Lennox SD. The trail that we were supposed to run on was a dirt track that was soaked the day before with heavy rain, so we ran on a shorter loop that was mostly grass for the first few hours of the run. The race organizers managed to get the dirt path packed down enough that we were able to run the longer loop which was only about 1.35 miles. It was a soft path that was easy on the feet. The aid stations were stocked with the usual ultra fare, including vegan items, and there were plenty of things for families to do and explore on the farm. The owners had miniature donkeys, a miniature Dexter bull, chickens, and a couple of pigs.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Ladyslipper State Marathon

Ladyslipper State Marathon

This race was day 3 of the inaugural Northeast Series organized by The Road to 50 Races. The course was another 1.1 mile out and 1.1 mile back course along … MORE

This race was day 3 of the inaugural Northeast Series organized by The Road to 50 Races. The course was another 1.1 mile out and 1.1 mile back course along a relatively straight, paved, and well-shaded bike path. This one had fairly good canopy cover along almost all of the course, but this year, it wasn’t really necessary as it rained for all but the last 5 minutes of my run. The rain was a welcome relief from the heat though, and I ran almost 30 minute faster than I did two days previously. One welcome addition at the aid station was freshly cooked bacon, which gave me heart burn at one other race, but this time I ate it without any problems. This race went off again without a hitch, except George and Kate’s large TV monitor on which they projected the split results got wet and quit working. There were just enough marathon and 50K runners for the race to count for the 50 State Marathon Club, but not enough starters for it to count for leveling up in the Marathon Maniac club. Hopefully, they will be able to grow this race in the future as it is a nice venue for this type of an event.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Violet State Marathon

Violet State Marathon

This was the first race in the inaugural Northeast Series organized by The Road to 50 Races. They provided water and Gatorade the afternoon before the first race of the … MORE

This was the first race in the inaugural Northeast Series organized by The Road to 50 Races. They provided water and Gatorade the afternoon before the first race of the series at the packet pickup, along with a veggie tray. We were given a cotton t-shirt, a custom bib, and our timing chip. Due to the forecast of a heat advisory, the marathon and 50K runners were given the option of a 4 a.m. start, which was a good idea given the weather. The course was a 1.1 mile out and 1.1 mile back on a concrete bike path. The first 1/3 of the relatively flat course was in the open with few trees, but the rest was well shaded. The course paralleled the Blackstone River, but we did go by a fenced water treatment plant. Considering this was an inaugural series, the race went off without a hitch and the timing system recorded our splits for every out and back. The one draw back is that the timing system used passive integrated transponders, so we had to touch the wrist band onto a touch pad for it to work, so you had to come to a complete stop every 1.1 miles. The medals were customized for each race of the series and consisted of a hollow ring with a solid disk in the middle that indicated which race of the series was run along with the distance. Awards for the top 3 in each distance were given except for the 50K because there weren’t enough starters.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Whiterock Ultra

Whiterock Ultra

This race consisted of three loops that all began and ended at a central point that had a well-stocked aid station. The first loop was mostly single track that meandered … MORE

This race consisted of three loops that all began and ended at a central point that had a well-stocked aid station. The first loop was mostly single track that meandered through lush woods. This was probably the hilliest an most difficult section. The second loop traveled through more open country which was more exposed. The third loop also was more exposed and went through the town of Coon Rapids, then a long, long climb over the last three miles which finally dropped down to the finish. This race really wiped me out. I’m not sure if it was the heat or the hills or a combination of both. It was a well organized race though, and the finisher awards were unique plaques made out of weathered barnwood. They also gave out waterproof drop bags and I received one even though I registered at the last minute.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mainly Marathons New England Series – Day 2 (CT)

Mainly Marathons New England Series – Day 2 (CT)

Although this out and back course was in the middle of town, it was well shaded and lined with plenty of trees which kept the temperatures tolerable. There was only … MORE

Although this out and back course was in the middle of town, it was well shaded and lined with plenty of trees which kept the temperatures tolerable. There was only one sharp turn other than the turnaround, so one could stride out and get some speed. My only criticism was that the cones were laid out in kind of a zig zag near the finish, and I wasn’t sure whether to run on the outside of them or the inside. It might have been helpful to have some arrows.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Mainly Marathons Independence Series – Day 3 (PA)

Mainly Marathons Independence Series – Day 3 (PA)

Day 3 of the Mainly Marathons Independence series was held on the grounds of the Daniel Boone Homestead Historical site. I think this run was made a lot more meaningful … MORE

Day 3 of the Mainly Marathons Independence series was held on the grounds of the Daniel Boone Homestead Historical site. I think this run was made a lot more meaningful to me because I arrived early the day before and took a guided tour of the home where Daniel Boone was born. The house was modified and added onto significantly by two other subsequent owners, but is still the birthplace of an American frontier explorer. The course itself was mostly paved road, but there was a short segment of gravel that was maybe 0.25 miles long. This gravel segment went by a barn and a building which held a blacksmith shop. There were also sheep that roamed the grounds, and I saw a snapping turtle that crawled out onto the gravel path as well as a fawn just on the other side of a railed fence. This would be a great place for history buffs and was a nice place to run. There was a bit of a parking problem due to heavy rains the day before and on the morning of the race, but the race directors were able to work everything out.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Mainly Marathons Independence Series – Day 1 (DE)

Mainly Marathons Independence Series – Day 1 (DE)

This was a typical Mainly Marathons run, except there was a little more variety of running surfaces. Like many of their races, the course consisted of a short out and … MORE

This was a typical Mainly Marathons run, except there was a little more variety of running surfaces. Like many of their races, the course consisted of a short out and back. This allows them to run longer races without having a large number of aid stations and a large number of volunteers. It works if you know a lot of the people, but can get boring at times. The course started out by going around 3 sides of a paved parking lot, then across a grassy area, then through a dirt trail, then a paved road that alternated with a couple of gravel sections. The park was nice and green with verdant trails, but with the 16.5 out and backs that I had to do for the 50K, it was a little monotonous. The humidity really sapped my strength, but the race organization can’t do much with the weather. There was a good crowd this year and the aid station food was good.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Canada Goose Ultra

Canada Goose Ultra

This was a really well run event held on the concrete trail around Wascana Lake. It was by far the most enjoyable fixed-time event that I have ever done. I … MORE

This was a really well run event held on the concrete trail around Wascana Lake. It was by far the most enjoyable fixed-time event that I have ever done. I felt really welcomed by all of the participants, volunteers, and race officials. The trail was located in a park around scenic Wascana lake. There were a lot of geese in the park that weren’t afraid of humans, so runners had to weave around them at times, but they were fun to watch, especially the ones with large numbers of goslings. There was also a totem near the course that I took time to photograph, as well as several bronze statues. There were also fountains in the lake, the Beaux-Arts Saskatchewan Legislative building, and the Wascana Center where people were renting rowing boats to take out on the lake. There was a lot going on which made for nice distractions, but on the other hand, near the end of the day the trail got busy with pedestrian and bike traffic. Also, there was a Run for Women that shared the trail during the middle of the morning with hundreds of participants walking 4 or 5 wide on the path. Fortunately, there was room to run around them, but it seemed strange that they would allow such a large race at the same time as an ultramarathon. Despite this downside, it was a very well-run event that I would do again if I have the chance.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Pigtails Challenge

Pigtails Challenge

The 50K event involved 3 loops of 9.4 miles plus one short out and back around Youngs Lake, the watershed for Seattle, WA. It was a shame that the whole … MORE

The 50K event involved 3 loops of 9.4 miles plus one short out and back around Youngs Lake, the watershed for Seattle, WA. It was a shame that the whole lake is surrounded by a high chain-link fence with barbed wire over the top. Otherwise, I think it would be a pretty course. As it was, I kind of felt like I was running in a prison. The course was very hilly with long rolling hills. The weather is usually mild in Renton, WA though, and this year was no exception. We lucked out in that it was dry most of the day. Swag included a short-sleeved shirt, a butt, and a medal. It was inspiring to see the runners doing 100 and 200 miles, but this wasn’t one of my favorite races.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Sharlie Shuffle

Sharlie Shuffle

The scenery and wildlife were the best part of this race. It was a tough one though. There were some steep hills, some with switchbacks, but there were some short, … MORE

The scenery and wildlife were the best part of this race. It was a tough one though. There were some steep hills, some with switchbacks, but there were some short, steep climbs too. There were also stretches with nothing but solid golf-ball sized sharp rocks. The worst part of this was that because it was a 4.79 mile loop, you had to run the hills and the technical sections multiple times. The first 1.2 miles of the course were relatively flat and smooth though. It was when we got near the end of the peninsula where things got interesting. This was where the switchbacks started that led up to the overlook, which was a new addition to the course this year. The addition was a short side loop to the top of a rocky knoll overlooking Payette Lake. Even though it was a tough climb, the view was worth it. Even though there weren’t many other runners to keep me entertained, I enjoyed watching all of the wildlife including mule deer, red squirrels, ruffed grouse, sandhill cranes, bufflehead, chipping sparrows, ravens, American robin, and yellow-rumped warblers. The race was very low key, with no bling, but if you like to run by yourself in the great outdoors with spectacular scenery, this is the one for you.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

Was this review helpful?

 

Mind the Ducks 12h

Mind the Ducks 12h

This is getting to be a very popular race, so if you want to sign up, you'd better be ready as soon as the race registration opens. It is run … MORE

This is getting to be a very popular race, so if you want to sign up, you’d better be ready as soon as the race registration opens. It is run on a 1 mile paved loop around a small pond in North Pond Park in Webster, NY. About the only complaint that I have about the race is that the paved path is fairly narrow which makes it difficult to pass other runners without going off of the path into the grass, which wasn’t a problem because of the smooth surface. There were a lot of small birds such as Canada Geese and a few Mallard Ducks on along the course, along with numerous species of small birds such as warblers. I found several Marathon Maniacs to run with and pass the time by sharing running stories, which made the miles go by faster. In fact, I found that I was losing track of the number of loops that I had done and was surprised when I had done one more than I thought. The course was chipped timed, and there was plenty of swag for finishers of 26.2, 50K, 50 miles, or 100K distances. I received a cute racoon swag bag complete with a tail, a cap, a travel mug, a coffee cup, and a jar of hazelnut butter that the TSA scoundrels confiscated from my during my flight back home. The weather this year was pleasant, but cool, which made for excellent running conditions.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Races

Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Races

Race headquarters for this run was at the fairgrounds in Ottawa, KS, so you could go inside the Celebration Hall and stay warm and socialize with other runners. The trail … MORE

Race headquarters for this run was at the fairgrounds in Ottawa, KS, so you could go inside the Celebration Hall and stay warm and socialize with other runners. The trail is flat and straight, and the one turn that you had to make to go under the freeway was well marked. Nice soft crushed limestone surface was easy on the feet. Belt buckles were given for all distances, and they had breakfast food at the finish including coffee, pancakes, sausage, and bacon. The volunteers were very helpful and the race had a community vibe. I very much recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50

Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi Trail 50

In a dry year, this course would be very flat and fast. Much of it is on old Forest Service roads that are smooth and level with a soft pine … MORE

In a dry year, this course would be very flat and fast. Much of it is on old Forest Service roads that are smooth and level with a soft pine needle cushion. This year was very wet in the days leading up to the race, which turned the lower parts of the course into a muddy bog. The weather was almost ideal though, with temperatures in the 50’s and a good cloud cover. There was plenty of Longleaf Pine trees though, so there would be shade if the sun had come out. The field was small enough that you could enjoy the quiet solitude of the trail and listen to birds and possibly see a white-tailed deer or two. The aid stations were well supplied to meet almost anyone’s needs, although there wasn’t any hot food except for bacon. All runner’s were given a shirt and a Ulitimate Direction hand-held water bottle. I also received a beanie cap and a nicely designed medal as finisher’s awards. I waffled back and forth as to whether or not to give this a 4 or 5-star overall rating because I would have liked to give it a 4.5 because of a lack of a post-race meal which is becoming more and more common at ultras, but everything ran so smoothly that I decided to give them a 5.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Red Dirt Ultra

Red Dirt Ultra

The 50K option of this race is run on a single 50K loop through the Long-leaf pine forests of Kisatchie National Forest. The trail allows ATVs and horses, so becomes … MORE

The 50K option of this race is run on a single 50K loop through the Long-leaf pine forests of Kisatchie National Forest. The trail allows ATVs and horses, so becomes very rutted and eroded with numerous wet spots that become muddy. There are also some short sections with loose, white sand. The race support and organization were second to none though. The aid stations were well-supplied with a range of beverages and ultra fare, including one that had bean burrito wraps and quesadillas. Most of them also had PB&J sandwiches, along with Gatorade, water, Coca-cola, and ginger ale. The best part was at the finish where they had their own branded Red Dirt Ultra beer and plenty of delicious Louisiana gumbo. The weather was pleasant this year and dry, although the trail was pretty wet. The bling included long-sleeved cotton shirts and a nice medal with the silhouette of Louisiana. The soft trail was easy on the feet, but you did have to watch out for a few roots and rocks in places. Overall, it turned out to be an enjoyable morning run in the National Forest.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mainly Marathons Aloha Series – 4 days (HI)

Mainly Marathons Aloha Series – 4 days (HI)

I ran the 50K on day 3 of the Mainly Marathons Aloha series in 2019. The course consisted of an out and back that was a total of 2.2 miles. … MORE

I ran the 50K on day 3 of the Mainly Marathons Aloha series in 2019. The course consisted of an out and back that was a total of 2.2 miles. The 50K runners had to do this 14 times plus one shorter out and back to bring the total up to 31 miles. The out and back was along a concrete bike path that ran along adjacent to the shoreline at Kapa’a Beach Park on Kauai, HI. It might sound boring to have to run this 14 times, but the scenery was beautiful and there were all kinds of tourists and locals to watch, along with many species of birds. Some of the birds that I was able to identify included Zebra Doves, which were everywhere, a small, chestnut brown, bird called the Black-headed Mannikin, Red-crested Cardinal, a species of shorebird that I wasn’t able to identify, Common Mynas, Cattle Egrets, and one Albatross.

I only gave the race a 4 out of 5, because I would prefer to run longer loops. Also, I gave the race production a 4 out of 5 because I didn’t feel that the aid station was up to their usual standards, probably because they couldn’t bring their usual caravan of trailers with them to Hawaii, and so didn’t have their “Looney Lunchbox” kitchen. I thought that they could have ordered pizza from a local restaurant or other local food to supplement the snacks that were offered. They also ran out of t-shirts in my size because of an unexpected high number of runners that signed up for the 5K on the days of the races.

I hope I’m not coming off as being too critical, because I’m just trying to tell it as it was. I really had a good time, and met a lot of really nice friends. One of the runners even let me use their shower because I was flying out the same day as my race so I could be back at work on Monday. If I could, I would give the race an overall rating as 4.5 and would do it again if I ever have the chance to go back.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Across the Years

Across the Years

Across the Years offers fixed-time races of 24, 48, 72 and 144 hours. It is held at Camelback Ranch which is the spring training facility for the LA Dodgers and … MORE

Across the Years offers fixed-time races of 24, 48, 72 and 144 hours. It is held at Camelback Ranch which is the spring training facility for the LA Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. Given that it is a venue for a professional sport, the grounds are very well manicured and designed. The course is mainly a packed dirt path around a picturesque lake with resident Canada Geese, Cormorants, and Mallard ducks. The start/finish line is located on a “main street” with a spectator tent with chairs, a warming tent with tables and chairs and charging stations, and a communal sleeping tent with cots that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also an option of renting a tent with a cot, or you can camp out along a straight stretch at the far end of the course. The course itself is a 1.048 mile loop, which means that every 21 miles, you get an extra (bonus) mile added to your total. The weather this year was about 15 degrees below normal and it rained for most of a day. It is still a much better option than running in the more northern latitudes during the first of the year. Hot food is served about every 6 hours, and typical ultra food is available any time at the one fully-stocked aid station. It was fun seeing so many famous ultra runners this year, including the Jester, Ed Ettinghausen, Ann Trason, Catra Corbett and her famous running Dachsund, Truman, and Davy Crockett. Several American and Canadian records were set, and Don Winkley broke the 80-85 year old age group World Record formerly held by Ted Corbitt by almost 21 miles. It’s such an iconic race that every endurance runner should do it at least once in their lifetime.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Dead Horse Ultra

Dead Horse Ultra

This course meanders by beautiful and strange sandstone formations, red canyons, and natural bridges off of the Gemini Bridges Road about 10 miles North of Moab, UT. The first 4.5 … MORE

This course meanders by beautiful and strange sandstone formations, red canyons, and natural bridges off of the Gemini Bridges Road about 10 miles North of Moab, UT. The first 4.5 miles is along a rough jeep road that gives the large field a chance to spread out before hitting the slick rock and sandy trails. Once you hit the single track trails, the first half of the course is a gradual uphill and then is mainly uphill in the second half. The red sandstone, greasewood, Mormon tea (Ephedra sp.), juniper, and pinyon pine give the course an ageless appearance. I didn’t see much in the way of big game animals, but there was a sign near the start that stated that the area was a desert bighorn sheep lambing area. I saw a couple of bushy-tailed woodrat nests along some of the undercut sandstone cliffs, and ravens could be heard making their “kraak” calls along the trail, along with some small, blue birds about the size of a lazuli bunting. The weather was mostly sunny with a low of about 24 degrees and a high of about 60, which made for a difficult decision on what to wear. I decided on a pair of tights, long-sleeved technical shirt, and an ultralight jacket which I took off after I got to the first aid station. Speaking of aid stations, they had almost anything you would want, including peanut butter and honey wraps, quesadillas, pierogies, pancakes, and the ubiquitous boiled potatoes. The swag included a nicely designed short-sleeved t-shirt, Boco hat, and a nice finisher’s medal. This was a challenging course for me as I wasn’t used to running on rocks with all the attendant hopping from one ledge to another, but there were no steep climbs either. Many of the hills were gradual enough that you could run them, but don’t forget to take the time to stop and take in the views as they are spectacular. I skipped a short detour off of the official course to a point where you could see the Gemini Bridge, and regretted it later as the pictures that I saw later were spectacular. It was all good though as I was able to meet a couple of other runners about the same age as myself for the last 10 miles of the race, and helped pace one of them to a new personal record.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Cape Fear 24 Hour Endurance Run (fka Dia de los Muertos)

Cape Fear 24 Hour Endurance Run (fka Dia de los Muertos)

This 24-hour timed event is run around a 0.59 mile loop surrounding the Lillington Parks and Recreation complex. The course was chipped time, and the timekeeper posted distance updates and … MORE

This 24-hour timed event is run around a 0.59 mile loop surrounding the Lillington Parks and Recreation complex. The course was chipped time, and the timekeeper posted distance updates and placing about every two hours. There was a tent with Gatorade, water, coffee, Coca-cola, and ginger ale, along with a wide range of food items including ham or turkey and cheese wraps, avocado wraps, an a wide variety of snack items. In the evening, they fired up a grill and cooked hamburgers and chicken tenders. The timing services and race management were excellent and went off without a hitch. All registered runners were given a short-sleeved t-shirt, and finishers who completed at least 100 miles were given a belt buckle. The weather this year was excellent with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. Inflatable Halloween decorations around the course and costumed runners made for a festive atmosphere. This was a fun event and one that I would consider doing again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Glacier Hills Ultra

Glacier Hills Ultra

This race was formerly known as the Newton Hills Ultra. I ran the 30K again this year with a fellow co-worker. The weather was much warmer this year, with lows … MORE

This race was formerly known as the Newton Hills Ultra. I ran the 30K again this year with a fellow co-worker. The weather was much warmer this year, with lows in the 40’s and a high in the 60’s. The one downside of the nicer weather was that there were some spots where the trail was pretty rutted and muddy. The course starts out with a two-mile lolly-pop loop that returns to the start/finish area where there is a fully supplied aid station. The aid station was much bigger this year, covered with a large tent, and had a wider selection of food and drinks. There is then another 4-mile loop in the opposite direction that has 3 pretty long and steep hills. I was passed by some of the faster runners just before one of these hills, and even the leaders were walking up them, although they could be run if you were a good hill runner. Most of the course is single-track dirt, except for a short section at the beginning of the second loop that is gravel road. Podium finishers were given gift certificates at least two deep in each age group, and the overall winners were given a gift certificate for a free pair of Altra running shoes. I believe this race was taken over by a different race management group, and I could see that some improvements were made. Now they just need to advertise a little more to get the word out so that more runners take advantage of this local event.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Three Rivers Trail Run

Three Rivers Trail Run

I made a last-minute decision to run this half marathon just because I was passing through the area and thought it would be a good training run. I am glad … MORE

I made a last-minute decision to run this half marathon just because I was passing through the area and thought it would be a good training run. I am glad I did it, as it turned out to be much better than I thought. It was a small-town run done on the Three Rivers rail trail. The trail was smooth and straight, and the stiff wind was at our backs for about 3/4 of the race. The trees were in their fall glory, and the sun was shining, but there wasn’t much in the way of spectators except for the volunteers at the aid stations. After the race, a free pancake and sausage breakfast was served by the local Kiwanis club. What surprised me most was the bling. The finisher’s medal was modest, but well done, and we were given a zippered bag with the race name, a long-sleeved technical shirt, and a commemorative beer glass. I think the number of runners was down this year, but it was sufficient for it to count for the Half Fanatics and 50 State Half Marathon Club. All in all, not bad for a fun run in the country.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Palace City Kiwanis Half Marathon

Palace City Kiwanis Half Marathon

This was the first year for the Palace City Kiwanis Half Marathon, which starts and finishes at the World's Only Corn Palace. The Corn Palace was open before the race … MORE

This was the first year for the Palace City Kiwanis Half Marathon, which starts and finishes at the World’s Only Corn Palace. The Corn Palace was open before the race for day of the race packet pickup and also to keep us warm before the start of the race. It was chip timed by allsportscentral.com, and had fall decorations at the start/finish line. There were water stations with Gatorade about every 2.5-3 miles. I didn’t see any mile markers until about mile 6, but I was told that they put them out every mile, but maybe the were blown down by the wind. There were about 160 runners this year, not bad for a town that really doesn’t have much of a running culture. There was an announcer that called out people’s names at the finish, and there were custom medals shaped like the Corn Palace handed out at the finish line. I attended the pre-race packet pickup on Saturday, and picked up a cloth swag bag with a long-sleeved t-shirt, water bottle with the Corn Palace logo, band aids, a honey stinger energy gel, tea bags, and miscellaneous coupons. All in all, I would say it was a huge success, especially for the first year. I foresee it become even bigger and better in future years, and look forward to running it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Hennepin Hundred

Hennepin Hundred

I was actually dreading this run on my drive out to Illinois as it rained most of the day on Friday, and the forecast was for rain off and on … MORE

I was actually dreading this run on my drive out to Illinois as it rained most of the day on Friday, and the forecast was for rain off and on during the race. The weather gods were kind to us though, as the rain held off until about 7 hours into the 50K run. The temperatures were cool and the trail was dry which was about perfect conditions for an endurance run. This race is a point-to-point run along the Hennepin Canal. Because I was by myself, I had to ride the shuttle bus, which left Colona, IL at 2:30 p.m. for the 5:00 p.m. start. I’m not sure why we left so early as we had to stand around for about an hour and a half after I signed a waiver form and picked up my packet. It was kind of nice though to meet some of the other runners and talk about the upcoming race. I quickly spotted Lorelei, another Raceraves Lunatic that Mike Sohaskey asked me to keep an eye out for and say hi. I started out in the back of the pack and had no problem keeping up with the mass of runners ahead of me. I started out taking short walking breaks after about a mile, and continued to do so for the rest of the race. By the time we got to the second of the well-supplied aid stations, it was already starting to get dark, but I delayed putting on my headlamp until it was almost pitch black out. My legs started stiffening up by the third aid station, so I sat down and ate some boiled potatoes for a few minutes, which definitely helped. I then yo-yoed with two different groups of runners until the last 10 miles, then proceeded to catch up to them and finally pass them at the final aid stations. I missed a sub-7 hour finish because of the extended break I took at the third aid station, but still finished with my fastest splits of the second half for the last three miles. The aid stations had water, Tailwind, coffee, and several types of soft drinks. Some of the food items included grilled cheese, broth, gels, cliff bars, pizza, and boiled potatoes. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and didn’t hesitate to offer help with anything the runners needed. The medal was very nice with a glow-in-the -dark keychain that you could remove to use with your keys if you wanted. The shirt was very nicely designed as well. Although the course was somewhat monotonous, the race was well managed with excellent amenities. The one criticism that I heard several times on the course was a scarcity of porta potties at the aid stations, but that wasn’t a problem for me.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Shepherd’s Spring

Shepherd’s Spring

One of the goals of this race according to the race director is to provide an opportunity for older/slower runners to run an ultra without having to worry about finish … MORE

One of the goals of this race according to the race director is to provide an opportunity for older/slower runners to run an ultra without having to worry about finish line cutoffs. Accordingly, the time limit for the 50K was 15 hours. Unfortunately, this inaugural race didn’t attract very many older runners, possibly because there were a lot of other races that same weekend. The course started at Shepherd’s Springs camp, and was supposed to go about 15 miles downstream along the historic C & O canal and then return back to the camp. Unfortunately, heavy rains earlier in the week caused the Potomac River to rise, flooding the road in two places on the drive in to the start, and flooded the course on the C & O towpath. Fortunately, the race director was able to make adjustments on the fly and allowed us to continue running three shorter out and backs to complete the 50K distance. This meant that we had to cross two flooded sections of trail, and also go up a steep hill to get back to the camp at the end of each out and back. My favorite part of the course was along the C & O canal, as it was cooler, shaded, and the dirt (mud) and gravel was easier on the feet and legs. I was disappointed that we weren’t able to see the whole course, but was grateful to the race director for allowing us to continue with the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Sizzlin’ Sasquatch

Sizzlin’ Sasquatch

The Sizzlin' Sasquatch is the creation of RJ and Summer Chiles, who own the land where the course is located and direct the race single-handedly. You can tell that they … MORE

The Sizzlin’ Sasquatch is the creation of RJ and Summer Chiles, who own the land where the course is located and direct the race single-handedly. You can tell that they really care about this race, as there were bigfoot signs directing participants off of the main highway, all the way to the starting line, and many other amenities not often found at trail races. I was surprised at the small number of participants, but the quality made up for the small quantity. At 5:00 a.m., five or six enthusiastic runners took off for a short out and back before beginning a series of loops approximately 3.2 miles long. I fell in behind two female runners and found that it was a little dusty. I tried slowing down to get out of their dust, but it didn’t seem to settle very quickly, so I continued on behind them. After about a loop and a half, they both pulled away from me and the dust was no longer a problem. The trail was mainly hard packed to loose dirt when we were under the oak trees, but consisted of about a 10-foot swath of closely mowed pasture out in the open. I would say that about 40% of the course was covered by trees, which provided welcome shade. The course was relatively flat, with short rollers. There were a couple of places that were really rocky, but the whole course was runnable. There was one full-service aid station at the start/finish line and self-service water stations a little past one mile and a second near the 2-mile mark. There were humorous signs along part of the course, as well as a life-sized Sasquatch silhouette. The resident Llama, as well as wildlife such as tarantula hawks, a velvet ant (cow killer), and a huge rat snake kept me entertained.

The generous hosts provided free camping for the 3-days of races, and even had a pair of private outdoor showers for the runners. All in all, this was one of the best organized small races that I’ve ever had the pleasure of running. It’s a shame that there weren’t more runners to take advantage of it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Dream Factory’s 24-Hour Run for Dreams

Dream Factory’s 24-Hour Run for Dreams

I was amazed that this race was organized so well given the small number of volunteers involved. I picked up my bib number and t shirt the afternoon before the … MORE

I was amazed that this race was organized so well given the small number of volunteers involved. I picked up my bib number and t shirt the afternoon before the race, and the race director was out on the course marking the trail. He also mowed a path for us along the route, and was the main time-keeper throughout the 24 hours of this race. I thought he bent over backwards accommodating the runners. There wasn’t a huge variety of food at the aid station, but it was sufficient for a 24 hour run. About half the course was shaded in a riparian zone along Clear Creek, and the other half was along the edge of an old hay field. It got hot at times along the upper part of the loop, but was perceptibly cooler in the shade closer to the creek. The course was a 2-mile loop, so we were able to replenish at the aid station at regular intervals. One nice touch was that chairs were provided for those who wanted to take a break at the end of a loop. I enjoy these small events because you get to know the people so much better than at larger events.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Loopty Loop Trail Run

Loopty Loop Trail Run

I didn't have too high of expectations before traveling to this race, but I was pleasantly surprised. The race was run on a 6.3 mile loop that was mostly single-track … MORE

I didn’t have too high of expectations before traveling to this race, but I was pleasantly surprised. The race was run on a 6.3 mile loop that was mostly single-track dirt trails with some double-track gravel. There were 3 logs that had to be stepped over and a couple of areas with roots, but overall it was an easy trail. The race was chip timed, and very well organized. There was one strange twist though. They gave the 12-hour runners an extra 1.5 hours to finish, so the 12-hour run was actually 13.5 hours. The 4 and 6-hour events also had extra time. This is unusual, but I guess it gives one a chance for a new PR for an unorthodox duration for a timed race. The aid stations were well supplied with a variety of snacks and food, and deep dish pizza and cake were served near the end of each event. All finishers were given a nice medal, except for those who finished 50 miles or 100K which were given belt buckles. All in all, I would give it 5 stars.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 4 (IA)

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 4 (IA)

This race was part of the Mainly Marathon Prairie Series, which is notoriously hot and frequently humid. Fortunately, this course had quite a bit of shade. The route started at … MORE

This race was part of the Mainly Marathon Prairie Series, which is notoriously hot and frequently humid. Fortunately, this course had quite a bit of shade. The route started at the Mainly Marathon “camp” and zig-zagged through a combination park/recreational complex in Riverside Park in a short out-and-back, and then proceeded to another out-and-back underneath the freeway overpass to a pretty stretch along the Big Sioux River. The first few hundred yards of the second out-and-back was open to the sun, but the rest did have quite a bit of shade. The advantage to this double out-and-back is that you ran by the aid station about every 0.5 to 0.75 miles. This makes it easier to keep hydrated and fueled without having to wear a hydration vest or carry a hand-held bottle. I thought this course was better than the Mainly Marathon races in Nebraska and Missouri that I ran last year as it was more scenic and had a little more shade. A bonus was the sighting of several white-tailed deer, including two new-born fawns along the paved trail that went along the Big Sioux River.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 1 (ND/MN)

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 1 (ND/MN)

If you like running on mountain single track courses through forests and streams, this race series if not for you. It is mainly set up to make it easy for … MORE

If you like running on mountain single track courses through forests and streams, this race series if not for you. It is mainly set up to make it easy for marathoners to either pick up races in different states in a short period of time with a minimum of travel between races or for people competing to see how many marathons they can complete in a year. It’s fun to see famous runners like Larry Macon, Jim Simpson, and Henry Rueden, but the courses consist of short out-and-backs or short loops (I’m talking about less than 2 miles total out-and-back). This race started with a short segment from the North Dakota side of the Red River to the starting line, which was on the Minnesota side of the river in Breckenridge, MN. This allowed runners to chose whether they wanted to count it for either MN or ND. After this first segment, the course was basically a fish-hooked shaped out and back that crossed the Red River and then proceeded for about 0.68 miles along the top of the dike on the ND side of the Red River. We then turned around and ran back to the start. I would have like to have seen a little longer out and back or a loop, but the advantage of this type of course is that you get to visit the full-service aid station at the start/finish more frequently. It was very warm and humid this year, yet I didn’t have to wear a hydration vest or carry a water bottle. There is a table at the start/finish where you can leave your water bottle and a volunteer will fill it with your choice of fluids as needed. They had Gatorade, water, Coca Cola, and more. They also had flavored ice pops, french toast, PB & J sandwiches, and other snack foods. All runners were given a starter medal at check in before their first race, and then a state medal that attached to the bottom of the starter medal to form a chain of medals. July is a tough month to run in the Great Plains with the heat and humidity, so this is a series that is mainly for the hard-core Mainlyners.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mainly Marathons New England Series – Day 4 (MA)

Mainly Marathons New England Series – Day 4 (MA)

Mainly marathons is a well-organized company that puts on series of runs of various lengths. This one was on a wide, smooth trail of crushed gravel. It was near Ashley … MORE

Mainly marathons is a well-organized company that puts on series of runs of various lengths. This one was on a wide, smooth trail of crushed gravel. It was near Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke, MA. The course started out going through some picturesque woods, and then by several ponds of Ashley Reservoir. There was a lot of wildlife seen on the course including white-tailed deer, beaver, and Eastern chipmunks. The course was a 1.1 mile out and back that was repeated 14.5 times for the 50K and 12 times for the marathon distance. The wide trails of Ashley Reservoir made for an excellent venue for this rapidly expanding series, as there was plenty of room for passing on the trails.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Millersylvania Trail Races

Millersylvania Trail Races

The Millersylvania 50K is run on a well groomed loop trail through dense cedar and Douglas fir forest in Millersylvania State Park near Olympia WA. The race's website says that … MORE

The Millersylvania 50K is run on a well groomed loop trail through dense cedar and Douglas fir forest in Millersylvania State Park near Olympia WA. The race’s website says that there is approximately 300 feet of elevation gain per loop, but it doesn’t even seem to be that much. Most of the elevation gain is gradual, so almost all of the course is runnable. If you are a slower runner, it is important to note that there is an 8 hour time limit, which the race director appears to fully enforce as there were about 11 DNFs in the 50K this year. There was one stretch about 30 yards long that was covered with ankle-deep water with no way to avoid getting your feet wet. The bottom was solid though, so there was no mud to sink into. Most of the trail is covered with soft pine needles, with just a few short stretches of gravel or pavement. The start/finish is near a swimming beach on Deep Lake, so you can cool off afterwards and rest your legs in the cool lake. There was a barbecue picnic afterwards for the runners, but no finisher’s medals. This is a good course for a beginner or for experienced trail runners who want to get a PR and is a really beautiful course through Pacific Northwest forest. I can see this race growing a lot in the future if it is promoted a bit more.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Alaska Endurance Trail Run

Alaska Endurance Trail Run

This was a small ultramarathon, probably because of the long distance that most ultrarunners from the lower 48 states have to travel, but it was definitely worth the effort. Except … MORE

This was a small ultramarathon, probably because of the long distance that most ultrarunners from the lower 48 states have to travel, but it was definitely worth the effort. Except for a lot of wet ground, the course was relatively easy with just a couple of noticeable climbs. The race director was very humble and gracious, and everything went off with a hitch. There were no finisher awards given, but the scenery and location more than made up for it. There was a lunch served after the race with hot dogs and hamburgers, and runners were encouraged to bring a potluck dish which fostered a sense of community. As expected, most of the runners were from Alaska, and were very warm and friendly. It was so much the course, but the people that would bring me back again if I have the chance.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

GiddyUp Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms

GiddyUp Trail Running Festival at Pineland Farms

Pineland Farms has an interesting history. It formerly was the campus of a mental institution for the state of Maine. It’s buildings are now rented out to various businesses. Surrounding … MORE

Pineland Farms has an interesting history. It formerly was the campus of a mental institution for the state of Maine. It’s buildings are now rented out to various businesses. Surrounding the campus, are a complex network of meandering trails. They zig zag back and forth through woods, around the edge of fields, and even a dairy. The whole course is all runnable, and the path is flat and smooth except where it goes around the edges of the fields. Even the roots found on some sections were painted orange by the race directors. There was live music, food, and free beer provided by Shipyard Brewing at the finish. The amenities reminded me of a well-supported marathon as opposed to the average trail run. Even with the controversial history of the location, you would be crazy not to run this race if you had the chance.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Hawthorn Half Day Relay & Ultra

Hawthorn Half Day Relay & Ultra

This race was run on a well-groomed, relatively flat trail in a wooded park. The park was heavily wooded in most places except for the path around the lakes, which … MORE

This race was run on a well-groomed, relatively flat trail in a wooded park. The park was heavily wooded in most places except for the path around the lakes, which was in the open sun. Most of the trail was about 15 feet wide and was composed of dirt and grass or finely crushed rock, although there was one stretch where we ran through a campground which was paved. There were a few roots, but they were painted blaze orange, so there was little danger of tripping. I think it would be a good course for anyone new to trail running, or for experienced runners who want to run a fast time. The run was chip timed which appeared to work flawlessly. There were really nicely design participation medals that had the distance milestone achieved labeled on the back as well as t-shirts. My only criticism is that the only food at the aid station was snack-type food. It would have been nice to have some larger food items such as PB & J sandwiches or ham and cheese sandwiches or wraps. They did have a meal after the 12-hour was finished, but I didn’t stick around for that. The entry fee was relatively low though, so in light of that, you get what you pay for. I guess I’m getting spoiled with the banquets provided by some ultras.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

3 Days at the Fair

3 Days at the Fair

This is primarily a timed ultra on a 1-mile loop although I did the 50K option. In addition, there were 6 day, 3 day, 48-hour, 24-hour, 12-hour, 6-hour, and marathon … MORE

This is primarily a timed ultra on a 1-mile loop although I did the 50K option. In addition, there were 6 day, 3 day, 48-hour, 24-hour, 12-hour, 6-hour, and marathon options. It was pretty amazing that the race director could keep track of all the different options and runners on the course, but they did. The one aid station was phenomenal, offering the usual snacks plus a grill that would make just about anything you wanted to order. Belt buckles were given out to runners finishing at least 101 miles and coins for shorter distances. This year, all runners were given a Marmot rain jacket with the logo of 3 Days at the Fair, which came in handy for most of the days of the race. I lucked out and picked the driest of the 6 days of the run. This isn’t one of those epic runs in a wilderness, but was fun seeing quite a few members of the Marathon Maniacs, 50 State Marathon Club, and many others. To me, it’s more of a social event than an athletic competition, although there were several elite ultrarunners. The race is in a pretty part of New Jersey, but the race course was on a flat fairground.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Flint Hills 50 and Marathon

Flint Hills 50 and Marathon

This marathon is run on dirt and gravel roads around a single loop through scenic farm country. If you don't like hills, you won't like this marathon. Except for the … MORE

This marathon is run on dirt and gravel roads around a single loop through scenic farm country. If you don’t like hills, you won’t like this marathon. Except for the first couple of miles and the last few, it is continuous rolling hills. I walked the steeper hills and ran the rest and did just fine. I was following behind a group of three runners for the first 6 miles who were running all the way up the hills. I fell back from them when I walked up the hills, but made up ground to them on the downhills, and eventually caught up to them and passed them after we reached the first aid station. I’m sure that my run/walk strategy was the reason I passed 3 runners during the last 6 miles of the run.

There were only 30 runners registered for the marathon in 2018, with 26 finishers. I assume that the 4 that didn’t finish did not start, as there were no DNFs listed for the marathon. The time limit for the marathon was 13.5 hours, so this is a walker friendly event. The finisher awards for both the marathon and the 50 miler were belt buckles.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Dogwood Ultra Marathon

Dogwood Ultra Marathon

"There are a lot of ups and downs on this course," said the race director at the pre-race briefing. He then went on to describe the course, "after running on … MORE

“There are a lot of ups and downs on this course,” said the race director at the pre-race briefing. He then went on to describe the course, “after running on the sidewalk along the beach, you turn left and go up the gravel road, for what I call the mandatory walking break. I call it this because I bet even the leaders will be walking.” He also went on to say, “if you don’t take it easy at the beginning, you’ll pay for it later.” Of course he was right. There were no major climbs, but the 3.41 mile course constantly went up and down. In the 34.1 miles that I ran, there were 4,691 feet of total elevation gain according to my GPS watch. For someone who live near the mountains, this might not seem to much, but for this flatlander, it was a tough day’s work. The scenery made up for the hills though. There were the two lakes of Twin Lakes State Park, lots of dormant trees, a shrubby tree with purple blossoms that is still unknown to me, and spring wildflowers bursting forth from the ground. We lucked out with the weather this year. It was cool in the morning, with highs near 65 degrees F. The trail was in very good condition, and was wide enough so that faster runners could pass easily. There were few large rocks, but some roots that would reach out and grab you if you weren’t paying attention. There was a restroom with indoor plumbing just a few feet from the course, and just one aid station at the start/finish line. Along with the traditional ultra aid station staples, they cooked hamburgers and hot dogs around noon, and made quesadillas later in the afternoon. No timing chips were used, but the race organizers did a good job counting laps. I didn’t hear of anyone complaining about inaccuracies in the results. Finisher awards were a keychain on a ceramic fob, and runners who completed 26.2 miles, 50K, and 50 miles were given a ceramic tile magnet or coaster with their distance completed.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Conquer the Wall Endurance Challenge

Conquer the Wall Endurance Challenge

You won't be able to find any more friendly and hospitable people anywhere than the people of Williamson, WV, which held the first annual Conquer the Wall 35-hour Run. The … MORE

You won’t be able to find any more friendly and hospitable people anywhere than the people of Williamson, WV, which held the first annual Conquer the Wall 35-hour Run. The weather was damp in the morning when the timing company was setting up the timing mat at the start/finish, and they ran into some electrical problems which delayed the start by one hour. Fortunately, we had access to the Williamson Community Center which was well supplied with coffee, fruit, and food throughout the day. Runners were allowed to sleep on cots in the Community Center the night before, and maintain an indoor camp right next to the course throughout the race. Most of the course was pavement, and it was as flat as a pancake, with views of the surrounding hills in almost every direction. Along the south side of the flood wall, you could see the Tug Fork River, and on the north side, you could watch coal trains moving coal through town. It really wasn’t that boring even though it was only a two mile loop because there were a lot of interesting views to see, including a tunnel that the trains were going through. There were plenty of porta pottys at both ends of the loop, as well as indoor facilities inside the community center. I kind of regret my decision to leave early, and if I do it again, I will plan on staying the full time.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Black Warrior Trail Runs

Black Warrior Trail Runs

The Phillip Parker Black Warrior 50K is located in the beautiful rolling hills of the Bankhead National Forest in NE Alabama. All but the first and last 2.5 miles of … MORE

The Phillip Parker Black Warrior 50K is located in the beautiful rolling hills of the Bankhead National Forest in NE Alabama. All but the first and last 2.5 miles of the 50K course were on dirt trails with moderate hills and many creek crossings. It rained about 90% of the time while I was running with a total of over 2 inches of rain for the day. The National Weather service even put out a flood warning alert. I think there were a few new waterfalls and creek crossings that day that weren’t there before. I ran into some problems during the last 10 miles or so. Somehow during all of the slipping and sliding, mud got inside of my shoe and started caking up underneath my foot. I wouldn’t have thought that it would bother me, but at one point it felt like I had a marble under my foot. It was definitely uncomfortable, so I stopped twice and took off one of my shoes to clean out the mud. It actually took me quite a while to scrape the caked up mud from off of my insoles. Then when I bent my leg to try to put my shoe back on, my legs cramped up both times. It took quite a bit of stretching to get the cramping to stop. At one point, another runner caught up to me and stopped to ask if I was okay. I told him that I was and to go ahead and I didn’t see him again. Once I got going again, I was fine, but I probably lost 10-15 minutes of time. It was all good though, as I finished with plenty of time before dark. It was definitely the wettest and slipperiest race I’ve ever done.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Snowdrop ULTRA 55 Hour Race & Relay

Snowdrop ULTRA 55 Hour Race & Relay

Want to do 100 miles in a running event? This is the race to do it in. The support, party atmosphere, and people are all top notch. The Snowdrop 55-hour … MORE

Want to do 100 miles in a running event? This is the race to do it in. The support, party atmosphere, and people are all top notch. The Snowdrop 55-hour ultramarathon is put on to raise money for college scholarships for pediatric cancer patients and for pediatric cancer research. This year, the race was moved to a new venue in Buffalo Run Park in Missouri City, TX. The course was a 0.69 mile loop with approximately 1/3 on concrete path and 2/3 on dirt and fine gravel mixture. They had one aid station right along the course where you could just grab the hydration product of your choice and snack food, and also a covered aid station with a larger selection of products including coffee and hot chocolate. They also served meals 4 times a day to really fuel the fire. I reserved a cot during registration for the event, but didn’t reserve a tent. I guess I was thinking that I would bring my own backbacking tent, but decided to travel light. At the last minute, I asked the race director if they had any extra dome tents, and she said I could claim one if there were any extra ones not being used. It was just a comfort knowing that I had a place to lay down if the weather got bad. The weather at the start this year was overcast with temperatures in the mid-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Later in the afternoon it started drizzling and continued through most of the night. My goal was to finish 100K (62 miles) before the end of the first 24 hours. I managed to do it, but wasn’t able to sleep afterwards due to being wet from the mist and from sweat. I laid there a while in the tent shivering, so decided to go back out on the course and finish some more miles. While running, there was entertainment along the course. The first band was a contemporary one that played some classic tunes. Then there was a group of Irish dancers, followed by a mariachi band. There were also signs along the course with pictures of pediatric cancer patients in their honor or memory. This was kind of sad, but emphasized the importance of this event. I ended up finishing 100 miles in a little over 46 hours, and went back to my motel to get a little sleep. I woke up early the next day, checked in for my flight the next day, and went back to the course. I then walked another 4 miles, ending up with a total of 104.2. The swag for this even was fantastic, with a personal-size travel bag stuffed full of supplies including foot lube, a head lamp, a t-shirt, a visor, epsom salts, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bandana, a first aid kit, and much more. Very nice belt buckles were given for runners completing 100, 150, and 200 miles. All in all, I think this is my new favorite race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

One Epic Run

One Epic Run

This was a 24-hour fixed time run on a 5K loop course along mountain bike trails of Croft State Park near Spartanburg, SC. I'm glad the weather cooperated enough that … MORE

This was a 24-hour fixed time run on a 5K loop course along mountain bike trails of Croft State Park near Spartanburg, SC. I’m glad the weather cooperated enough that I was able to get into the Greenville-Spartanburg airport as there was a winter storm warning this year. Fortunately, the snow stayed mostly to the northwest of the race venue, and I had no problems driving to the park. There was enough rain the day before to make the trails slippery though, which helped the run to live up to its namesake. The trails were in good shape, which is to be expected for mountain bike trails, but there was enough hills, roots, and rocks to make it interesting. Temperatures this year hovered in the mid 30s, which made for comfortable running weather (but doesn’t explain the two people I saw running without a shirt, lol). The course started heading down a steep slope to the bank of Fairforest Creek. It then crossed over a long footbridge, and then up a steep bank, followed by a continuous climb of about a mile. Along the back of the loop, the course bordered a firing range which was being used during much of the day (protected by a high berm), which made for an interesting distraction. The second half of the loop was mostly a fast, gradual downhill along the banks of the river, then back to the bridge, and up the steep bank to the start. The course was almost completely runnable, but only if you trained a lot on hills. There was only one well stocked aid station at the start/finish, but it was well supplied with the usual aid station fare, plus a wide variety of drinks, and a good selection of “real food.” Some of the food items that were available included vegetable broth, meatballs, hummus wraps, pretzels, candy, pickles, beef jerky, donuts, pizza, pb and jelly sandwiches and much more. All entrants were given a heavy duty hoodie, but there were no finisher’s medals. I completed a total of 34.1 miles, and wished that I could have stayed longer to do a few more laps. Unfortunately, I had an early flight out on Sunday morning, so it wasn’t feasible to run all night.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Burn the Bird 5K & 10K

Burn the Bird 5K & 10K

For most runners in the USA, the idea of running a turkey trot in Fargo, ND is probably absurd. However, late November weather in ND is not always frigid. This … MORE

For most runners in the USA, the idea of running a turkey trot in Fargo, ND is probably absurd. However, late November weather in ND is not always frigid. This year, temperatures were hovering around freezing for the 8:30 a.m. start. One nice thing about this race is that you can stay inside the Cass County YMCA prior to the start and stay warm. The race was chipped timed, but I found out afterwards that the chips were only used to set the finishing times and no net time was recorded. Because I started in the middle of the pack, I ended up losing about 30 seconds of time before I crossed the starting line. The course headed south on a street for about a mile when the 5K runners separated from the 10K course. The 10K course then turned onto a bike path along the Red River for about a 1.5 mile out and back. We then went back up to the streets to head back to the finish. The race is fairly flat with just one 5 foot drop to go onto the bike trails along the river. No age group awards were given out, although age group placing was recorded on the results. Swag included a cotton t-shirt, a finisher’s medal, and the usual coupons in the swag bag. This is probably one of the bigger turkey trots in the Dakotas, so has plenty of competition.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

Las Vegas High Roller (fka 3 of a Kind)

Las Vegas High Roller (fka 3 of a Kind)

This race was part of a series that appears to cater to serial marathon and ultrarunners, much like the Mainly Marathon series. In fact, I think it was intentionally scheduled … MORE

This race was part of a series that appears to cater to serial marathon and ultrarunners, much like the Mainly Marathon series. In fact, I think it was intentionally scheduled to coincide with the end of the Mainly Marathon Southwestern series, so that marathoners could do 9 races in 9 days if they chose to do so. I ran the first race of this series which was held in Sunset Park in Las Vegas, not too far from McCarran International Airport. The course was conveniently located, easy to find, and surprisingly scenic. The whole Las Vegas area is flat, so you can see the mountains on the horizon from just about anywhere, and this park was no exception. The course was a 5K loop, which was repeated 10 times for the 50K runners. It was a small race, but many of the runners knew each other from doing other races. The course was kind of shaped like an 8, with one larger paved loop around a dry, desert ecosystem, with saltbrush and other desert plants, and a shorter loop on crushed limestone around Sunset Lake. I saw numerous wildlife including cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, birds, and even a lizard. The course was flat and fast, so is a good placed to try for a personal record. The medals were large and nicely done. The course could have been marked a little better with larger arrows, but everyone seemed to find there way around the first couple of times without a problem. There were generous overall awards and age-group awards for such a small race. Overall, I really enjoyed this race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Glacier Hills Ultra

Glacier Hills Ultra

Newton Hills is a hilly oasis in an otherwise mundane agricultural region with thick deciduous trees and steep hills along Sergeant Creek that cuts through this portion of the Couteau … MORE

Newton Hills is a hilly oasis in an otherwise mundane agricultural region with thick deciduous trees and steep hills along Sergeant Creek that cuts through this portion of the Couteau des Prairie region. The Newton Hills Ultra races are small, inexpensive, no-frills trail runs. Currently they have 20K, 30K, and 50K distances. Registrants are given a cotton t-shirt and a swag bag, but there is no finisher award, except for the top 3 at each distance. All distances are run on a hilly 10K loop, so the 20K runs it twice, the 30K three times, and so on. I ran the 30K this year with a co-worker, and my Garmin watch showed that there was approximately 2850 feet of elevation gain for the 18 miles, which would come out to 4,750 feet for the 50K. There was just one aid station at the start/finish line, which was well stocked, but there was no hot meal served after the finish, which is becoming a tradition at many ultras. The 50K runners started at 6 a.m., so had to run in the dark for the first two hours. The 30K started at 7 a.m., so we ran the first loop in the dark, so be sure to bring a headlamp if you run this race. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the many oak trees by this time of the year, but it is still a picturesque park and a nice diversion from the usual monotony of southeastern South Dakota.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mankato Marathon

Mankato Marathon

I was glad that this marathon was held on Sunday, rather than the day before, because Saturday was wet and windy. The weather on race day was about perfect though. … MORE

I was glad that this marathon was held on Sunday, rather than the day before, because Saturday was wet and windy. The weather on race day was about perfect though. It was dry with little wind and the fall colors were still at their prime. There were a couple hills in the first half of the marathon that were long enough to slow you down, otherwise it was pretty flat with a long downhill in the second half. We had to take a shuttle to the start from the finish area, apparently so there would be enough parking and to allow for a downhill finish, but the shuttles were on time and plentiful for the short ride. It was a long wait at the start, but I had planned ahead and brought a credit card so I could walk across the street and drink a cup of coffee in the warm environment of the Caribou Coffee shop. I started out behind the 5 hour pacer, but very quickly caught up and moved ahead to just behind the 4:30 pacer. I stayed within view of the 4:30 pacer until just before the half mark, and then gradually slowed to a 4:56:25 finish. There were about the number of spectators that I would expect for a medium size marathon, and the post race amenities were above average. Plenty of food, free massages courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, free beer (if I hadn’t lost my ticket attached to my bib), and live music. It was well worth the short drive and registration cost of this fall marathon.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Outdoor X 12 Hour Endurance Run (OX12)

Outdoor X 12 Hour Endurance Run (OX12)

The course for this well-run 12-hour ultramathon was run around the perimeter of the 2017 Outdoor Experience festival in Dayton, OH. The course was very flat except for one or … MORE

The course for this well-run 12-hour ultramathon was run around the perimeter of the 2017 Outdoor Experience festival in Dayton, OH. The course was very flat except for one or two “speedbumps” and was relatively smooth except for a couple of roots on the far side of the course. There was one place along the course where the path ran between a lake and a water slide that was set up for the outdoor expo where there was only room for people to run single file, and it got kind of crowded with all of the people that were there. In general, all of the many events that were going on including live bands made for interesting distractions that kept me from getting bored on the course. I would rate the one aid station a 9.5 out of 10 because of the “real food” that was served including avocado and hummus wraps. The race differed from most 12-hour runs I’ve done before, as they required you to be moving on the race course at the end of the 12 hours in order to get a finisher’s medal. The large medal was a nice touch though, which is something that you don’t usually get in all ultramarathons. We are also supposed to get a personalized wooden finisher’s award in the mail, but I haven’t received it as yet. All in all, I had a very enjoyable day and would do it again if I have the chance.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Goosebumps 6 & 24 hour Run & Walk

Goosebumps 6 & 24 hour Run & Walk

This event is obviously a labor of love for race director Richard Chrz. Richard has been putting this on for several years as a fundraiser for the Local Lupus Alliance. … MORE

This event is obviously a labor of love for race director Richard Chrz. Richard has been putting this on for several years as a fundraiser for the Local Lupus Alliance. He is also afflicted by Lupus himself, so puts on this race so that others can run when he can’t. Based on the amount of volunteers, food, and course markings, it appears that Richard spends almost the whole year in planning this event. He left nothing to chance, from the glow sticks that were placed every 5 feet on both sides of the entire length of the course, to the broad range of full meals offered at the aid station, to the multiple lap counters. I wasn’t able to stay for the full 24 hours, but I was amazed at the breakfast that was laid out for the runners. I ate thick-sliced pepper bacon cooked in maple syrup, rosemary seasoned roasted potatoes, and a cheesy egg bake. Participants who completed a cumulative total of over 100 miles or 200 miles over the years that they participated in this event were given a hoodie and a patch. All of this was for a free-will donation. This truly is a labor of love, and seems more like an extended family reunion than a race. I foresee that this event (it’s not just a race) will continue to grow in the future. Hopefully, it won’t outgrow the close-knit family feel and warmth that I saw at this year’s race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

This was the third time that I've run the Sioux Falls Marathon, but did not have too high of expectations for my performance. I had just come off of my … MORE

This was the third time that I’ve run the Sioux Falls Marathon, but did not have too high of expectations for my performance. I had just come off of my first hundred mile finish the weekend before, so just wanted to take it slow and easy, which I did. Everything went well right up until the last two miles. The weather wasn’t too hot, with a nice tailwind on the home stretch along the Big Sioux River, and I enjoyed chatting with a fellow runner for the first 21 miles or so. There was some lightning and light rain before the start, so the start was delayed 15 minutes. When I turned north to return back to the Sanford Premier center, most of the course markings disappeared. I saw one arrow on the right hand side of a median between the sidewalk I was on and a frontage road, so I continued straight ahead. I thought that the course turned south to return to the start, but I never saw another arrow or sign. After going quite a ways north of the Premier center, I saw one of the pacers who finished earlier and told him I was lost. He said to head back the way I came, and so I did. I eventually found my way into the entrance to the Premier center where we started, and finished with just 10 minutes to spare with the 6.5 hour time limit. After I finished, I discovered that there was plenty of Gatoraid, pallets of it, but no food and no beer. Apparently, the half marathon finishers cleaned up the post-race refreshments. I found out later that the reason that there were no course markings for the last 1.5 miles was that the local police removed the cones that marked the course before the course was suppose to close. I assume that this was because they weren’t informed that there was a late start, so they opened up the streets according to the original schedule. I let the race director know how disappointed in the situation, and she told me that she would share my concerns so that it wouldn’t happened again. I am going to be sure to ask questions before signing up again. Don’t get me wrong; I think it is a nice marathon, but it was ruined for me because of the events that transpired near the end of the race. On the bright side, the medal was a lot nice with more detail than I’ve seen in year’s past, although it was smaller compared to some.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
1
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

A Race for the Ages (ARFTA)

A Race for the Ages (ARFTA)

My head is so full of pleasant memories that I don't know where to begin. I picked this race for my first 100 mile finish attempt because of the long … MORE

My head is so full of pleasant memories that I don’t know where to begin. I picked this race for my first 100 mile finish attempt because of the long cutoff, and I wasn’t disappointed. The premise of this timed ultra is that you get to run the same number of hours as your age. This seems fair because runners naturally slow down as they age. What I learned at this race is that they may slow down, but they don’t necessarily stop. This race seemed more like a family reunion than a race. I was a little intimidated at first as I didn’t recognize many of the names, but I felt very accepted by the veterans. It looked like the majority of the participants either camped out in tents along the course, or camped out inside on cots that were set up in the dining area. I reserved a motel room for Saturday and Sunday, but this meant that I was losing time going back and forth from the course. Full meals were served every 6 hours with plenty of comfort food, and I couldn’t believe how much I was able to eat and still run. Surprisingly, instead of feeling full and uncomfortable, I found that I had much more energy after I ate. The timing was impeccable, with two independent timing systems used. We wore one chip on our bib and another on an ankle bracelet, so there was no worries about missing a lap from the total count. This seemed like more of a social run than a race, but I’m sure the top runners on the leader board were duking it out. The part that I appreciated the most was the friendliness and helpfulness of the veterans. Most of them will go out of the way to help you, even if it means they have to slow down or stop their own race. Yes, there were some that went into their “pain cave”, but I suppose everyone has their moments. I was afraid that once I finished this race that I wouldn’t want to do another 100 mile attempt again, but I think I fell in love with such longer timed ultras. I was thrilled to have completed a total of 105 miles, and am looking forward to setting many more distance PRs.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Lean Horse 100 Ultra Marathon

Lean Horse 100 Ultra Marathon

This year the 50K was switched to a 30 mile run. I had finished the 50 mile run a few years ago, but this was the first time running the … MORE

This year the 50K was switched to a 30 mile run. I had finished the 50 mile run a few years ago, but this was the first time running the 30 mile. The race started on the Custer High School track, which actually was near the hospital and not the high school. I couldn’t find the address for the start anywhere on the website or in any of the pre-race emails, but fortunately I remembered where it was from a few years ago. Not everyone was so lucky. Anyway, the 30 mile, 50 mile, and 100 mile runners all started at 6 a.m. After circling 3/4 of the track, we then went onto the Mickelson Trail and headed for Hill City. Along the way, we passed a lot of beautiful granite cliffs, ran alongside Spring Creek, and were treated to a view of the Crazy Horse Monument (from a distance). We climbed up a gradual slope from the start to the road to Crazy Horse, and then it was downhill to Hill City. At the Hill City aid station, the 30 mile runners turned around and ran back to Custer. The trail was very smooth, with fine crushed limestone, but I didn’t have any problems with getting debris in my shoes. The altitude didn’t bother me at all, and it was very enjoyable except for a 5-mile stretch between miles 20 and 25 when my hip flexors tightened up. I think I need to work on leaning forward a little more on the uphills and shorten my stride to engage my gluteal muscles a little more. This is a great ultramarathon for both beginners and experienced ultrarunners.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

StoneMan Marathon and Hisega Half

StoneMan Marathon and Hisega Half

This was truly a trail marathon. Most of the course was run on single track on the Centennial Trail of the Black Hills. The trail first followed Brush Creek with … MORE

This was truly a trail marathon. Most of the course was run on single track on the Centennial Trail of the Black Hills. The trail first followed Brush Creek with beautiful wildflowers and wild raspberries, then climbed hill after hill through Ponderosa Pine forest, riparian zones, and the open meadows of the Bald Hills of the Black Hills National Forest. Total elevation gain was approximately 4,500 feet. Aid stations were located an average of 3.5 mile intervals. There was plenty of swag, although the medals were small, which isn’t surprising for a trail marathon. There was great food and beer at the finish, which was a plus.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 7 (MO)

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 7 (MO)

With an extreme heat advisory forecasted, the race director made the decision the day before to allow an optional, extra early start at 3:30 a.m. I accepted this offer gladly, … MORE

With an extreme heat advisory forecasted, the race director made the decision the day before to allow an optional, extra early start at 3:30 a.m. I accepted this offer gladly, and was so glad I did. The course was along a concrete path alongside the Missouri River. About a 1/4 mile from the start, the path went right by a casino. Due to the heat, the race director shortened the course and placed aid stations at both ends of the out and back so we would never be more than about 3/4 of a mile from fluids and ice. It worked well, and I was able to follow through with my plan to opt in to the 50K distance that is offered with each of their marathons. Shade became rather scarce near the end of my run, but there was a slight breeze blowing up the river that helped a little. Menu items at the aid station included berry smoothies, potato salad, and hot dogs, along with the usual ultramarathon fare. These races are a little bit expensive, but you get a lot of support for your money.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

 

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 5 (NE)

Mainly Marathons Prairie Series – Day 5 (NE)

Day 5 of the inaugural Mainly Marathons Prairie Series was run around the Lake at Crystal Cove Park in South Sioux City, NE. The course consisted of a concrete path … MORE

Day 5 of the inaugural Mainly Marathons Prairie Series was run around the Lake at Crystal Cove Park in South Sioux City, NE. The course consisted of a concrete path that went three-fourths of the way around the lake to a turnaround and then back the same way to the start/finish. We had to do 12 out and backs for the full marathon. There was shade on about 50% of the course in the morning, but it became diminished as it got closer to noon. The hottest part of the course was in the final stretch just before the turnaround. I took advantage of the 4:30 a.m. early start and I am very glad I did, as the heat index was 101 degrees at the start. It then cooled off before climbing to a heat index of about 108. Plenty of ice water with towels was was available at the two aid stations, which were just a little more than a mile apart.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3