My Profile

@cdefonso

Loveland, OH Raving since 2016 Active 1 week ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    NYC Marathon

  • I run because:

My Races

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

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (6)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Minneapolis, MN 2003 4:57:24
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH 2008 2:15:41
15K Columbus, OH Nov 18, 2018 2:05:00
10K Cincinnati, OH Nov 25, 2021 1:09:57
4 Miler Indianapolis, IN Mar 11, 2017 44:00
5K Cincinnati, OH Mar 5, 2022 31:19

Future Races (13)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Tucson, AZ Feb 18, 2023
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 19, 2023
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 7, 2023
Half Marathon Stateline, NV Jun 17, 2023
Half Marathon Brian Head, UT Aug 26, 2023
Half Marathon Crazy Horse, SD Oct 8, 2023
Half Marathon Page, AZ Oct 14, 2023
Half Marathon Asheville, NC TBD
Half Marathon Myrtle Beach, SC TBD
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT TBD
Half Marathon Savannah, GA TBD
Half Marathon Celebration, FL TBD
Half Marathon Oakhurst, CA TBD

Past Races (63)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 6, 2022 6:34:48
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH Oct 8, 2022 2:29:16
Half Marathon Albuquerque, NM Oct 2, 2022 2:42:58
Half Marathon Milford, CT Sep 10, 2022 2:38:09
4.6 Miler Mansfield, OH Aug 6, 2022
Half Marathon Anchorage, AK Jun 18, 2022 2:34:51
Half Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Apr 3, 2022 2:19:10
5K Cincinnati, OH Mar 5, 2022 31:19
5K New York City, NY Feb 27, 2022 33:12
Half Marathon Sedona, AZ Feb 5, 2022 2:27:37
10K Cincinnati, OH Nov 25, 2021 1:09:57
Half Marathon Hampton, NH Oct 3, 2021 2:44:27
Half Marathon Kiowa, MT Jun 26, 2021 3:06:19
Half Marathon Wilson, WY Jun 5, 2021 3:06:19
Half Marathon Santa Clara, UT Jan 30, 2021 2:54:44
Half Marathon Sugar Hill, GA Jan 16, 2021 3:14:11
Half Marathon Narragansett, RI Oct 25, 2020 2:46:15
Half Marathon West Yellowstone, MT Aug 8, 2020 3:05:15
Half Marathon Estes Park, CO Aug 1, 2020 2:58:09
Half Marathon Virgin, UT Jun 6, 2020 3:45:44
Half Marathon Bar Harbor, ME Oct 20, 2019 2:53:56
Half Marathon Dayton, OR Jul 7, 2019 3:38:00
10K Cincinnati, OH Jun 8, 2019 1:17:00
Half Marathon St Louis, MO Apr 7, 2019 3:06:00
15K Columbus, OH Nov 18, 2018 2:05:00
Half Marathon Lahaina, HI Oct 14, 2018 3:07:43
Half Marathon Townsend, TN Sep 7, 2018 3:27:00
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 5, 2018 2:57:57
Half Marathon Raleigh, NC Apr 8, 2018 2:49:32
Half Marathon Key West, FL Jan 14, 2018 2:46:08
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH Oct 7, 2017 2:55:51
Half Marathon Bar Harbor, ME Sep 16, 2017 2:52:53
10K Miamisburg, OH Jul 22, 2017
4 Miler Cincinnati, OH Jun 24, 2017
4 Miler Indianapolis, IN Mar 11, 2017 44:00
Half Marathon Tempe, AZ Jan 15, 2017 3:00:58
5K Phoenix, AZ Jan 15, 2017
10K Cincinnati, OH Nov 24, 2016
15K Columbus, OH Nov 13, 2016
Half Marathon Woodinville, WA Sep 17, 2016 2:40:00
15K Columbus, OH Nov 15, 2015
Half Marathon Bath, NY Oct 4, 2015 2:48:05
14K Cincinnati, OH 2015
15K Columbus, OH Nov 16, 2014
Half Marathon Dayton, OR Aug 31, 2014
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN May 3, 2014 2:56:48
14K Cincinnati, OH 2014
Half Marathon Napa, CA 2013
15K Columbus, OH 2013
14K Cincinnati, OH 2013
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA 2011
10K Cincinnati, OH 2009
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH 2008 2:15:41
Half Marathon Chicago, IL 2007
Half Marathon Memphis, TN 2007
Marathon Arlington, VA 2005 5:55:43
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2005 2:33:07
Marathon Big Sur, CA 2004 5:30:56
Half Marathon Louisville, KY 2003
Marathon Minneapolis, MN 2003 4:57:24
Marathon Cincinnati, OH 2002 5:10:01
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL 2002 5:00:01
Marathon Chicago, IL 2002 5:02:41

My Raves

What a race! I got in to the NYC Marathon through the lottery system, but many people get in through charities or one of the various plans that NYRR offers. … MORE

What a race! I got in to the NYC Marathon through the lottery system, but many people get in through charities or one of the various plans that NYRR offers. However you get in, it’s definitely going to be memorable! Some random thoughts:
1) Join a Facebook group (Runar’s Runners is exceptionally great!) or the RunNYC sub on Reddit to get tips/advice/questions answered from fellow runners. These groups were invaluable!
2) Getting 50,000+ people to Staten Island for the start of the race requires heavy logistics. They talk about “the marathon before the marathon” and they are right. I stayed in the Upper West side of Manhattan (near the finish), so the morning of the marathon, I had to take the subway to the ferry, wait for the ferry to take me to Staten Island, ride the ferry, wait in line to catch a bus (an absolute $hit$how this year unfortunately), then ride the bus to the start village. Then walk to my wave start. It’s a lot to take in before you even reach the starting line.
3) The crowd support is absolutely incredible! Wall to wall people, cheering for you and screaming support! I loved their enthusiasm and clever signs. When you need some energy, these spectators deliver!
4) Plan ahead of time how/where you will meet up with family members after the race. You finish somewhere along 63rd street in Central Park, but then you have a long journey to walk out of the park. Depending on how late you finish, you may be able to exit 77th or 72nd street, but then you have to keep walking south to get to the “official” family reunion area. Just know it will be crowded and plan accordingly.
5) Marathon Monday is the day after the race where you can visit the finish line and wait in line to get your medal engraved or hit the merchandise tent (if you are superstitious and didn’t pick up swag at the expo). I personally bought all my marathon merchandise at the expo when I picked up my bib, but I enjoyed walking the finish line the day after just to relive the experience. But get there early for photos! They really do start disassembling the finish line the next morning so the equipment might all be down if you get there later than 9:00 or so.
6) It’s a lot of training for just one day, and as we saw with this year’s race, expectations got thrown out the window with the heat and humidity. People were collapsing, suffering from dehydration, and forced to walk due to cramping. You just can’t predict weather/race day conditions. So be prepared to adjust your mindset and just enjoy this incredible race experience for what it is!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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If going to Albuquerque's famous International Balloon Fiesta is on your bucket list, you will definitely want to include running a half marathon while watching the morning mass ascension as … MORE

If going to Albuquerque’s famous International Balloon Fiesta is on your bucket list, you will definitely want to include running a half marathon while watching the morning mass ascension as well!

This is a fairly small race that starts in a field and eventually hooks up to a multi-purpose trail. There were only 4 porta-potties at the starting line for all half marathon, 10K, and 5K participants, so just be aware and plan accordingly! The half marathon goes out at 7:00am, followed by the 10K (7:30am) and 5K (8:00am) racers. Race communication prior to the race is pretty sparse; no emails were sent out until the week of the race.

Packet pickup was available on Saturday afternoon as well as 2 hours prior to the race on Sunday morning. The t-shirts (non-technical) were really nice, and the balloon-shaped bib was a nice touch!

Overall, the race is pretty flat, but just know that in order to get to the multi-purpose paved trail (which you will share with many bikers and other runners), you will be doing a trail run and then running on a busy road with cars driving past you at high speeds. Luckily this only lasts for a mile or so. The course is an out and back, with a turnaround at mile 7. Water stops were every 2-3 miles, and they had both water and Gatorade available.

There really aren’t any easy places for spectators to view the course so you have to rely on volunteers to cheer you on. But really, the reason you have this race in the first place is to watch all of the hot air balloons launching in the sky while you are running. It really is a beautiful sight to see!

All race participants (half, 10K, and 5K) received the same medal, which was nice, as well as a special 5 year anniversary cowbell. All race participants also received a general admission ticket to Balloon Fiesta (worth about $15) which could be used at any session. Overall, it was a nice race and I would recommend.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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The Shoreline Sharks are in charge of this event, and they do a great job of organizing. The race was limited to 600 participants this year and was sold out … MORE

The Shoreline Sharks are in charge of this event, and they do a great job of organizing. The race was limited to 600 participants this year and was sold out a few days before race day. There was no packet pick up before race day which was kind of a bummer, but they managed to get bibs and t-shirts to everyone before the 7am start. Parking was limited at the starting line, so if you didn’t get there early, you were forced to turn around and park on some side streets. The t-shirt was a bright neon yellow technical shirt (pretty low quality) with very basic design. (Probably will be throwing that in the clothes donation pile!) They started right away at 7am. There were water/aid stations every few miles starting at mile 2.75. The course itself went though some neighborhoods and along the boardwalk of the gulf beach, winding through Walnut Beach and turning around at the Silver Sands state park sanctuary. So after 6.5 miles you turned around and then ran back the exact same way you came. Except for a few hills in the neighborhoods, the course was very flat. Not many spectators to cheer you on, and there were no road closures, so you had to share the road with cars. Medals were pretty weak, just saying “Gulf Beach Half Marathon”. (No date, not even on the ribbon!) Finish line goodies included water, bananas, and bagel slices. All in all, a good half marathon to complete if you are looking to do a race in Connecticut, with fantastic scenery along the shore and good course support with aid stations and volunteers.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
1

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This race is an absolute must for any "Shawshank Redemption" movie fans! The race starts and ends at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH where the movie was filmed. … MORE

This race is an absolute must for any “Shawshank Redemption” movie fans! The race starts and ends at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, OH where the movie was filmed. It’s an out and back course that gets you into downtown Mansfield where some other non-prison scenes were filmed as well. The race organizers are absolutely amazing. The communication up to the race is outstanding and you can join a Facebook group where all runners post their travel days and fun pictures. I believe this course is limited to 1,500 people in person. Before the start of the race, there is a costume contest as well as “Warden Norton” who shows up on a motorcycle to give a speech. The “warden” runs the race too in his suit! If you arrive on Friday before the race, you can tour the OSR, attend a Q&A with someone involved with the movie production, and then actually watch the “Shawshank Redemption” in the guard room with your fellow runners. The medal is one of the most elaborate (and heavy – 2 lbs!) I’ve ever received. This year’s medal had you opening up the Warden’s safe by turning a safe combination to reveal the Bible where Andy had stored his rockhammer. All runners received a technical shirt. Each participant is assigned to either the “Guard” or “Inmate” team, and the bibs are different according to your team.

The course itself has some hills, and though there is not much crowd support, they do have a water stop at every mile, which is pretty impressive considering it is only 4.6 miles. Race finish goodies include a popsicle, bottled water, banana and granola bar. Your bib contains a ticket for a ride on the carousel so if you are not so concerned about your time and just want to have fun, you can tear off your ticket and ride the carousel in downtown Mansfield while you are doing the race!

Overall, I give this race a huge thumb’s up for fun and Shawshank nostalgia. You’ll love it!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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We received an email before the start of the race that due to some miscalculated measurements, the half marathon course would be an extra 300 meters, but when I finished, … MORE

We received an email before the start of the race that due to some miscalculated measurements, the half marathon course would be an extra 300 meters, but when I finished, my watch showed I ran 13.7 miles so that is why I can’t give this race a perfect “5 shoe” rating. Other than that, it was a really good race. Bib pickup was easy on the University of Alaska campus, but other than picking up your bib and t-shirt, there was really not much there. We took a shuttle to the start and that went smoothly. We were so fortunate to have absolutely perfect running weather – 58 degrees with cloudy skies.

The course is run almost entirely on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, which is a multi-use trail along the coast. This means that though the course is paved, you have to contend with a very narrow width, and it is difficult to pass fellow runners. But after mile 3 or so, people generally find their groove and pace and you aren’t so bunched up. However, the closer you get into the city limits, the more you have to deal with other runners, walkers, bikers, and roller-bladers, etc. You will mostly find yourself running along a trail that is very shaded with trees, so you occasionally get glimpses of the bay, but it’s not very often. It also runs by the airport so you will get to see planes taking off and landing and that was cool. Due to the closed nature of trail too, there is little opportunity for spectators to cheer you on but that didn’t bother me too much. Around mile 10, the course begins the “out and back” portion and the full marathon dumps in there too, so you will pass runners until you get to the turnaround. But I never felt crowded or that I couldn’t pass people.

Course support was good with aid stations about every 2 miles serving up water and poweraid, as well as one station that offered goo. In general, the course is flat and fast, except for the last 200-300 meters which is all uphill in a neighborhood. And as I mentioned at the beginning, the half marathon course was mismeasured for some reason, so I ended up runing an extra 6/10 of a mile according to my watch.

Swag was decent – nice technical shirt and medal. Finish line goodies were OK – cups of water, bananas, grilled cheese, bread. All in all, I would definitely recommend this race if you want to do a race in Alaska! My family and I made a vacation out of it and did some touring before and after the race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

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Really enjoyed this flat and fast course along the Atlantic City boardwalk! Race organizers did a fantastic job. Communication up through race day was great - lots of emails to … MORE

Really enjoyed this flat and fast course along the Atlantic City boardwalk! Race organizers did a fantastic job. Communication up through race day was great – lots of emails to let runners know final details. We stayed at the Showboat hotel which was about 0.3 mile away from packet pick up and the start at the Resorts Casino. Swag included a nice long-sleeve green technical shirt and a great medal with a sparkly jester on it. The start was at 8:00am on Sunday morning on the boardwalk. Since early April in AC is technically their off-season, there wasn’t much going on along the boardwalk, which for a race is actually good! Not many people or spectators, but running on the boardwalk is easier on the knees. After 3 miles on the boardwalk, you dip out onto the streets of AC and then make a turnaround at 6.5 and then just go back the way you came. I never felt crowded, and though it started raining, I didn’t feel like I had to adjust my stride to run on the wet boardwalk. But some people may be hesitant to run on wood when it gets wet, so just be mindful of the terrain. Finish line provisions were good – bottled water, Gatorade, bagels, kettle corn, and bananas, plus a free beer ticket to be redeemed at the Landshark Bar & Grill. A fun race, definitely would recommend.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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This course was stunning with all of the gorgeous scenery to look at while running, but there are a lot of hills so take that into consideration! We had planned … MORE

This course was stunning with all of the gorgeous scenery to look at while running, but there are a lot of hills so take that into consideration! We had planned to get into Sedona on Thursday afternoon, but with the horrible winter storm that hit, our flights were cancelled and we ended up getting into Sedona late Friday night. Thank goodness bib pick up was from 3-8pm! (Shirts had to be picked up after the race). We drove to the start and got there around 7am. Lots of parking available. Half marathon started right on time at 8am. The course is out and back so you know if you are going up hill going out, you will be doing down hill on the way back and vice versa. It is slightly MORE uphill on the first half of the course so I actually ran faster the second half of the race since there were more downhills. But the last half mile was uphill. Finish line was good, medals were nice, and the technical shirts (short sleeve) were nice too. (No dates or distances on the shirts though, that is my only complaint.) Overall, would highly recommend this race to anyone!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This was my first time running Smuttynose, and I had an amazing time! We stayed in Hampton Beach on Saturday and Sunday nights so we didn't have to worry about … MORE

This was my first time running Smuttynose, and I had an amazing time! We stayed in Hampton Beach on Saturday and Sunday nights so we didn’t have to worry about driving in on race day. Packet pickup was easy and quick on Saturday afternoon. The 3/4 zip fleece pullover was really nice. They had other merchandise for sale there as well.

We were able to just walk 10 mins to the starting line from our hotel in the morning. As race conditions go, the weather was just perfect. Overcast and 59 degrees with a slight wind. However, I have heard in years past, it can be cold, windy and rainy! The starting line didn’t have any porta-potties, so you either had to walk a few blocks to the finish to go or hold it! We got started right on time at 8am. Though crowded, it wasn’t unmanageable and it thinned out enough to pass runners if you needed to. The mile markers were way off from what my Garmin GPS showed. Mile marker 2 showed up when my watch said 1.66. And then my watch showed 2.73 at mile marker 3. I don’t know what happened there! The first 5 miles or so run through Hampton Beach and then after that you run along the ocean northwards. It’s out and back so the faster runners had to navigate through the large packs of slower runners and there weren’t any cones to separate the runners running in different directions. Aid stations were about every 2 miles so it felt sufficient to me.

The finish line was well organized, with people handing out water and bananas. Food tent lines moved quickly, giving out clam chowder, minestrone soup and lobster rolls. A vegan wrap was also available. We were given 2 beer tickets that could be redeemed at the clam shell stage or at bars across the street.

Highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a fast course and a great party afterwards.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Another Vacation Races in the books! Their race production is always top-notch, and Glacier was no exception. Shuttles to the starting line were available at the Glacier Peaks Casino, as … MORE

Another Vacation Races in the books! Their race production is always top-notch, and Glacier was no exception. Shuttles to the starting line were available at the Glacier Peaks Casino, as there was no parking at the start or the finish. Once we were dropped off at the starting line, runners could take off whenever they wanted! The first 5 miles is all up hill, and there were definitely some steep climbs, but the scenery makes it all worth it! Once you hit mile 5, it’s all downhill and you can really make up for some time if you walked or took it slow during the first five miles. The course is all on highway 49 so it is all paved, but the road is banked at some turns so you have to pay attention. Water and aid stops were about every 2 miles or so, with Gnarly power aid and water, along with oranges and goo. Once you hit mile 9.5 or so, it flattens out, but around mile 10.5 it starts an uphill climb again, but definitely not as long as the first 5 miles. You finish the course at Glacier Lodge in East Glacier Village on a golf course. Though there is no crowd support on the course due to the location, there were some spectators towards the end, and of course, everyone is so friendly and encouraging while you are running so I really don’t miss the cheering. The scenery makes it all worth it! As always, Vacation Races gives you a very cool race medal and technical t-shirt. We were very fortunate to have perfect running weather on race day (mid 50’s to start; upper 70’s at the finish) with no rain, but I have heard that weather in northwest Montana can be unpredictable, even in the summer. I would highly recommend this race to anyone! There is a reason it was voted best race in Montana!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This was my 5th half marathon from Vacation Races, and as usual, they did not disappoint! Vacation Races always produces a top-notch, well organized race. With frequent communications and a … MORE

This was my 5th half marathon from Vacation Races, and as usual, they did not disappoint! Vacation Races always produces a top-notch, well organized race. With frequent communications and a comprehensive race guide, they give you all the information you need. We stopped at the expo on Friday afternoon to pick up our bibs and race shirt. The technical shirt is really nice! I did the Moose Double challenge, which included running the 5K on Friday night, followed by the half marathon on Saturday morning. My traveling companions and I walked to downtown Jackson to catch a shuttle to the starting line early Saturday morning and had to wait about an hour to start. They grouped runners into waves, with each wave starting about 10 minutes apart. Weather was absolutely perfect, with a starting temp around 55 and no clouds in the sky. Aid stations were approximately every other mile, offering water and Gnarly. This is a cup free race (as are all of Vacation Races) so you have to bring a hydropouch (free) to rehydrate. Some aid stations offered goo, bananas, and oranges. The course itself runs along a bike path for about the first 5 miles and then you must share the shoulder of a public road, but there’s really not that much traffic so I didn’t have an issue. But having the Tetons to your left as you are running is just breathtaking! Many people stopped to take pictures. The finish is at the Jackson Hole Tennis and Golf Club. A nice box of goodies is given at the finish, along with a beautiful shield medal. With the Moose Double challenge, I had a total of 3 medals – 5K, Half, and Moose Double. We did have to wait in line for the shuttle to take us back to downtown Jackson, but fortunately our wait wasn’t as long as the runners who had to wait for a shuttle to take them back to the starting line. I really can’t say enough great things about the race. Everything was perfect. If you are at all interested, PLAN AHEAD! Lodging and car rentals were scarce this year, and the half marathon did sell out. But a trip to Jackson Hole and visiting the Grand Teton National Park afterwards is well worth it.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This race included both a full and half marathon, as well as a 5K and 10K race. Packet pickup was at the St George Running Store and you had to … MORE

This race included both a full and half marathon, as well as a 5K and 10K race. Packet pickup was at the St George Running Store and you had to sign up for a pickup time. Swag included a very ugly short sleeve cotton t-shirt (that’s going in the donation pile right away!), bib number, and bag. Full and half marathoners were bused to their respective starting lines and everyone was really good about wearing masks on the bus. The weather was around 30 degrees at the half marathon start. They had little fire pits out to try to help keep runners warm, but they kept going out. In order to promote social distancing, runners were only allowed to start one at a time. Everyone had to line up at the start, and then when you hit the starting line, they asked for your bib number, entered it in a computer and then you took off. There were about 10 full marathoners who came by before the half marathoners even started! I am a slow runner so I was constantly getting passed by full marathoners, but everyone was super friendly and said “Good morning!” as they passed. The course scenery was spectacular, typical Utah red rocks at each bend. A few gradual inclines, but mostly downhill. We shared the road with cars and had to run on the shoulder. Most cars slowed down when they passed you so I wasn’t concerned. Plenty of aid stations with water and Poweraid, every 2 miles or so. No spectators allowed on the course, but that is to be expected in the age of COVID I guess! Finish line was at Gubler Park, where everyone parked to catch buses. They handed out a bag full of a banana, orange, granola bar and cheese stick at the finish. Medals were nice, but they said “Sun Marathon” no matter what distance you ran, and they didn’t have the date or the location on the medals so that was a bit of a disappointment. They had some major screw up with race categories so when I checked my result immediately after the race, it showed I was in the full category, not the half. A lot of runners experienced the same thing because when you looked in the full half marathon results and saw someone with a time of 37 minutes, you assumed they ran the 5K not the full! But they managed to fix the results by Sunday night. They had 118 finishers for the half and 185 finishers for the full. Overall, I would recommend this race for the gorgeous scenery and course. On Hill Productions did a good in person race, and with so many races cancelling or going virtual these days, they prove that it is possible to have a safe, in person race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

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In the era of COVID-19, if you're looking to find an in person race, you get what you get. The people who put on this race (FiveStar NTP) have 5K … MORE

In the era of COVID-19, if you’re looking to find an in person race, you get what you get. The people who put on this race (FiveStar NTP) have 5K races practically every weekend somewhere around the Atlanta metropolitan area. So, I feel like the half marathon course was a complete after thought. This race had 5K, 10K and half marathon participants. The first part of the race ran along Peachtree Industrial Blvd, with only cones separating you from cars whizzing past at 45 mph. Part of the race ran through a park, but then once you finished the park, you were supposed to get back on the road, and then run to a car with a green cone, turnaround, and then do the run through the park again, but it was highly confusing as to what exactly you were supposed to do and the poor kid who was at the center of all the mass confusion of cones and arrows looked at me blankly when I asked what I was supposed to do for the half marathon course. So I guess the run on the road (2nd part) after the park was where half marathoners were supposed to get their extra mileage after doing the 10K course again. I don’t know. Somehow I managed to finish with 13.2 miles and someone at the finish scanned the barcode on my bib at the finish line which was already being taken down. The shirts were decent, packet pick up at Indio Brewing the day before was fun, and the medals were cute, but they didn’t have a date or place on them. My friend is on a quest to do 50 half marathons in 50 states, so when we found this half marathon in Georgia, we decided to go for it. But really, after we are all vaccinated and in person races become a thing again, I am absolutely positive there are much more exciting and scenic half marathon courses in Georgia that are better marked and organized. I much prefer half marathon courses that are a part of a full marathon course (or even just a complete half marathon course themselves) rather than a half marathon course just being 2 loops of a 10K course + an extra 0.7 mile. Overall, would not recommend this course.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
1
SWAG
2

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This was a rare in-person running event due to Covid, so after finding out my state was not on Rhode Island's list of states with a Covid positivity rate greater … MORE

This was a rare in-person running event due to Covid, so after finding out my state was not on Rhode Island’s list of states with a Covid positivity rate greater than 5%, I booked this last minute trip to Narragansett. Race communications with Ocean State Rhode Races was fantastic! They had a very comprehensive plan to keep runners safe. They staggered the start – marathoners went off at 7:30 and 7:50 and half marathoners went off at 8:10 and 8:30. You had to wear a mask at the start and stand 6 feet apart from other participants. But once you crossed the starting line, you could take off your mask. The course was beautiful! Weather was cloudy and overcast (no rain) the day before, but the morning of the race, it was warm and sunny with a 48 degree start. The sun stayed out the entire time! The course was all road and pavement. You shared the road a majority of the time with cars passing you by, and you had to run on the shoulder. There were spots of gradual inclines but nothing too extreme. The scenery along the coastline was spectacular! I did take a pause in my running to just stop and admire the view of the bridges that connect Narragansett with Newport. It was so pretty! All in all, a beautiful fall day in New England. There were only a handful of water stops, but I didn’t really need too much hydration so it was fine with me. The finish line was easy and the announcer was screaming at me to put my mask back on before I crossed the finish line. We received a nice medal for our efforts at the end of the race. Decent finish line snacks – cookies, crackers, bananas, bottled water, popcorn, etc. But not encouraged to stay and mingle due to Covid. No t-shirts were distributed this year and instead we received buffs. That was probably my only complaint about this race. I understand about social distancing and all, but not sure why they couldn’t give out t-shirts with a race fee of almost $90. There were only about 170 half marathoners and maybe 150 marathoners and for a majority of the time, the half marathoners and marathoners shared the same course. It never felt crowded though. I applaud the race organizers for putting on this in-person race in these crazy times of 2020.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
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3

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After sending out an email questionnaire to see if there was any interest, Vacation Races put this race together in a very relatively short amount of time. But as always, … MORE

After sending out an email questionnaire to see if there was any interest, Vacation Races put this race together in a very relatively short amount of time. But as always, they produce an excellent race experience! Zion at Night was held over Friday and Saturday nights, from 7pm to 7am. You signed up for a particular start time, spaced 1 hour apart, and only 50 people were allowed for each time slot. This was my first trip to Zion and my first trail race. I signed up for 9pm start on Saturday night. There was no Expo, but they had Zion Half Marathon merchandise for sale near the bib and t-shirt pickup tent. The start is kind of anti-climactic, so for those runners who get an adrenaline high waiting around with fellow runners at the starting line, and get excited when the gun goes off… well this is not the race for those types of runners! You pretty much can start when you feel like it! I took off at 8:50pm, even though I signed up for 9pm start. At the starting line, they scanned your bib to start your time, and then you just go! The first 2.5 miles is road/sidewalk and then you start your trail running.

Once it gets dark, you must rely on your headlamp to guide you because even though there was a full moon, it’s not enough light to guide you. Miles 3-6 or so were very near a steep drop-off, so I tried not to look to the right of me while I was running because it was just complete blackness. They used ribbons with reflective tags to mark the trail every 100-200 yards or so. I only took one wrong turn, but realized after a minute or so that I was off so I turned around and got back on course. There were 3 aid stations at around miles 3, 6, and 10. You had to bring your own hydration cups or bottles to fill up on water or Gnarly because there were no paper cups, which is typical for any Vacation Race. Only the second aid station was manned.

There is a lot of darkness and solitude running this course! But very peaceful and quieting to get lost in your own thoughts. The darkness really affected my depth perception and peripheral vision, even with a headlamp, so I had a hard time running, knowing how uneven the trail was. Eventually I took off my headlamp and held it in my hand so I could shine light closer to the ground.

This was definitely my slowest half marathon I’ve ever run, but I really enjoyed the challenge and adventure. I was very happy when I could finally see the finish line! The race communications were first class and full of useful information. I can’t wait to get my medal in a few weeks! (They gave us a Zion keychain at the finish since they were unable to get medals ready in such a short amount of time.) Highly recommend this race and hope that they do it again. Only thing that I would do differently is sign up for a 4 or 5am start so I could start in the dark and appreciate the full moon, but see the sunrise and finish in the light! Thanks Vacation Races for putting on such a great event!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Having heard that this race was one of the most scenic races in the country (as promoted by Runner's World), I knew this was a race I had to experience! … MORE

Having heard that this race was one of the most scenic races in the country (as promoted by Runner’s World), I knew this was a race I had to experience! I did the MDI YMCA race that went through Acadia National Park a few years ago and was ready to come back to the Bar Harbor area again. The first half of the half marathon course were beautiful and scenic with gently rolling hills, but as another race reviewer mentioned, the last 6 miles of this course was on a 2-lane highway with no cones blocking off one lane. You literally have to run on the shoulder and pray that cars see you and go slow enough not to hit you. It’s a very small field of runners so I never felt like I was sandwiched in or had problems passing people. When you near the finish line, you are dodging spectators walking the opposite direction on the road. There were harbor views, but I’m guessing the full marathon course had more spectacular scenery for the first half running through a lot of Acadia. But overall, the race production was very smooth and well organized. Half marathoners took a bus from Bar Harbor (the starting point for the full) and were bused to Northeast Harbor for their start. We had the luxury of keeping warm inside a community center so we weren’t outside standing around freezing for an hour. This year we were blessed with amazing weather, all sunshine with temps in the low 50’s at the start. The technical pullover that was given to all race participants ranks high in my all-time favorite race swag. And the lobster claw medals were quite unique! Would definitely recommend this race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
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5
SWAG
5

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I can't believe I'm the first person to review this race! It was absolutely the most challenging half marathon I've ever run, but also one of the most beautiful races … MORE

I can’t believe I’m the first person to review this race! It was absolutely the most challenging half marathon I’ve ever run, but also one of the most beautiful races I’ve done too. If you want to truly immerse yourself in a race that is all about wineries and vineyards, this is the race for you. Unlike the Napa to Sonoma race where you run on paved roads that connect the towns of Napa and Sonoma, the Fueled by Fine Wine race stays in the Dundee Hills region and you run past 7-8 wineries and run through their vineyards. Therefore you are doing a lot of trail running on dirt paths and uneven terrain, but you’ve got vineyards on either side of you. There is hardly any flat in this course – if you aren’t running uphill, you’re running downhill, but when you reach uphill you can stop and take a look at 360 degree views of the Willamette Valley. Amazing! The race production was fantastic – nice medal, great technical shirt, and a wine glass at the finish. The post-race wine festival on Stoller property was under a tent where about 40 wineries served unlimited tastings of their wine. Support along the course were water/electrolyte stops every 2 miles or so, but really no spectators to cheer you on except volunteers at the water stops. This was the 10th anniversary of this race, and I heard the current race director is turning over control to a new management company so I hope consecutive races are just as nice. It’s a spectacular race! You will be so glad you did it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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I ran the 10K in the Redlegs run (900 runners in 10k, 1800 for the 5k) and got the technical shirt. In years past, they had women's cut technical shirts, … MORE

I ran the 10K in the Redlegs run (900 runners in 10k, 1800 for the 5k) and got the technical shirt. In years past, they had women’s cut technical shirts, but this year it was all unisex sizing and fit so not as great. All runners got a very cool medal. Race was very well organized and started near the Great American Ball Park. The 10k ran into Northern Kentucky so you had to cross 2 bridges. The finish line was actually inside GABP on the field so you actually got to run around the edges of the field and see the view from the baseball players’ perspective. Lots of food at the end of the race – Skyline, LaRosa’s pizza, pancakes from First Watch. However lines were so crowded that I skipped all that. Didn’t really need to eat all that food at 9:00 in the morning. All in all, a great race. Will probably do it again next year.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Due to flooding along the river, the course organizers had to change the finish line from the Gateway Arch park to the Soldier's Memorial park. They had shuttles from downtown … MORE

Due to flooding along the river, the course organizers had to change the finish line from the Gateway Arch park to the Soldier’s Memorial park. They had shuttles from downtown to the starting line in Forest Park. Running through Forest Park for the first 5 miles was really beautiful. It’s very scenic running past the art museum and running through Washington University campus. Miles 7-10 weren’t nearly as scenic, and I’m not a fan of running the same roads out and back, but I think the race organizers had to do what they could. The last mile was pretty much all downhill. Medal for the half marathon was pretty nice and ICE CREAM SANDWICHES at the finish! It was perfect for the warm sunny morning. The race swag was great – long sleeve technical shirt for the half. And a nice cotton shirt for the 5K. I did the Go! Short, Go! Long challenge and did both the 5K and the half and got an extra medal as well as a light cotton half zip shirt. Excellent production! Would highly recommend.

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2
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5
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4
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There are Hot Chocolate 5K/15K races all over the country, but I've only run the one in Columbus. I typically do half marathons, so the 15K is a nice distance … MORE

There are Hot Chocolate 5K/15K races all over the country, but I’ve only run the one in Columbus. I typically do half marathons, so the 15K is a nice distance when you want to run more than a 10K and do less than a half! There is a 5K that goes off at the same time as the 15K (typically a lot of walkers in the 5K that you have to run around) so luckily, the two races only share the same course for the first mile and then they split off. (Note – only the 15K finishers get the cool Hot Chocolate medal!) In years past, the course has run up High St all the way to the OSU campus and past the football stadium, but this year, they changed up the course to run near a park south of the downtown area for about 3 miles, and then go through a nice old neighborhood south of OSU campus, so no running around OSU. Which was fine I guess. The course is very flat with minimal spectators, but the refreshments after the race include a plastic mug full of goodies that you can dip in chocolate. Plus did I mention the very cool Hot Chocolate medal? 🙂 The jacket quality has decreased over the years and I was disappointed in how cheap the jacket was this year. The expo is kind of small, but the race is very well run and organized. Overall, it’s one of my favorite races, one that I’ve done for almost 5 years now.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
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4

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You're in Maui... I mean, it doesn't get any better than that! The half marathon course starts and finishes in Ka'anapali (not sure where the full starts; all I know … MORE

You’re in Maui… I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that! The half marathon course starts and finishes in Ka’anapali (not sure where the full starts; all I know is you have to be bused there and I didn’t do it!) it’s a little dark when you start at 5:30am, but once the sun comes up, you are treated to amazing ocean views and volcanic mountains. The half marathon course runs through the town of Lahaina, and then after 6.5 miles, it turns around so you run back the same way you came. At some point the full marathoners merge in with you. The course is entirely flat, no hills at all. Very minimal spectators on the streets to cheer you on, but MANY aid stations, practically every mile I think, with water and Gatorade to choose from. The finish line is nice, and they call out your name as you cross. There are virtually no post-race goodies, save for some sliced up bananas and pineapple, so you’ll have to rely on your own post-race refueling. The medal was cool! The Expo the day before was in a small banquet hall of the Westin. Get there early when it opens up at 9:00am if you want to purchase some Maui Marathon swag, because after about an hour, most sizes are gone. The shirts that come with the registration are not technical, but they are nicely designed and durable. I’d highly recommend this race, because I mean, you’re in Maui! While your other friends are bundled up for their fall marathons, you can send back pics of you with your medal in front of the ocean. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This was my first Vacation Races event in a National Park, and I was really impressed with the production. They did a fantastic job! I did the Black Bear Double … MORE

This was my first Vacation Races event in a National Park, and I was really impressed with the production. They did a fantastic job! I did the Black Bear Double (5K on Friday evening, Half on Saturday morning), but was really disappointed with the 5K course. It was terrible! You run for a mile on this very narrow bike path, barely 5 ft wide, and then run another mile in a field, before turning around and heading back for the last mile to the Tally Ho Inn. It made it very challenging to pass anyone. I’m not sure the VR folks can do anything about it, since it really makes sense to start and finish from the Tally Ho Inn, but just know that going in if you decide to do the 5K.

The half marathon was an A to B course so you had to take a shuttle bus in the morning from the Tally Ho Inn (finish) to the local high school where the start was. That was a very smooth process. Plenty of room at the high school parking lot to start. The half marathon course runs along a paved back road along a river. Vacation Races promotes cupless water stops, so you either need to bring your own container or get a free hydra-pouch at the Expo. I think it’s a great system and found it easy to fill up on water and power aid. I wish more races did this! I didn’t really feel like the course was Great Smoky Mts scenic, but it was pleasant and not at all hilly. There are virtually no spectators along the course. Once you hit mile 9 or 10 (?), you run along a bike path along the very busy Lamar Alexander Parkway back to the Tally Ho Inn. The finish line is sort of crowded, but they call out your name as you cross and they have some nice goodies as refreshments. The medals and technical shirt are awesome! I look forward to more Vacation Races in my future!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Kudos to all who participated as marathoners for the 20th anniversary! I only did the half marathon, but it was still quite an event. The expo was filled with tons … MORE

Kudos to all who participated as marathoners for the 20th anniversary! I only did the half marathon, but it was still quite an event. The expo was filled with tons of vendors, but I didn’t stand in line for 30 mins to get my free P&G samples. (Why don’t they put free samples in your goody bag anymore?) The technical shirts were nice. It took me almost 30 mins to get to the starting line because of my corral placement, but the course was good. Water and aid stops were frequent and plentiful. Finish “Swine” was a little tight, but overall, I was really glad to be a part of the 20th anniversary celebration!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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I enjoyed running the downtown streets of Raleigh. There were rolling hills, but nothing too strenuous. As always, Rock and Roll races had bands and music playing at every mile … MORE

I enjoyed running the downtown streets of Raleigh. There were rolling hills, but nothing too strenuous. As always, Rock and Roll races had bands and music playing at every mile so that it always motivating! We ran down a major street through NC State campus that was nice, as well as some parks. The design on the t-shirts was a little unoriginal, but they were technical shirts so you can always use them. My friend and I did the Remix challenge, so we did the 5K race as well as the half marathon, and got a special guitar medal for doing both. We were notified that this was the last year for doing Rock n Roll Raleigh! But no one seems to know why they are discontinuing it. Maybe participation is weak? Or we had heard Raleigh wanted to limit the number of races in downtown for some reason? Anyway, it’s too bad the race is being discontinued. It was a nice course!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
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The half marathon was so much fun! It was sort of a windy, chilly day when we ran, but that didn't take away the enjoyment. The course starts off running … MORE

The half marathon was so much fun! It was sort of a windy, chilly day when we ran, but that didn’t take away the enjoyment. The course starts off running down Duval street then takes a detour past the southernmost point (where all the tourists are!) and then runs along the ocean for the majority of time. It’s an out and back course, so you run the same portion of the course again, but it’s very scenic and very flat. Key West as a destination is a challenge to get to, but well worth the effort. The swag is fantastic! A long sleeve, technical shirt with Key West-inspired design, and the medal had the lighthouse on it which actually blinked. Would highly recommend this race as a destination race!

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5
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5
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5

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This was my first time running the Queen Bee, and I'm so glad I did it! The race was very well organized, and the swag was great. Nice long sleeve … MORE

This was my first time running the Queen Bee, and I’m so glad I did it! The race was very well organized, and the swag was great. Nice long sleeve ASICS technical shirt and a cool medal. The course was uphill for a good portion of the first half, but that is to be expected living in Cincinnati! The volunteers (“worker bees”) were enthusiastic and helpful, loudly cheering and working water/Gatorade and energy stops. There was a water/Gatorade stop practically every mile and the energy stops ranged from grapes and orange slices to gummy bears, cookies, crackers, and Hershey kisses. Finish line was a little anticlimactic, and the after party location was just OK in Lytle Park. But the finisher’s gift included a bottle of wine and a mimosa drink. I would highly recommend this race to any first-timer or experienced half marathoner. Something for everyone!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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While certainly not as well know as the other MDI race that starts in Bar Harbor and runs along the coast, the Bar Harbor Bank and Trust YMCA half marathon … MORE

While certainly not as well know as the other MDI race that starts in Bar Harbor and runs along the coast, the Bar Harbor Bank and Trust YMCA half marathon was very well run and included some nice running on the carriage paths through Acadia National Park, along Eagle Lake. Unfortunately it was pretty foggy that day (it’s foggy in Maine a lot!) so we couldn’t see the lake as we were running around it, but the terrain was good. There was a very big hill coming out of the park as you head towards a finish line, along some busy roads, but most of the course goes through the Park. If you are a slow runner (like me!) or walker, they let you start an hour before everyone else, so you all sort of finish around the same time. The technical shirts weren’t anything extraordinary, but the medal was made of wood in the shape of Mount Desert Island, which was really cool and unique. This was our first trip to Maine and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and hiking through Acadia. You get an individual hiker pass included as part of your swag (worth $12), so if you and another person are staying extra days around Acadia, you can exchange your 2 passes for a single car pass (worth $25). Great race! Would definitely recommend.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I participated in the Beast challenge - doing the 1 mile race, the 5K, and the 10K. All of the races run along the same river trail, down and back, … MORE

I participated in the Beast challenge – doing the 1 mile race, the 5K, and the 10K. All of the races run along the same river trail, down and back, at various distances. It can get crowded at times, especially when you are trying to pass people and other participants have already done the turnaround and are coming the other way! Luckily, they limit the number of participants to around 500. The swag is great – nice technical shirt, a pint glass, medal, beer, Christmas cookies and a great breakfast at the post-race party. They had Christmas music playing and Christmas decorations on the course, which adds to the fun of celebrating Christmas in July! Organizers did a great job for this inaugural event. Will be back next year!

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1
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5
SCENERY
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Now in its 17th year of running, the Hyde Park Blast is a favorite of many for the 4-mile course through the neighborhood of Hyde Park. In years past, they … MORE

Now in its 17th year of running, the Hyde Park Blast is a favorite of many for the 4-mile course through the neighborhood of Hyde Park. In years past, they gave out high quality Brooks technical running shirts, but for the past 2 years, they have given out the cotton fleecy shirts, which is a disappointment. The course is nice and fairly flat, but you have to be on the lookout for people running with strollers at every step. The Stroller Brigade weaves in and out of narrow but crowded streets, which I found to be a huge pain. I’ve never seen so many strollers in a race! The Kids Fun run is a great opportunity for the young ones to participate. Last year, they gave out medals to just the kids, but this year they only gave out a cookie and milk. Disappointing to my 6-year old daughter who was really looking forward to getting a medal!

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Medal was very cool! A coaster and a bottle opener included. Hooded t-shirts were unique. Though it was very cold at the start, the race was fine once you got … MORE

Medal was very cool! A coaster and a bottle opener included. Hooded t-shirts were unique. Though it was very cold at the start, the race was fine once you got started. Very well marked and flat, running through residential/business district. Green beer and donuts at the end. Yummy!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This was my first time running the Arizona RnR half marathon, and it was a great experience! The course was pretty flat, not many inclines or hills. Mostly ran through … MORE

This was my first time running the Arizona RnR half marathon, and it was a great experience! The course was pretty flat, not many inclines or hills. Mostly ran through the streets of Tempe and Scottsdale. There was a little bit of scenery the last half of the race. Weather was unseasonably cool – in the mid 50’s and overcast/cloudy. Ideal running conditions! I ran the 5K the day before so in addition to the 5K medal, I got a Remix medal for running both the 5K and the half. Shirts were just average, no thought put into the design. But they were Brooks technical shirts, so I’ll wear the shirts for weekly workouts. I’d recommend this race to anyone!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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I've done 2 other Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathons (Napa to Sonoma, Oregon) and these courses were very scenic, running by many vineyards. While the Woodinville race started on … MORE

I’ve done 2 other Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathons (Napa to Sonoma, Oregon) and these courses were very scenic, running by many vineyards. While the Woodinville race started on one of the more well known wineries in the area (Chateau St. Michele), the course itself was not all that great, even though it was pretty easy. Most of the course is a paved trail running along the Sammamish River. Nice and easy, but you would never know you were in wine country. There were not as many perks with this race as there were with the other races, i.e. free or 2 for 1 wine tastings at the local wineries. Many of the local wineries were unaware the race was being held. But there were a ton of tasting rooms in the area, along with a handful of actual wineries. The proximity to Seattle made this a great destination race for me and my travel companions, but if you are looking for a scenic wine country race, I’d pick a different race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

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