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@christinagomer

Billings, MT Raving since 2016 Active 4 years, 7 months ago

About Me

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My Races

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

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (1)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 10, 2016 4:45:26

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 10, 2016 4:45:26
Marathon Deadwood, SD Jun 5, 2016 5:11:00
Marathon Molt, MT Sep 21, 2014 5:02:00

My Raves

Leading up the race - Amazing. The website is awesome and full of useful information, plus, when it gets closer to race day, they send out weekly newsletters with even … MORE

Leading up the race – Amazing. The website is awesome and full of useful information, plus, when it gets closer to race day, they send out weekly newsletters with even more useful information.

Packet pickup – It was an absolute breeze. I came from out of town and arrived at the expo around 3:00 on Saturday, so it looked like most people had already picked up their packets. There was no-line, no-waiting, and the volunteers were all very nice and smiling.

Race morning (bus loading & pre-race) – This was by far, the most organized race morning I’ve ever been a part of. The instructions and loading zones were very clearly marked, there were plenty of volunteers to direct racers to the correct spot, and they even had port-a-potties set up at the loading zones!! I stood in line waiting to load the bus for about 10 minutes and then we were off to the start line! The bus driver was very friendly and wished us all good luck as we unloaded. The buses drop you off, literally, right at the start line. At the start line, they had plenty of port-a-potties and lots of room to sit down or stretch out. They lit off fireworks every 15 minutes leading up to the race start and were playing some great music through the loud speakers.

Race – When it was time to start, the race pacers lined up according to their times and that really helped sort out the crowd. I was able to place myself between the two pace groups where I expected to finish, so I didn’t feel like I was starting too far ahead or behind of where I should be. The course itself was phenomenal. The hill around mile 12/13 was steeper than I expected it to be. I walked up almost all of it, but there was a water stop at the top and the volunteers were super encouraging and really cheering on all the spectators.

Finish line – The finish line was really special. As you come into your last half mile, you can hear the race announcer and you know the finish must be close but you can’t see it. All of a sudden, you turn a corner and there it is – the finish line bridge! Spectators are lined up along the entire length of the bridge. You cross a timing mat with about 0.2 left to go and the race announcer can see your information, so they can read out your name as you cross the finish line. When you register for the race, there is a box where you can write anything special about the race (it’s your first marathon, or your running on your 50th birthday, father/daughter running a marathon in all 50 states, etc.) – I didn’t really know what that box was for at the time. Well….when you cross the finish line, the announcer can see whatever you wrote in the box and they’ll announce that when you finish!

Volunteers – Did I mention the volunteers? They were seriously AMAZING. Every single volunteer I encountered was smiling and very encouraging. The volunteers and the spectators created an atmosphere that was really great.

Post-race – Although I read some reviews where people had troubles getting their drop bag from the finish line area, I had no issues. I didn’t have any of the snacks at the finish line but it looked like a decent selection and there was plenty of food left. I really loved the finishers pictures – they were free and they printed them off right there so you could take it home with you!! I also really loved the race pictures, which are free to download.

Overall, the race was super well organized, the atmosphere was fantastic, and I would highly recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Pre-race: Newsletters were sent out at regular intervals, which I really enjoyed. Packet pick-up: The location had plenty of parking and was easy to find. I wasn't totally impressed with … MORE

Pre-race: Newsletters were sent out at regular intervals, which I really enjoyed.

Packet pick-up: The location had plenty of parking and was easy to find. I wasn’t totally impressed with the expo but I also wasn’t disappointed. My husband and I walked around for a bit but didn’t buy anything. Finding my bib number was a breeze and the volunteers were quick to get my bag and shirt.

Race morning: The worst part about the race is the pre-race. The hotel where I stayed did not offer a shuttle but I was just across the street from the bus pick up location, so I just walked over and it wasn’t a big deal. There were volunteers directing folks to the correct buses and there seemed to be plenty of buses for all the participants. The miserable part starts once the bus drops you off at the start line. The sun isn’t fully up and it’s chilly, with nowhere to huddle to warm up. Thankfully, this wasn’t my first marathon, so I came prepared with warm clothes. I saw some people who were not prepared…. So, moral of the story, be prepared with hat/gloves/sweatpants and a drop bag.

Race course: B-E-A-UTIFUL!! The course is amazing. The majority of the course are wooded and very peaceful. The “trail” is not very technical and the crushed limestone is a breeze to run on. I was worried about getting rocks in my shoes, but I didn’t have any trouble with that at all. At one point, you run through an old mine tunnel and it was soooo cool. The 14 miles of uphill was difficult, for sure, but it wasn’t totally unbearable. The hardest part was running downhill on tired legs. My legs started to feel the burn at about mile 19, where there is a big hill that I was not expecting. I walked up the entire thing and was able to catch my second wind after that. The heat wasn’t an issue until the last hour (~5 miles) of the run – when you start running in more open scenery with less shade and it’s getting closer to noon – thank goodness we were still running through beautiful scenery distract my brain from the pain. For the last mile or so, you get off the trail and start running on an asphalt bike path. The finish line was nice because there was plenty of room for spectators.

Post race/swag: My one very minor complaint about this race was the t-shirt. Who gives a long-sleeved shirt for a marathon in June? I was hoping for a short sleeved t-shirt. That aside, the shirt is a quality material and it fits really nice. The medals are super cool too.

I would definitely recommend this marathon for the scenery and as an introduction to trail running. I would NOT recommend this marathon for someone hoping to get a personal best due to the elevation gain/hills.
Swag:

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?