My Profile

@DonutShark

Charlotte, NC Raving since 2022 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs Active 8 hours, 51 minutes ago

About Me

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

My Races

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

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

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
12 hr Lawrence, KS Jan 27, 2024 31.7 mi
50 Miler Charlotte, NC Oct 13, 2018 13:25:06
Marathon Carmel, IN Apr 8, 2023 4:20:15

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Hartford, CT Oct 19, 2024

Past Races (23)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Jersey City, NJ Apr 14, 2024
Marathon Lackawaxen, PA Mar 16, 2024 4:59:55
12 hr Lawrence, KS Jan 27, 2024 31.7 mi
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL Jan 7, 2024 5:39:49
Marathon Huntsville, AL Dec 10, 2023 4:41:27
Marathon Sparks Glencoe, MD Nov 25, 2023 4:38:48
Marathon Newport, RI Oct 8, 2023 4:28:47
Marathon Keene, NH Sep 24, 2023 4:27:24
Marathon Davis, WV Aug 26, 2023 5:17:02
Marathon Eau Claire, WI Apr 30, 2023 4:34:37
Marathon Carmel, IN Apr 8, 2023 4:20:15
Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 19, 2023 4:47:14
Marathon Springfield, MO Feb 25, 2023 4:45:22
Marathon Baton Rouge, LA Jan 15, 2023 4:57:32
Marathon Rehoboth Beach, DE Dec 3, 2022 4:44:50
Marathon Fort Oglethorpe, GA Nov 12, 2022 4:47:10
Marathon Cascais, Portugal Oct 9, 2022 4:35:30
Marathon Burlington, VT May 29, 2022 4:54:34
Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 1, 2022 4:39:00
Marathon Lexington, KY Apr 9, 2022 4:35:00
12 hr Fort Mill, SC Nov 23, 2019 31 mi
Marathon Charlotte, NC Nov 3, 2018 4:55:00
50 Miler Charlotte, NC Oct 13, 2018 13:25:06

My Raves

Sometimes a run is just a run. Not an event, not a party…just a run. That’s exactly what the Two Rivers Marathon offers. The course is a 2x out-and-back along … MORE

Sometimes a run is just a run. Not an event, not a party…just a run. That’s exactly what the Two Rivers Marathon offers.

The course is a 2x out-and-back along the river. The river itself is quite lovely and provides an ever-present soundscape for your run. Otherwise, the scenery is plain — lots of trees and the road. It’s not flat, but not super hilly — just some gentle climb.

There was no traffic control, so cars routinely used one land to pass. Most drivers went slow with flashers and respected runners. By the second half of the race, some drivers were cruising along unchecked at full speed.

Expect very little crowd support. The few folks who camped out to cheer were enthusiastic and friendly (thanks for being there!). Most of your miles will be run in quiet solitude.

Water stations every couple of miles, with Gatorade, too. No snacks. Low-key. There was also a porta potty every few miles.

Post-race was sparse. A few spectators and volunteers milling about. I had to track down my medal. There was bottled water. Supposedly there were sandwiches and cookies, too, but can’t confirm.

If you’re just looking for a quiet run on a state road, without the big city race frills, this race fits squarely in that space.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Flew out to Lawrence, Kansas from NC specifically for this event. Seemed like a fun atmosphere. When Mother Nature threatened to turn this into a pavement run (out-and-backs, no less), … MORE

Flew out to Lawrence, Kansas from NC specifically for this event. Seemed like a fun atmosphere. When Mother Nature threatened to turn this into a pavement run (out-and-backs, no less), I was crestfallen. But the run gods intervened, we ran mostly on trails, and I had a blast.

Usually I start a review by talking about the run, or maybe race logistics, but I’d be foolish not to highlight the food first and foremost. The RD and event team put on a helluva feast all day and all night. Quesadillas, sammiches, burgers, pizza, snacks of every variety imaginable, drinks of all persuasians, several soups, beer…I could go on and on. It’s a miracle I kept going out for more laps with all that food waiting in a heated tent.

The run itself was great. Trails were moderately technical, and soggy in a lot of places. No crazy hills, though plenty of up and down. Three trails — 1.9mi, 2.6mi, and 3.6mi — with the shortest one on pavement due to poor trail conditions. Each challenges you in their own way.

The camaraderie was solid…got to chat with several other runners, most from nearby. Seems like a good running community out there in Lawrence and nearby Kansas City.

Every runner got apparel (half zip for 12-hour runners), and you got a Cactus Roulette branded casino chip with each lap you finished, each chip colored to match the trail you just ran. And when you tapped out, you got a yellow finishers chip.

For just the third year of this event, it’s incredibly well done and promises to grow. Tons of fun, truly unique and a nice change of pace from my usual road marathons. Definitely give this one a run if you get a chance.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

I’m not a huge Disney fan, but this was still the most fun I’ve had running a marathon. Once you let go of ego and quit worrying about your finishing … MORE

I’m not a huge Disney fan, but this was still the most fun I’ve had running a marathon. Once you let go of ego and quit worrying about your finishing time, this event gets a lot more enjoyable.

Nearly everyone I saw was doing some sort of Galloway method. For some it may have been a race strategy; for most, I suspect it was about soaking up the atmosphere. In fact, there were stretches where you had little choice but to slow down or walk due to congestion.

Character encounters were plentiful…at least one per mile until heavy rains soaked us around mile 7-8. After the rain passed, characters were back on the course…within 3-5 miles, I think. It was actually nice to stop once a mile to wait in a short line for a character encounter/photo op and catch your breath.

Water stations were plentiful, too: Water and Powerade every mile, with a few GU stops, too. Medical care was abundant. Support crews were friendly and energetic. Toilets seemed adequate, near as I could tell.

The course itself: Flat. A few baby hills while circling a highway on-ramp/off-ramp or too, but if you were put off by those “hills” you probably need to ramp up your hill training. They’re barely worth noting if you’ve trained on anything with more than 50-ft of total elevation gain.

The expo was…exactly what you’d expect from Disney. One arena was full of vendors selling you everything from run apparel to hairstyling products. The other was a typical Disney merchandise sales machine, with typically pricy Disney branded run apparel. There was some nice stuff…I just don’t wear Disney apparel, so I sure as heck didn’t need to pay a premium price to buy it. But to each his/her own.

The post-race was fine…food/beer/liquor for purchase, a free snack pack, and more merch in sizes that met the needs of very few runners (think XXXL shirts).

At the end of the day, this race is all about the Disney showmanship…all the typical race details are sorta trivial. My suggestion: Run this race, have the time of your life, where something fun, stop for as many character encounters as you can, and remember how to be a kid again for a few hours.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Highlights: * Running past rockets at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center * Being cheered on by members of our armed services in uniform outside of the Rocket center. These … MORE

Highlights:
* Running past rockets at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center
* Being cheered on by members of our armed services in uniform outside of the Rocket center. These men and women deserve to be honored for all they do. And here they were cheering US on.
* Swag/Expo – Got a giant bag of Ka’Chava. Picked up some high-vis long-sleeve shirts from prior years for $1. Got some cheap souvenirs for the kiddo. The race shirt was a lightweight, light blue long-sleeve tee…and hey, blue is my color.
* Running through the botanical garden. It’s winter, so nothing is in bloom, but it’s still a pleasant setting.
* Post-race food was plentiful. The usual fare: Nothing unique, but hey, they didn’t run out (unlike other races I’ve run)

The rest:
* Other than the rockets and the botanical gardens, the race course is fairly forgettable. I just watched a YouTube preview of the whole course and I don’t remember any of it.
* The medals. I’ll say this: They’re not ho-him. They gave us three medals: One for the marathon, and two half-marathon medals. Feels like double-dipping. It’s overkill. I hate taking credit for a “race within a race.” Why not give out a 5k medal while you’re at it? I tossed the extra medals in a junk drawer.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Not gonna lie, I signed up for this race for the snuggly finishers’s blanket. It’s as soft as your favorite hoodie. And speaking of hoodie’s, the super comfy purple hoodie … MORE

Not gonna lie, I signed up for this race for the snuggly finishers’s blanket. It’s as soft as your favorite hoodie. And speaking of hoodie’s, the super comfy purple hoodie you get as race swag is a new favorite.

The race itself was a fun event. You have to take a shuttle to get to the start line. Get to the shuttle plenty early…the line is long. The race starts on the hilly, wooded campus of an old boarding school. From there on, you’re basically on a railroad-straight greenway the whole way, an easy out-and-back course. It’s pretty enough (trees!)…no real memorable scenery, but a pleasant enough setting for a run.

Spectator areas are a bit limited, so if you like when your cheering crew bounces from spot to spot to see you throughout the race, this is one where you may only get to see them a few times.

Porta potties, aid stations…I really don’t remember.

There’s no parking near the finish line. There’s a shuttle back to where you began the day, or you can hoof it uphill to the parking near the school. It’s not crazy far, but after a long run, it’s…extra.

The post-race food was decent: Hot soup (my new favorite post-race nourishment), cookies, chips, soda, Gatorade, and bananas. It’s in the gym back at the start line (see previously mentioned uphill climb).

Added bonus: You can change clothes at the gym if you want.

All in all, a nice event. A change of pace from big city races with tons of production and crowd support…this is running for the pleasure of running. Enjoy!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

I’ve seen the reviews that say the first half is scenic and the back half is boring. I disagree! There’s no denying the first 13 miles are some of the … MORE

I’ve seen the reviews that say the first half is scenic and the back half is boring. I disagree! There’s no denying the first 13 miles are some of the prettiest marathon miles…especially along the coastline. And while the second half isn’t all mansions and seashore, it has some pretty stretches of its own.

Is this race hilly? I don’t think it’s THAT hilly. There’s one at mile 22 or 23 that was a doozy that late in the race. And the second half certainly is hillier than the first half. But it’s not as hilly as some folks make it out to be. Is it flat? No. So I guess if you’ve only ever run pancake-flat races, it’ll seem hilly. Still…this is Rhode Island, not the Himalayas.

Crowd support is decent. Most of the crowds are congregated in a few touristy areas within the first 13 miles. There are places where it’s sparse…the ocean miles are empty, but who cares with a view that good. The back half has empty stretches. Still, you rarely went more than a mile or so without finding a little cluster of folks. I ran sans headphones the whole time and didn’t miss the crowds.

Race swag is so-so: A basic medal and not much else. I like the shirt.

Post-race: They ran out of pizza. They almost ran out of beer. These are things I hate. Sufficient food and beer for ALL runners should be a “don’t F this up” issue for a race director. Would love to see them do more than the minimum though.

Aid stations & porta johns: I legit don’t remember. Vaguely remember the aid stations being staffed by friendly folks, but couldn’t tell you if there were enough or what they served.

Final thoughts: Despite a few nitpicks, this race is a top five marathon in my book (of the 17 states I’ve run). It’s about the view. Look around you! If you can’t enjoy running along the New England coast surrounded be grand mansions, what DOES a pretty run look like to you?

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Best part of this race: Making new friends, seeing old ones. I met several other 50-staters and Marathon Maniacs at the pre-race dinner event. Second best part of this race: … MORE

Best part of this race: Making new friends, seeing old ones. I met several other 50-staters and Marathon Maniacs at the pre-race dinner event.

Second best part of this race: The race route. There’s nothing like running the gently rolling hills of New England in the fall. From the burbling river beside us for much of the descent to the out-and-back across a dam to the brief jaunt through a cemetery, this one was pretty from start to finish.

Other highlights: Keene. It’s a nice town. You can pretty much see/do it all in a few hours, then it gets old. But Machina Arts was a cool bar. Small-town vibe. Felt like a ghost town a few hours after the race though.

Pro Tip: Search around for airBNBs. I found one for wicked cheap 3 minutes from the start line. Better to create memories and meet people than to stay in a hotel.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Full disclosure: While my ratings are a bit low for this race, I still enjoyed the experience. You're gonna want to read on to learn more. SCENERY: One of my … MORE

Full disclosure: While my ratings are a bit low for this race, I still enjoyed the experience. You’re gonna want to read on to learn more.

SCENERY: One of my top criteria for selecting (and rating) races. And the scenery in Blackwater Falls State Park IS gorgeous. The canyon walls…the miles of green mountains…the waterfall…all beautiful. But I can only give the race partial credit: You can’t enjoy the view when you’re running in the pitch black of night. It WAS cool to see all the runners lit up with neon glow sticks and color vests. But after the half marathoners disappeared, so did the carnival vibe. (Park scenery: 10/10; race scenery: Incomplete)

HILLS: It wasn’t just the 2,400 ft. of elevation gain that killed me. It was the non-stop hills. You’re almost never running flat. Go up a hill, go down a hill, repeat. It was challenging…and I’m glad I did it.

SWAG: No race expo. The “medal” was a unique handmade pottery thing. That’s pretty cool. The soft, light hoodie race shirt was also nice. One of my faves. Don’t expect any other swag, though.

FOOD/AID STATIONS: Zero stars. No post-race food for runners. Not even a banana. Aid stations were adequately spaced, although not much care given. This was a “fend for yourself” race. They never promised to be otherwise. I’m scoring poorly here, though, because I’ve learned I like being spoiled (and refueled) at a race.

COMMUNICATION: Not the best. 100% focused on selling race entries. Pre-race…post-race…it’s all push marketing. Too many emails trying to get you to register (even after you’ve already registered). At least they were responsive on social media when people asked questions…that’s a positive.

LODGING: I rented a vacation cabin at the park with some buddies. I think it was maybe $350/night split between us. It could accommodate eight, so if you split that with other runners, it’s a great deal. Not rustic at all…more like a hotel room in the woods: WiFi, TV, AC, full kitchen, etc. Cabin was right next to the race route, so perfect for mid-race fueling, support crew, etc.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The highlight of this race was the setting. Stay for a few days and explore the nearby towns of Thomas and Davis. Hike the trails of the park. See the waterfall. The race itself was okay — but for me, the mini vacation is what made the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong…the experience of running under moonlight with a waterfall within earshot was cool. If you don’t mind a minimalist event, you’ll have a good time. I’m glad I ran this event. My lower scores are more a reflection of what I’ve enjoyed about other events. But don’t take my word…run it for yourself and let me know what you think!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

It’s the last day of April, and I open my hotel blinds to see wind-whipped rain mixed with snow. Welcome to spring in Wisconsin! My favorite part of this race, … MORE

It’s the last day of April, and I open my hotel blinds to see wind-whipped rain mixed with snow. Welcome to spring in Wisconsin!

My favorite part of this race, by far, was running alongside the rivers and over the bridges. Such a nice change of scenery compared to the full urban milieu of most city races. Eau Claire is a really charming town.

Race production seemed fine. No issues with packet pick-up, communication, race day logistics, etc. I thought porta-potties were a little sparse along the race route. The expo was an outdoor affair and coincided with some other small races occurring the Saturday afternoon before. Again, the outdoor setting was a nice change of pace…even if it was cold, windy, and rainy that day, too. My only real gripe was the swag: Race shirt is a boring gray cotton t-shirt…probably the weakest race shirt I’ve picked up along the way. Oh well…whatcha gonna do?

The race route carved a scenic path through Eau Claire, crossing or paralleling the rivers for much of the race. It was hillier than I expected in a few parts, but not necessarily a hilly race…I think my tired legs were just grumbly. There was a 2ish mile out and back into a wooded park area along a dirt road at miles 9.5 – 11.5ish, which was a muddy tromp because of the rain. I love trail runs, but that little stretch did nothing to add to the event, and the thought of slogging in mud with that much left in the race didn’t excite me. Still…a minor quibble. I loved all the bridge crossings (mile 22 was my fave), and the Blugold Mile with the UWEC students near the end was a fun (and much-needed) boost of energy.

Post-race was standard fare…typical bananas, water, chocolate milk, and a few other goodies. There was a party tent and a single beer ticket. Beer selection was decent. Plenty of pubs and restaurants nearby to continue your celebration if you like.

Lots of shops in downtown Eau Claire offered perks to runners, mostly 10% discounts. May same trivial, but I love it when local businesses support the race and the runners like that. Makes me want to support them in return.

The Eau Claire Marathon was a great event, and I confess: I’ve fallen in love with Wisconsin during my visit. I may have just found my next home.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

What I Loved: * Every aspect of race production went smoothly. From registration and communication to expo, race day and post-race, Carmel Marathon Weekend was a world class event. * … MORE

What I Loved:

* Every aspect of race production went smoothly. From registration and communication to expo, race day and post-race, Carmel Marathon Weekend was a world class event.

* The race route is pretty, although not necessarily scenic. Even without a signature Instagram-worthy view, it was a really pleasant run. Carmel is a lovely community.

* Decent crowd support. There were a few stretches with no crowds — one stretch along the paved trail for a few miles, another stretch in a corporate park area of town — but there were still plenty of areas with fans cheering.

* The finisher’s medal is one of the biggest medals I’ve ever scene…and it’s not just flimsy or gaudy monstrosity. It’s a hefty, high quality medal with a nice design.

What I Didn’t Love:

It’s hard to find anything to complain about. I totally forgot to stop by the famous pancake village after the race (bummer!). There were no energy gels along the course, which some runners might lament. And the swag bag was just a packet of sponsor promotional junk…no goodies. But those are all minor gripes.

One caution: Traffic and getting around town for race spectators is tricky. If your curb crew is planning to bounce around to multiple locations, they could easily find themselves stuck in standstill traffic, and potentially miss you. The online route maps are sorta useless, too.

Final Word:

I PR’d, so I’m probably biased, but the Carmel Marathon is easily a top 5 event of the states I’ve run so far (11). Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Loved chatting with the race director after the race. If you’re looking for an Indiana marathon in your 50 states journey, there’s a lot to love about the Carmel Marathon.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

In no particular order… Pre-Race Commmunication — The event does a thorough job sharing tons of information in the weeks leading up to the run. Multiple emails, detailed website, active … MORE

In no particular order…

Pre-Race Commmunication — The event does a thorough job sharing tons of information in the weeks leading up to the run. Multiple emails, detailed website, active social media presence.

Expo – Actually one of the better expos I’ve been to lately. Apparel for sale was not too impressive (and 90% womens apparel), but that’s my only complaint. Chatted with several exhibitors and got some decent goodies…chocolate milk, smoothie samples, cake samples, beer samples, and some decent branding collateral from vendors I liked.

Race Day Traffic/Parking – This was probably the worst part of the event, but whatcha gonna do. Took us 30 minutes to drive less than two miles to the start area. Had to jump out of the car and leave the wife to find her own parking. Another half hour later and she still hadn’t made it to a parking spot. She missed the start of the race. Better traffic control by local law enforcement would have helped.

Porta Potties – Didn’t wait in line before the race, but there seemed to be plenty of them. There were several throughout the race, too. I got in and out in under 60 seconds right around mile 13.

Course – For a seaside town, it was…okay. Lots of straight line running…that’s good if you like a fast run. Don’t be fooled: You won’t have an ocean view for most of the race. Still, running on the military base, past the lighthouses, and a few miles beside the beach made for a pleasant run.

Crowd Support – 5 stars. Not the biggest crowd I’ve run seen, but it was up there. I really felt like the community came out to support runners. Lots of neighbors were handing out water, beer (yep, I partook), and other goodies. They had good energy, too.

Finish Line/Post-Race – One of the best post-race celebrations I’ve encountered. I like that it lived up to that ambitious claim. A steady stream of volunteers after the finish line handing you food, swag, medal, etc. Huge tent on the beach with a damn good band (and I don’t even like live bands that much). Four drink tickets for Yuengling. The Irish stew was a PERFECT post-race dish on a cold day (tasty, too!). Even the food vendors outside the tent on the beach were cool.

All told, this was a great event. If I had to run a Virginia marathon again, there are other parts of the state I’d rather explore and other races that get more love from fellow 50-staters, but that doesn’t take anything away from this event. The Shamrock Marathon was a fun time and 100% worth a trip to the beach on a cold, windy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Picked this race because my wife has family in the area, so we saved $ on lodging and also got to see family. The race has an unmistakable small town … MORE

Picked this race because my wife has family in the area, so we saved $ on lodging and also got to see family. The race has an unmistakable small town quality to it. Here’s the pros & cons:

The Good:
* Swag. Okay, it’s bright and colorful and looks like stuff a kid would love…and that made it great stuff to give to my 7-year-old. High quality hoodie, high quality winter hat, and a fun medal.

*Communications. Race director made a pre-race video and did a lot to communicate details.

*Logistics. Easy to reach location, and close to the Springfield airport for out-of-towners. My wife was also able to drive from water stop to water stop so she could cheer me on multiple times, and never had to drive more than five minutes.

The Bad:
* Missed Turns. Volunteers set up a water table blocking a key race intersection, then told runners to turn the wrong way. About a dozen runners missed a two mile segment. My wife realized what happened and got the volunteers out of the way before more runners were affected, then tracked down the race director to ensure the runners who missed their turn could complete their full 26.2 miles. Mistakes like this doom races. After the Garmin/Land of Oz Marathon fiasco, important details like this should be a priority.

* Volunteers/Aid Stations. Some of the volunteers did a good job handing out water, but for the most part, volunteers seemed disinterested or were too busy chatting with each other to help runners. By late in the race, several aid stations had been abandoned, including several at road crossings where drivers where barreling through unchecked. Aid stations were water only.

Post-Race. There was pizza. That’s it. Pretty much the most anti-climactic finish line I’ve encountered.

The “Not Good, Not Bad”:
* Race Route. It was a nice route. Two laps on an out-and-back greenway. Starts out mostly flat for five miles, but after that there were some hills that were a doozy. Not sure why I didn’t anticipate them, but man there were some energy-suckers out there. Still…it was a pleasant enough route.

Overall, an okay race, and I hope it continues to grow…and that the race director gets more support. I give him credit for a good event in what often felt like a one-man show. I have no doubt this race will continue to improve as it builds upon a successful second running.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The good: * Race route is fairly pretty, passing through through the LSU campus, alongside a lake, and along shaded streets. The bad: * Pre-race expo was unimpressive. Aside from … MORE

The good:

* Race route is fairly pretty, passing through through the LSU campus, alongside a lake, and along shaded streets.

The bad:
* Pre-race expo was unimpressive. Aside from the typical shoe vendor and some apparel (nothing in my size), there wasn’t much. No pre-race swag either. A giant expo hall with very little in it. Lady who handed me my bib seemed pretty cranky that she had to be there.

* The post-race party was a major disappointment. What was billed as a big Louisiana party “with a little extra” was a huge letdown. Three food tents (jambalaya, gumbo, and vegetarian), but the jambalaya tent was already empty when I finished the race. The beer supply was dwindled down to cans of Miller Lite (barf!). Most of the other sponsors/vendors had already abandoned their tents. Sure, there was live music, but for an event this size, this was one of the most pathetic post-race experiences I’ve ever had.

Got Louisiana done, but don’t think I’ll return to Baton Rouge anytime soon.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

It rained. We were drenched. And we had a blast. What stood out most? I’ve never seen (or met) so many Marathon Maniacs and 50-staters. Almost everyone I talked to … MORE

It rained. We were drenched. And we had a blast.

What stood out most? I’ve never seen (or met) so many Marathon Maniacs and 50-staters. Almost everyone I talked to was mid-journey on the way to 50 (or beyond). I met one woman who made this event her 50th. Congrats, runner!

I ran solo (usually do), but made some friends along the way (hi Britt and Clay!). I loved the FB group for the event; the race director shared tons of info there, and it’s a vibrant community. I connected with a few other Maniacs/50-chasers via the group the night before, then met up with them at the after party.

Course is flat and fairly quick. Runs through town for a bit, then north along the shoreline over a crowd-lined boardwalk. Later, the course winds through coastal pines and marshlands. It’s really quite pretty. After making the homeward turn at mile 11, we doubled back through the old fort and forests we traversed on our way north. After mile 20ish, the course veers off through a neighborhood and onto some wooded trails. Not gonna lie, the rain has made the trails an unpleasant, puddle-drenched mud strip by this point. It was a little demoralizing when my stamina began to flag at mile 23.

Worth noting: The “tunnel” of flags in between miles 22 and 23 is pretty cool.

Post-race party was as good as advertised. Tons of food (eggs, waffles, sausage, bacon, hot dogs, Mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and more). We got three beer tickets with race admission and other runners were giving us their spare tickets all afternoon.

Race medal reflects the coastal setting. Race shirt was okay — long-sleeve. Nothing else really in the way of swag.

All in all, the Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon was a ton of fun. My finish was okay, but the memories will stick with me for a long time.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

As you’ve no doubt heard, the race course winds through the historic Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park in Northwest Georgia. It’s one of the most unique race venues you’ll … MORE

As you’ve no doubt heard, the race course winds through the historic Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park in Northwest Georgia. It’s one of the most unique race venues you’ll ever get to run.

On a rainy November morning, we set off at the sound of the starting cannon. A one mile loop to begin the race gives friends and family a chance to cheer you on near the starting line before runners head off into the park. I drove down solo from Charlotte, so I just enjoyed the cheers of strangers.

Paved woodland trails guide you the rest of the way. It’s a two-loop course. You’re in the company of other runners most of the way, especially before the half marathoners peel away. Battlefields and monuments stretch throughout the route.

I wanted to get photos and video of the historic monuments while running, but I was on a good pace and didn’t want to slow down, so I drove through the park the next day to get some pics.

If you like crowd support, you won’t find much during this race. Start line, finish line, and not much on the miles in between.

Pre-race expo was nothing special. Packet pickup was at a church across from the park. Small-town vice. No swag. Long-sleeve quarter zip race shirt was nice though.

Post-race food was…okay. Cheap pizza, banana, granola bar. MoonPies, too. That was cool. Didn’t realize they were invented in Chattanooga, about half an hour away.

The medal is special. This year’s medal honored those who served from Illinois. Each year they honor a different state with the medal. Pretty cool.

One nice touch: As you approach the finish line, they look up your bib number and the emcee gives you a shoutout. After falling off my pace and dragging myself to the finish, the personal recognition was a nice way to mark 26.2 miles.

While I wouldn’t rank Chickamauga as one of my favorite races, it’s a unique setting. Reflecting on our nation’s history during a run through a Civil War battlefield park is an experience you won’t find at most other marathons. For that alone, it’s worth running this one if you’re looking for a Georgia marathon.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1
My Media

Was this review helpful?

What a gorgeous place to go for a run! And just missed a PR by 13 seconds, too! Temps were low 60s in Cascais at the start and didn’t get … MORE

What a gorgeous place to go for a run! And just missed a PR by 13 seconds, too!

Temps were low 60s in Cascais at the start and didn’t get too much warmer thanks to the temperate coastal climate. The scenery for the first 20ish miles is idyllic, especially miles 2-8 while you’re in Cascais for an out-and-back. Breaking ocean waves, gentle breezes, and unspoiled views of the coast greet you for the first third of the race.

Water stations begin at mile 3. They’re a little spread out for the first half of the race — maybe every two miles? — but come a bit more frequently on the back half. There were no toilets along the race route; men and women alike were seen ducking into the underbrush for mid-race relief.

Along the route to Lisbon, you’ll pass through more village-y areas. The beauty of the course still shines through, with a mostly flat route hugging the shore as beaches, cliffs, and tidal areas mark the miles.

Crowds were sparse most of the way, but certainly not absent — and the finish area is a throng of spectators lining the streets as you reach the square where the race ends.

The train ride to Cascais is a short 40-minute trip, and free to runners. Board as Cais du Sodre. The trains run every 30 minutes and were full with runners (and our special funky odor).

Race swag was pretty ho-hum. There’s a shirt (it’s ok), a buff (meh), and a bag. A granola bar, too, I think. Post-race support was equally ho-hum: Another bag with a banana and a protein drink. There was a Gatorade tent nearby. If there was any other swag or nourishment for runners nearby, I missed it.

I told myself Lisbon was gonna be “just a training run,” but despite only 48 hours to lick jet lag, I had one of my best races ever. By relaxing and enjoying the run, I was able to soak up this magnificent destination. I highly recommend this race for anyone who cherishes the journey more than the result

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Third marathon in less than 60 days, and I paid the price. Body wasn’t ready. But let’s take my sub-par run out of the equation and get to the race: … MORE

Third marathon in less than 60 days, and I paid the price. Body wasn’t ready. But let’s take my sub-par run out of the equation and get to the race:

Start Line: It was at Waterfront Park. Call me a dummy, but I couldn’t find that information on the website or race emails. Luckily, I stumbled on it the day before. Beautiful venue for a start/finish. Enjoy the lake and Mountain views!

Race route: 1) A mini uphill to start, then long and flat as you head south of Burlington’s downtown. Nondescript stretch, though not unpleasant. Make a mental note of the brewery and cidery options. 2) At three-ish miles, loop through a residential area and make the turn back north. Three miles northbound, with stretches on a bike path and along the lake. Enjoy those views…it’ll be uphill at mile 6. Which leads to 3), an uphill wind through downtown, taking you up Church Street on the brick street shopping area. Climb for a mile or so. 4) A 3-3.5 miles northbound stretch that tucks into a residential neighborhood. Loved the crowd support from homeowners. 5) Pivot south and finish loop one on a 3-mile, mostly wooded, gentle downhill back to Waterfront Park. 6) Lather, rinse, repeat for lap two.

Weather: Hoped it would be cooler. Started at mid50s, but in the 70s by race end. Eh…luck of the draw. Heat got to me (compounding other problems)

Swag: Expo was typical. Nothing much in the way of free goodies. Medal is okay, nothing special. Apparel (for sale) trumped what I’ve seen at some races. Bought a lightweight hooded tee.

Post-race: Medical crew got rave reviews from my friend who was watching. Food was basic, but plentiful. Park was a lovely place to relax and recover after.

The Town: Loved it. Shops, restaurants, bars…had a college town feel, but classy. Burlington has personality, but not the contrived “keep Portland weird” type. It’s a city that doesn’t need to call attention to itself. Worth 2-3 days for exploring. Spend a month there and you’ll probably get bored though.

Overall, a really nice place to cross Vermont off your 50 states marathon list.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1
My Media

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Every good thing you’ve heard about The Flying Pig Marathon is true. The race is exceptionally well organized. Every detail is attended to. It’s not just obvious things like race … MORE

Every good thing you’ve heard about The Flying Pig Marathon is true.

The race is exceptionally well organized. Every detail is attended to. It’s not just obvious things like race route and communication and aid stations (though those things are excellent); it’s the little details, too, like a greeting committee at the airport, or a carefully organized gear drop bus brigade.

The city of Cincinnati is beautiful…far more charming than I expected. From the iconic bridges (can we please celebrate America’s builders?) to quaint neighborhoods to pockets of small town “Main Street” tucked along the race route, there wasn’t a mile of this race that passed without something to admire about Cincinnati.

A few notes to help other runners:

* Race started at the Bengals football stadium, which meant TONS of indoor restrooms…no waiting in long lines for a porta-potty

* The well-organized gear drop bus brigade made it easy to drop my belongings before the race and pick them up after. Super helpful, since I was headed to the airport after the event.

* Hydration stations at least every mile (a HUGE plus), and Gatorade AND water at every single one.

* The famous crowd support from the community is exactly as advertised. I don’t think I ran 100 yards without a cheering spectator all day. Maybe once. But still done. Well done, folks of Cincinnati.

* The medal is HEAVY…a high quality medal. The race shirt was kinda “meh,” but wah wah. I give the swag a B-.

* Can’t comment on mid-race porta-potties…didn’t need ‘em, so didn’t look for ‘em.

* Love the snacks at aid stations (official AND unofficial). Yes, I took the bacon at mile 15. When in Rome. Hard pass on Oreos, but love that it was an option. Saw gummy worms, orange slices, Swedish fish, Skittles, Girl Scout cookies, and more. Skipped the beer. Took the Jell-O shot. Because why not?

* Availed myself of the professional stretching. Good call. Made that flight home after the race tolerable.

* Note to self: Don’t rush out of the post-race recovery area. Get the free food. I wasn’t feeling great and just skipped it. Wish I had at least grabbed some pizza. The fruit cup and banana were fine, but I think there was more recovery nourishment available, and I just bypassed it.

* A few decent restaurants and bars within a few blocks of the race. Not a ton, but enough to tide you over if you don’t wanna travel far for grub and drinks. I recommend the Belgian place or the rooftop bar at The Blind Pig.

Okay, lots of words. Sorry. I had a great time in Cincinnati, and I highly recommend the race to ANY marathoner.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

If you’re looking for a no-frills event, the Horse Capital Marathon is precisely that. If you’re looking for a nice run in beautiful countryside, it’s that, too. I’ll start with … MORE

If you’re looking for a no-frills event, the Horse Capital Marathon is precisely that. If you’re looking for a nice run in beautiful countryside, it’s that, too.

I’ll start with the scenery. The race is exactly as advertised: A beautiful run through magnificent horse country, with rolling hills. Lexington, as a city, is a nice enough place, but it’s a dang good thing this race is run on the outskirts of Lexington, because that’s where the region’s true charm is found.

The race begins and ends at Kentucky Horse Park. Be sure you make time to visit, especially if you have kids. My six-year-old daughter loved it so much, she spent most of the race there, then dragged me back after the race, and we even went back again the next day.

Now, let’s discuss the event. For starters, don’t expect fan support along the race route. The location doesn’t lend itself to fan accessibility. There were a few fans at the handful of intersections along the out-and-back route, and they were lovely people. But this is a lonely race…no horns and cowbells and screaming crowds. Luckily, there are three out-and-back sections, so you’re passing other runners all day long.

The pre-race and post-race scene was pretty minimalist. There’s no expo; bib pick-up was at a gas station burrito joint. The pre-race festivities consisted of a low-key DJ/emcee, a food truck (I think), and a line of runners arriving at the parking lot at the very last minute.

Post-race was probably the most disappointing aspect of this race. I got a mini bottle of Gatorade. If there were bagels and fruit, I didn’t see them. No sandwiches, chocolate milk, or goodie bags either. Literally, unless I missed it (and if that’s the case, layout is an issue), the Gatorade was the only post-race runner care. Though I will say, someone (volunteers?) saw me lying down after the race and hurried over with an insulation blanket to check on me. I was fine, but loved that the checked on my well-being.

It snowed throughout the race. That was cool. I’ve heard it reached 70-plus degrees in previous years. Weather in Kentucky in April…plan for anything.

All in all, despite the sparse crowd support and apparently minimalist post-race support, I really enjoyed this race and recommend it for anyone seeking a unique Kentucky marathon in their quest for 50 states.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Ran this event in 2019 when it was an overnight race. There’s something about running through the night that makes a 12-hour endurance race even more challenging and more memorable. … MORE

Ran this event in 2019 when it was an overnight race. There’s something about running through the night that makes a 12-hour endurance race even more challenging and more memorable.

A tropical storm blew through the night of the race and made the trails a muddy mess. That made for tough running and more than one slip-and-falls.

For the first hour or so, runners were clumped together throughout the 3-mile wooded loop. By midnight, we were strung out, our headlamps dotting the trail around the lake like fireflies against a moonless sky.

My lamp died somewhere around 4am after 10 laps, so I called it quits at 50k. I lounged in a pavilion at the start/finish area, listening to other runners and support crews enjoy the night. I contemplated another lap or two, but the mud and lack of sleep spelled the end of me.

A fun time, and great to share the trail at night with other obsessed runners. I hear they’ve changed up the timing of the event recently, but I’m sure it’s still a lot of fun.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1

Was this review helpful?

My Followers