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@DrewNYC

New York, NY Raving since 2014 Boston Marathon finisher, 50 States hopeful/finisher, World Marathon Majors Six Star hopeful/finisher, Seven Continents Club, Marathon Maniacs #2236, Half Fanatics #11889 Active 1 month ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    NYRR, Galloway NYC, Front Runners New York

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • 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
4-Way Challenge (35.5 Miles) Cincinnati, OH May 3, 2015 7:38:43
Marathon Virginia Beach, VA 2009 5:03:45
Dark Side Challenge (19.3 Miles) Lake Buena Vista, FL Apr 15, 2016 4:36:16
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY 2009 2:18:30
10 Miler Brooklyn, NY Feb 18, 2024 1:56:02
5K St. Louis, MO Apr 9, 2017 37:34

Future Races (2)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
10 Miler Bronx, NY Sep 22, 2024
Half Marathon Staten Island, NY Oct 13, 2024

Past Races (149)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY May 18, 2024 2:47:10
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Apr 28, 2024 2:51:48
Marathon Hopkinton, MA Apr 15, 2024 5:55:14
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 17, 2024 2:42:42
Half Marathon Paris, France Mar 3, 2024 2:42:01
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 25, 2024 2:49:57
10 Miler Brooklyn, NY Feb 18, 2024 1:56:02
Half Marathon New York, NY Jan 28, 2024 2:42:37
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 5, 2023 5:58:34
Half Marathon Staten Island, NY Oct 8, 2023 2:42:09
10 Miler Bronx, NY Sep 17, 2023 2:02:44
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY May 20, 2023 2:36:45
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 19, 2023 2:43:02
Half Marathon Washington, DC Mar 18, 2023 2:42:40
Marathon Tokyo, Japan Mar 5, 2023 5:50:33
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Feb 26, 2023 2:46:49
Half Marathon New York, NY Jan 22, 2023 2:38:32
Half Marathon North Charleston, SC Jan 14, 2023 2:45:32
Half Marathon Queens, NY Nov 19, 2022 2:48:36
Marathon Cape Town, South Africa Oct 16, 2022 6:25:53
Half Marathon Staten Island, NY Oct 9, 2022 2:47:58
Marathon Bosveld, South Africa Jun 18, 2022
Half Marathon Boston, MA May 29, 2022 2:54:05
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY May 21, 2022 2:44:12
Half Marathon Prague, Czech Republic Apr 2, 2022 2:50:28
Half Marathon Manchester, NH Mar 26, 2022 2:54:16
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 20, 2022 2:50:07
Half Marathon Portland, OR Mar 13, 2022 2:53:56
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 27, 2022 2:53:00
Half Marathon Baton Rouge, LA Jan 16, 2022 2:49:42
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 11, 2021 2:47:10
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR Nov 21, 2021 2:40:52
Half Marathon Madison, WI Nov 14, 2021 2:49:53
Marathon Staten Island, NY Nov 7, 2021 5:51:32
Marathon Detroit, MI Oct 17, 2021 5:50:35
Marathon Fargo, ND Sep 25, 2021 5:56:35
Half Marathon Wilmington, DE Jun 13, 2021 3:05:04
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY May 2, 2021 3:12:11
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 28, 2021 3:01:47
Marathon Omaha, NE Sep 27, 2020 6:28:05
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 23, 2020 3:12:55
Half Marathon Hamilton, Bermuda Jan 19, 2020 3:01:13
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 8, 2019 3:13:43
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 24, 2019 3:03:58
Marathon Manchester, NH Nov 10, 2019 6:50:27
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 19, 2019 3:10:30
Half Marathon Staten Island, NY Oct 13, 2019 3:11:02
Marathon Cedar Crest, NM Sep 14, 2019 6:55:49
Marathon Hanga Roa, Chile Jun 2, 2019 7:14:16
Marathon Oklahoma City, OK Apr 28, 2019 6:53:36
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 17, 2019 3:14:33
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 9, 2018 3:12:27
Marathon Queenstown, New Zealand Nov 17, 2018 6:40:46
Half Marathon Staten Island, NY Oct 14, 2018 3:05:54
Half Marathon Kona, HI Sep 19, 2018 3:42:01
Half Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Jul 24, 2018 2:59:46
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 14, 2018 6:41:37
Marathon Burlington, VT May 27, 2018 5:59:40
Marathon Louisville, KY Apr 28, 2018 5:54:33
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 25, 2018 2:40:23
Marathon Jackson, MS Jan 27, 2018 5:55:11
Half Marathon New York, NY Jan 21, 2018 2:49:49
Half Marathon Tempe, AZ Jan 14, 2018 2:50:22
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 10, 2017 2:47:34
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Nov 12, 2017 3:01:33
Half Marathon Savannah, GA Nov 4, 2017 2:53:25
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Oct 14, 2017 2:51:52
Marathon Portland, OR Oct 8, 2017 6:21:13
Marathon Berlin, Germany Sep 24, 2017 5:56:59
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA Sep 17, 2017 2:50:59
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Sep 3, 2017 2:53:35
Half Marathon Dublin, Ireland Aug 13, 2017 2:56:44
Half Marathon Chicago, IL Jul 16, 2017 2:52:41
Half Marathon Seattle, WA Jun 18, 2017 2:49:57
Marathon Casper, WY Jun 4, 2017 6:50:50
Half Marathon Fort Lee, NJ May 7, 2017 2:49:26
Half Marathon Nashville, TN Apr 29, 2017 2:57:28
Marathon St. Louis, MO Apr 9, 2017 5:58:08
5K St. Louis, MO Apr 9, 2017 37:34
Marathon Washington, DC Mar 11, 2017 5:56:16
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 26, 2017 2:42:20
Half Marathon Austin, TX Feb 19, 2017 2:55:39
Half Marathon New York, NY Jan 22, 2017 2:45:14
Half Marathon Mobile, AL Jan 8, 2017 2:41:26
Half Marathon New York, NY Dec 11, 2016 2:37:28
Half Marathon London, United Kingdom Nov 26, 2016 2:38:22
Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2016 5:57:00
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Oct 8, 2016 2:38:45
Half Marathon New York, NY Oct 2, 2016 2:44:28
Marathon Idaho Falls, ID Aug 27, 2016 6:00:11
Marathon Anchorage, AK Jun 18, 2016 6:00:38
Marathon Wilmington, DE May 8, 2016 5:45:15
Dark Side Challenge (19.3 Miles) Lake Buena Vista, FL Apr 15, 2016 4:36:16
Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 6, 2016 5:54:37
Half Marathon New York City, NY Feb 21, 2016 2:40:55
Half Marathon Philadelphia, PA Oct 31, 2015 2:41:21
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Oct 10, 2015 2:41:42
Marathon St. George, UT Oct 3, 2015 5:27:03
Marathon Two Harbors, MN Jun 20, 2015 5:29:04
4-Way Challenge (35.5 Miles) Cincinnati, OH May 3, 2015 7:38:43
Marathon Lahaina, HI Jan 18, 2015 6:01:20
Rebel Challenge (19.3 Miles) Anaheim, CA Jan 16, 2015
Half Marathon Atlanta, GA Dec 14, 2014 2:37:01
Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 6, 2014 5:45:15
Marathon Charlotte, NC Nov 15, 2014 5:36:57
Marathon Crazy Horse, SD Oct 5, 2014 6:10:54
Half Marathon New York City, NY Mar 16, 2014 2:50:06
Half Marathon New York, NY 2014 2:43:35
Marathon Myrtle Beach, SC 2014 6:13:35
Half Marathon Queens, NY 2014 2:30:13
Marathon Big Sur, CA 2014 5:48:46
Half Marathon Providence, RI Sep 29, 2013 2:45:38
Marathon Birmingham, AL 2013 5:33:22
Marathon King George Island, Antarctica 2013 7:17:45
Marathon London, United Kingdom 2013 5:48:56
Marathon Oceanport, NJ 2013 5:43:33
Marathon Baltimore, MD 2013 5:56:47
Half Marathon New York, NY 2013 2:45:50
Marathon Huntington, WV 2013 5:44:59
Half Marathon Providence, RI Aug 19, 2012 2:48:50
Marathon Dallas, TX 2012 6:04:14
Marathon Denver, CO 2012 5:50:57
Marathon Wichita, KS 2012 6:07:20
Marathon Indianapolis, IN 2012 6:06:36
Half Marathon New York City, NY 2011 2:31:16
Marathon Bar Harbor, ME 2011 6:22:56
Marathon Savannah, GA 2011 6:05:02
Marathon Philadelphia, PA 2011 5:55:28
Half Marathon Providence, RI 2011 2:41:05
Marathon Tempe, AZ 2011 5:48:18
Half Marathon New York City, NY 2010 2:26:08
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY 2010 2:21:34
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL 2010 6:47:31
Marathon New Orleans, LA 2010 5:54:38
Marathon Hartford, CT 2010 5:52:43
Marathon Las Vegas, NV 2010 5:27:05
Half Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL 2010 3:39:46
Half Marathon Anaheim, CA 2009 2:38:24
Half Marathon New York, NY 2009 2:21:47
Half Marathon New York City, NY 2009 2:37:02
Marathon Lake Buena Vista, FL 2009 5:57:50
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY 2009 2:18:30
Marathon Virginia Beach, VA 2009 5:03:45
Marathon Providence, RI 2009 5:21:16
Marathon Seattle, WA 2009 5:32:14
Marathon Chicago, IL 2009 5:19:11
Marathon Staten Island, NY 2009 5:28:23
Marathon Ashland, WI 2008 5:26:17
Marathon Staten Island, NY 2008 5:22:17

My Raves

This may have been a one and done race for me. I definitely didn't love it. EXPO: -Friends went on Friday and had no wait or problems. I went Saturday … MORE

This may have been a one and done race for me. I definitely didn’t love it.

EXPO:
-Friends went on Friday and had no wait or problems. I went Saturday morning and the line went completely around the block and did not move (at all) for nearly 30 minutes. Then we all were let in at the same time.
-The “official merchandise” area was mostly cleared out by Saturday morning.
-The rest of the expo was pretty light. There were “photo ops” areas and a beer garden.

START:
-I found it easy to get through security and into the start area.
-The holding area (post-security & pre-corral area) was crowded. It was hard to tell if people were on line for the port-o-potties or standing still just hanging out.
-Once the Wave was opened and we could go to our corrals, that all was fine.

COURSE:
-I found the course relatively flat but I know many other runners talked about it being hilly. Maybe I zoned out on the hills?!?!
-I thought we were going to be running closer to the river and we’d be able to see the water and have beautiful views. That wasn’t the case. So to me the scenery was lacking, especially in the beginning.
-There were 3 blocks of running on cobblestones.
-There were 3 sharp turnaround points on the course, which can slow you down if you are going for a PR.
-There were enough water stations throughout the course. Nuun was the electrolyte drink. I don’t recall there being any gels/bananas/food given out.
-There was a lot of spectators, which was great! And there was music on the course. So the vibe was good.

FINISH / SWAG:
-I didn’t like the shirt (bright green color) this year but the color changes every year. It’s also not the best made shirt material-wise.
-The medal is nice, if a bit busy.
-The finish area was a bit odd. After getting your medal and a bottle of water you are dumped into an open park area (which is just for runners–family & friends are excluded from this area). Heat sheets and food were located on the opposite end the park area.
-I would suggest that the race organizers create signs for the exit that show runners where to go to get out of the park. There were apparently runners from most of the states and several countries & cellphone service was iffy, so pulling up Maps wasn’t necessarily an option.

With some organizational improvements (to the expo, start & finish) and some tweaks to the course, the race could be more enjoyable.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

**FULL DISCLOSURE**--This is a highly biased review! The completion of this race was the completion of a 16-year goal to run a marathon in every state (plus DC), on every … MORE

**FULL DISCLOSURE**–This is a highly biased review! The completion of this race was the completion of a 16-year goal to run a marathon in every state (plus DC), on every continent, and all 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors. I had many family and friends there to celebrate the milestone. So I loved everything about the experience!

BUSES & ATHLETE’S VILLAGE:
*The loading of the buses in Boston Common was very efficient. My comparison is my hometown of NYC and Boston was way more efficient.
*Like NYC, it’s a travel adventure to get to the start. The bus ride was over 45 minutes. Be prepared for that and use that time to fuel your body.
*Athlete’s Village is big but it does get crowded. There are tents to get out of the sun/elements. Men– there are urinal tents & there were never any lines.
*It’s about 3/4 mile walk from Athlete’s Village to the start corrals. You’ll go by one more group of port-o-potties (by the CVS) right before the corrals.

COURSE:
My glasses aren’t so rosy that I can’t admit it is a difficult course. I was lucky to do one training run on the final 17 miles of the course–so I was able to demystify the rolling hills of Newton. They weren’t easy, but it was good to know they weren’t the straight vertical climb I had envisioned.
*The course starts with downhills–which I knew. And I knew not to go out too fast. And, of course, I did go out too fast!
*There are plenty of aid stations. They are on both sides, but that is not immediately obvious with the first one. Once you understand that they are staggered (the runner right water station is first and then a little further later there are water tables on runner left). This is consistent for the entire course. I’m a back of the pack runner and the aid stations were being broken down as I got to mile 23. That can mess with you mentally–so just be prepared. While they are breaking down PART of the station, there is still water and Gatorade to be had.
*The crowds are fantastic–very loud and very supportive.
*It can be tough for family & friends to see runners multiple times on the course, but with some planning its possible. My family took the train to Framingham and saw me at the 10k point and then returned to see me at the finish line.

TRAVEL:
*Hotels are ridiculously expensive that weekend. Book your hotel early. Check out Marathon Tours for hotel options.
*Amtrak is a good option for people in the Northeast Corridor. Many hotels are then within walking distance of one of the 3 Amtrak stations. Logan Airport is a short ride-share/taxi away.
*I don’t think you need to rent a car. Boston traffic, especially Marathon weekend, is particularly slow.

WEEKEND EVENTS – EXPO
*The expo is exciting (a word I definitely overused that weekend) but also underwhelming. It’s “exciting” because it is the Boston Marathon and everything is exciting this weekend!
*You can buy a lot of the official merchandise in advance–which I did. I do suggest bringing the Celebration Jacket to the expo so that you can get a personalized patch for the sleeve. Be prepared to wait 90 minutes+ to go through the line and then wait for the patch.
*The recent marathon expos I have been to have left me underwhelmed. There are a lot less vendors and the ones that are there are quite random. I’m not sure if that is a post pandemic related issue or if sponsors are now strongly dictating exclusivity, thereby blocking more vendors from participating.
*Supplement your expo experience race weekend. Comb social media in the weeks leading up to the race. Many brands did pop-ups on Newbury Street. Other brands did special discounts for runners.

WEEKEND EVENTS – 5k & Shake-out runs
*The 5k is held on Saturday which is nice that it is two days before the marathon. I did the 5k and was happy to do it. It was fun. You get to run through marathon finish line and get pumped for the main event.
*There were many shake-out runs that weekend. Lots of different brands and groups did semi-organized runs. Again, comb social media for the different options.

WEEKEND EVENTS – Other
*There is so much going on Marathon Weekend. Do a little research and pick what is meaningful for you. I had a CharityTeams brunch on Sunday morning. There were other brunches Saturday with good speakers. There was a Sunday blessing of the runners. There is Fan Fest all weekend long. There is something for everyone.

MERCH & MEDAL(S):
*Pre-race there was a lot of negative talk about this year’s medal having a prominent logo of the new sponsor (Bank of America).
*With the creation of the medal and merchandise there is now a focus on sustainability. While good for the environment, I do envy the older Celebration Jackets that have the embroidery and are (seemingly) more substantial. The medal this year included velcro, which I understand was new.
*I received the Abbott World Marathon Majors 6 Star medal this weekend, too. It’s great.

It was such a special event and I loved every moment of race weekend. To be able to share the experience with family and friends was fantastic. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about the weekend. It was a perfect way to complete my full marathon journey.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I booked this trip with Marathon Tours (as I have for most of my international races). They are always reliable, though this trip had a surprisingly light itinerary. Our hotel … MORE

I booked this trip with Marathon Tours (as I have for most of my international races). They are always reliable, though this trip had a surprisingly light itinerary. Our hotel (Mercure Paris Gare de Lyon) was convenient to the start and finish. There was a pre-race dinner the night before and a cocktail reception following the race. Marathon Tours also picked up participant bibs so we didn’t have to go to the expo.

The race swag was nice. I registered for the “unforgettable” package so I received a “flocked” shirt (my name on the back of the shirt), free photos & videos, and (in theory) the race will be sending me a personalized time piece that can be added to my medal. The shirt and medal are nice. And post finish line the race provided a really nice race branded small duffle bag.

Paris is a beautiful city with lots to see and do. Unfortunately runners see very little of that on race day. While the course is mostly flat there is very little scenery. It is a very large race (almost 48,000 in 2024) and it is organized well. Of course, it is always tough being in the last wave (11 AM start) and seeing so many finishers (who started as early as 8 AM) as you are walking to the start!

As you are walking to the start you will see some port-o-potties. Use them! Don’t assume there will be more. There were surprisingly few of them in the start area and on the course.

As I was waiting to start the race, I turned to my friends and asked if we should be concerned that so many people were either holding water bottles or wearing hydration vests. We decided, “No, there have to be aid stations on the course.” We then panicked as we still hadn’t seen an aid station by the 5k. There was finally water near mile 4. That seemed late and it was only on one side (runner left) so it was a little chaotic. The next aid station was after mile 7. Then there was one final one. Be prepared for that.

Bottom line: I was happy to be visiting Paris (for the 1st time) and being with my friends. The race itself, though, will not be one that remember.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

The main thing to know about this race is that it is 3 loops of Brooklyn's Prospect Park. There are hills--which you get to experience 3 times. It is February, … MORE

The main thing to know about this race is that it is 3 loops of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. There are hills–which you get to experience 3 times. It is February, so you also have the weather to deal with. That said, I enjoyed the race. I was also happy to achieve a new PR in the 10-mile distance. The medal was nice but the “swag” was a buff, I would have preferred a shirt. There was a relay option for teams of 3 people–each taking one loop of the park. I will likely run this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

I believe that this year's race (2023) will be unlike previous and future occurrences of this event. So please keep that in mind with my recap below. Japan in general … MORE

I believe that this year’s race (2023) will be unlike previous and future occurrences of this event. So please keep that in mind with my recap below. Japan in general and the race specifically had many protocols in place due to COVID.

Traveling to and within Japan: Additional pre-arrival step required to show proof of vaccination. Masking indoors and outdoors remains nearly universal throughout Tokyo.

Race COVID related protocols (this year):
-Runners had to download a health app and register daily temperature starting 10 days prior to race day
-At the expo the “goody” bag included some flyers, a mask, and 2 COVID tests. [Race shirts were optional and needed to be purchased.]
-The COVID tests needed to be taken prior to race day and recorded in the app
-On race day, runners were SUPPOSED to use hand sanitizer (provided on the course) prior to grabbing anything from the aid station. Compliance looked low to me.
-On race day, runners were SUPPOSED to go to the aid table corresponding to the final number on their bib. Again, compliance looked low to me on this. And, as the race went on, those first tables were all out of liquids so everyone was forced to later tables anyway
-On race day, masks were required in the start area through the crossing of the start line. And masks were required after crossing the finish line.

Expo:
-I traveled with a tour group (Marathon Tours – which I use for most of my international races and would recommend). I believe that international tour groups were recommended to go to the expo the first day (Thursday). I had one of the worst expo experiences of my 125+ marathons/half marathons. There were 21 stations for bib pickup. Stations 1 through 16 had volunteers but no runners waiting. Stations 17 through 21 had volunteers but a ton of runners waiting. My line took 1 hour to get through. From what I heard, over the next couple of days, runners’ expo experiences greatly varied by the time they arrived–some sailed through quickly, some encountered long lines.
-Next I waited 3 hours to get into the official store. After about 2 hours, I thought I was close when the line suddenly went outside. By then I felt I had invested so much time, I couldn’t leave! [But that was my choice.] Even though it was the first day, many of the shirts were already sold out. Oddly, there were no official jackets or race hats this year. That was disappointing. After waiting the 3 hours I did buy a shirt–even though I bought the biggest size, it is aspirational. I hope I can fit into it one day! πŸ˜‚
-It was unclear to me (and others) that there was another whole level of the expo (downstairs). I didn’t spend much time going through that area as I was wiped out by then.

Race day:
-After my experience at the Expo I was scared about race morning. It wasn’t too bad. Yes, there were lines to get into the start gates and then start corrals–runners had to show their health app, get their temperature taken, and go through security–but it was (relatively) efficient.
-Port-o-potties: Be aware that at the start and throughout the race there was a mix of “western” and “Japanese” style toilets. On the course I thought that they did an excellent job to highlighting what style each stop was and how far it was to the next stop.
-I was in the last corral (L), so I was nervous about how long it was going to take to get across the start line. It took exactly 30 minutes from after the gun went off. Because the Tokyo Marathon has 8 strict cutoff points, based on gun time, I had to do what you are not supposed to do–go out too fast and pull back later. I knew this going in and I believe that the race organization is quite clear about these requirements. I know some people in our tour group got pulled, I don’t know how many overall were cutoff.
-I mentioned a bit about the aid stations above, but I will also point out that there were a lot of them, which I appreciated.
-Race course was relatively flat, city streets the whole time.
-Amazing sites to see as you run through the city.
-I had heard that there are normally big crowds–but that wasn’t my experience. I found that there weren’t a lot of spectators this year. [This might be just an off year due to the COVID protocols.]
-The volunteers were great! High spirited.
-After the finish line, runners picked up a bag with water but no food. There was some sort of squeeze thing that was supposed to be food-like, but I didn’t try it.
-International runners (or at least those of us with tour companies) had a bus back to the start, which was a great thing to have.

Other notes:
-I stayed at the Tokyo Hilton, which was great. Nice hotel, at a good location. Very close to the start area.
-The Saturday Friendship Run only had a physical finish line (no start line–because of COVID protocols). There were only a small number of bibs available and was sold out by the time I tried to sign up.
-The food in Tokyo was great!
-The people were all extremely nice.
-Everything (except the expo πŸ˜‚) is extremely efficient. After those 8 cutoff times, things are broken down quickly. By the time the bus get us back to the start, you couldn’t even tell there had been a race there that morning.

Bonus:
Due to no race in 2020 and limited runners in 2021 and 2022, this year had a lot of runners looking to get their Abbott World Major Sixth Star. According to Abbott, “The 2023 Tokyo Marathon set a new Guinness World Records title for the most people to earn a Six Star medal at a single marathon. 3,033 runners earned their Six Star Medal, smashing the previous record set in Tokyo in 2019 of 732.” It was inspiring to see and I congratulate all the Six Star finishers (I have one more star – Boston – to go!).

At the end of the day, I’m super excited that I completed this race. It was not only my 5th World Major Star, it was also my 7th continent. I’m glad I did the race…there’s just that small part of me that would have liked to experience the Tokyo Marathon that past participants experienced. Their experience seemed to have been just a little bit better.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

It was a chilly and windy weekend in Charleston this year (2023). This is traditionally a long holiday weekend for most people and this is a beautiful city to visit … MORE

It was a chilly and windy weekend in Charleston this year (2023). This is traditionally a long holiday weekend for most people and this is a beautiful city to visit for a mid-January break.

With my registration I paid the extra $10 to have my race bib mailed to me in advance. It didn’t arrive until the week prior to the event–which was fine, but I was getting nervous about whether it would arrive or not. I was also nervous because I hadn’t received ANY emails about the race. Nothing since the registration confirmation email, which seemed odd.

This is a race that ends in a different location than the start (more on the return trip in a moment). The start was a short walk from my hotel (Marriott). In my opinion they needed a few more port-o-potties for the size of the crowd. It didn’t look like the start corrals were clearly marked. This is less of an issue for me as I start at the back.

The course was mostly flat. There was an uphill towards the end (of course!) at mile 11. The scenery was a mix of some beautiful parts (as you would hope with Charleston) and industrial & not so beautiful parts. You get that with a lot of races, but I expected more beauty with this race. The aid stations were fine with it being a cold day. If it had been hot they likely would have needed one more aid station and tightened the distance between them. Some parts of the course were tight. The road was open to traffic going in the opposite direction for a good portion of the course (something that I don’t love).

The race day fell apart, however, after crossing the finish line. I had no clue about what to do or where to go. Some runners found heatsheets but I don’t know how! It would have been nice to get one since it was cold. There was a volunteer giving out water but it was unclear where to get the traditional post race food (pretzels, etc). People were going in two different directions and I followed the larger group. Got dumped out in a field and there were lines everywhere. It was unclear what each line was for! Since I had my bib mailed to me, my priority was to get my race shirt. I figured out which line that was and got on that. There was no monitoring of the shirts or free gift (branded drink glass) tables. People were taking multiple. I hope that everyone who was entitled to a shirt and gift were able to get them. There was also a winter hat (that said Charleston Marathon even though there was no marathon this year). After waiting on that line I decided I was uninterested in the other lines. From what I could gather–1 line was for getting food and drink tickets, 1 line was the traditional post race food, and 1 line was to go and get the shrimp & grits and drink. I could be wrong, though!

Once I decided to leave, I jumped on another line for the shuttle bus back to the start. It was a long line with empty school buses nearby. There was an issue with getting the buses out of the area. They had to backup and maneuver around to get free. A runner actually got off one of the buses to try to direct traffic and getting things moving!

Swag: nice medal plus a long sleeve technical t-shirt in light green. There was also the branded drink glass and the winter hat, too. So the swag was nice!

The finish line area could have been great. If they can improve that one component, I would increase my overall rating of the race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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These races (there is a half marathon, which I did, and a 5k) take place in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. This location was home to the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs. … MORE

These races (there is a half marathon, which I did, and a 5k) take place in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. This location was home to the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs.

I realize that my overall rating is higher than the individual breakdowns, which may not make sense!

Course Difficulty & Scenery: The course is 3 loops–so that can get old. But I like running this park and seeing the Unisphere and the New York State Pavilion. The course is almost entirely flat, except for one short bridge that you go over 6 times. The course surface has the occasional bumps and holes, so be on the lookout for uneven surfaces.

Race Production: NYCRuns is a much smaller organization than New York Road Runners (NYRR). It’s great that the city has both. And with putting on smaller races, NYCRuns often goes to different areas of the city (including Governors Island). That said…I felt like they needed more volunteers today. At one point on the course, there were cones and a sign with arrows (“All Race Activities” –>). I saw several runners take this turn. I don’t believe that it was an intentional decision to cut the course–we are runners, we follow cones and arrows! But if these same runners did this for all 3 loops, they likely ran almost a mile less. On one of my loops, there was a volunteer there–so maybe it was only a short period of time that it wasn’t covered. Regardless, they needed a volunteer at this point the entire race. Additionally, the finish area (where they gave out donuts) dumped runners back on the course. So all of the 5k runners and then the fast half marathoners got their donuts and strolled on the course, blocking the path. So volunteers would have been beneficial here, too. And, of course, the runners who just completed the race should also have taken more care.

Ever since NYCRuns started racing again at the end of 2020, they have been mailing bibs to people who register early. No additional cost for this benefit, which is great.

Race swag: NYCRuns has fun themes, so they give it fun medals and shirts. They shirts are long sleeve technical. I very rarely get the shirt–not this is not by my choice. They don’t order enough shirts for all the runners. They are transparent about it: “To reduce waste we try not to over-order, so sizes are not guaranteed.” But it’s frustrating.

Overall, I believe that this is a fun, flat race that is worth doing!

DIFFICULTY
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The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is an Abbott World Major Marathon candidate. I strongly support there being a World Major on the continent of Africa, and I believe (with a … MORE

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is an Abbott World Major Marathon candidate. I strongly support there being a World Major on the continent of Africa, and I believe (with a few tweaks) this race would be a great addition.

I appreciate that marathons can be disruptive to the host city and non-runners. But I wondered if that influenced the organizers keeping the roads partially open to vehicular traffic. I always felt well secure on the course (I wasn’t ever worried that the cars would crash into us), but [SUGGESTION #1] I believe the course should be closed to cars. At certain points along the way, the shared course was just too narrow for the amount of runners. It will be even worse once there is a larger field. I also wondered if that impacted the aid stations. [SUGGESTION #2] Aid stations should be on both sides of the course, not just the runners’ right side. [SUGGESTION #3] And the aid stations should not prioritize Coke and Coke Zero. They were often the first tables and took up the most real estate. Water was usually last, which felt odd.

I had a hard time noticing and understanding the kilometer markers. [SUGGESTIONS #4 & #5] The kilometer markers should be significantly higher and they should clearly note what kilometer it is. Also, I didn’t notice any clocks on the course. [SUGGESTION #6] At the very least, there should be clocks at the locations that had timing mats.

I did the 5k Peace Run the day before the marathon. I somehow missed that it was an untimed event. That was fine, though. The course was slightly short of the 5k length, so that should be adjusted.

The expo was great. I like the selection of merchandise (and the abundance of size choices–that doesn’t happen at all expos!). Runners could get their shirts personalized on site, too. All events received the same shirt (I generally prefer event specific shirts). The medals were nice (even though the 5k was untimed, they still gave a medal).

Race day organization was good. I was in the right corral based on my bib, but most definitely the wrong corral based on my expected finishing time. I believe that this was my fault. If I recall correctly, rather than asking for the expected finishing time as part of the registration process, I believe they asked for expected pace per kilometer. I obviously did a poor job converting my pace per mile to pace to kilometer! I ended up with the 3 hour, 30 minute pace group. Yikes!

One final suggestion for the organizers–consider moving the race to August or September. It got pretty hot on race day (80s).

I traveled with Marathon Tours for this race, which worked well. If you travel solo, there are multiple hotel options not far from the expo and the race start/finish lines.

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Lots of caveats for this review! Starting with the most important - I did not finish. I got pulled at mile 17. This was my first DNF (in 350+ races). … MORE

Lots of caveats for this review! Starting with the most important – I did not finish. I got pulled at mile 17. This was my first DNF (in 350+ races). It was a tough course.

I originally signed up for the Amazing Maasai Marathon (in Kenya) for 2020. The race was cancelled for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Marathon Tours (who I booked through) recommended switching to another race and I picked the Big Five. Marathon Tours handled the booking, but Albatros Adventure Marathons was the onsite partner.

I stayed at Legend Golf & Safari Resort. This location was off the Entabeni Reserve, so we could walk (unescorted) around the property. The resort was clearly just coming back from the challenges faced by many in the travel industry during the pandemic. What this meant for this trip (and what will hopefully be improved in the future): staff was brought on to help with this week only, so many were new and learning the ropes. We could not enter our rooms by the front door, but had to go in through the backdoor (though locks were changed for some while we were there). Heat in the rooms didn’t work well. The “system” of tracking expenses (drinks, extra excursions, etc) wasn’t great, so our bills were all messed up. All this said – they staff were REALLY nice. And our ranger for the week (Noddy) was amazing. He had such love for his job, his country, and nature. He was a joy to be around and we all learned so much.

There was a game drive and bush walk almost every day. You could (and I did) add an additional game drive most days. All meals were included. With the exception of a few juices at breakfast, only tea and coffee were free. Everything else (alcohol, soda, water) was extra. That said, it was all really cheap.

You could use cash or charge at the resort but the expo you needed to pay cash for any merchandise you wanted to buy.

The shirt was white technical and nice. The medal was really cool (Africa & a rhino on it).

The course was brutal. The race website suggests assuming a finishing time 25% slower than your flat marathon time. What makes it tough – altitude (5,600 feet at highest), the course surface (dirt roads, sand, rocks), and the hills! Here is the description from the site:

“The first section is run on dirt road made up of red sand. Runners will pass a few hills (nothing too bad… the worst is yet to come!). And when you reach Hanglip View Point, you backtrack and run back before you reach Yellow Wood Valley. Pay attention to this section as the surface is very uneven with loose rocks, pebbles and holes.

The Yellow Wood Valley is the most dreaded part of the course. You are about to run down the steepest slope of your life! This sharp descent is on a paved surface. The next three kilometers or so will be excruciatingly hard on your quads as you negotiate the steep slope. You reach lion country after the descent. And although the next nine kilometers are flat, you’re running through deep sand. Full marathoners do a 9km loop whereas half marathon runners run a 2km loop.

This brings us back to Yellow Wood. And yes, you guessed correctly. We’re going up the dreaded hill this time. Be prepared to take things slowly as it’s virtually impossible to run up this hill.

The route carries on to Long Drive, a narrow valley, where marathon runners do a 6km loop. Half marathoners run across the valley and reach the final section of the route. This section is run on dirt trails, a welcome respite from the deep sand and loose stone terrain earlier on.”

I got pulled at mile 17 – going up the “dreaded hill.” It was disappointing, but the right call. Despite the DNF, I enjoyed the trip. I will go back to Africa (but not this race!) so that I can complete a marathon on this continent. It was an amazing experience. For the adventure traveler – this is great. I was marathon trained and ready, I just wasn’t ready for this course.

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My overall "4 shoe" rating for this race is due to the purpose behind this event--to pay tribute to 1st responders who lost their lives while carrying out their duties. … MORE

My overall “4 shoe” rating for this race is due to the purpose behind this event–to pay tribute to 1st responders who lost their lives while carrying out their duties. At the start/finish line there are photos and brief details for some of the many men and women who were killed while on duty. Many were from the Boston area, but I noticed 1st responders from across the nation and went back decades. This is what makes this event unique.

I ran this race in 2022 and according to the race leaders, some adjustments had to be made due to construction. I don’t believe it impacted the course (which I believe was similar to past years) but impacted the expo and the start/finish area.

The expo was really just a bib pick up. They offered multiple locations across multiple days in May for people who were local. For out of towners (like me) I went to the pick-up the day before the race. The race shirt was 100% cotton short sleeve (so not one I would wear to run in). They did give away another shirt from the 2019 race (I don’t feel comfortable wearing a shirt from a race I didn’t run, though!).

The course was mainly flat with occasional small hills. The only problematic terrain was going over a few bridges that had grates. Not a huge deal, but something to note.

Lots of hotels to choice from near the start/finish. Boston is a fun city to visit for the weekend, so this is a good race to run–fun place plus a good cause.

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This year's race (was 2022) was the first since pre-COVID. I originally signed up for 2020 and the race was rescheduled multiple times until April 2022. This was my first … MORE

This year’s race (was 2022) was the first since pre-COVID. I originally signed up for 2020 and the race was rescheduled multiple times until April 2022. This was my first visit to Prague. It was a nice city to visit.

Expo was more of a packet pick-up. There was one vendor there with limited merchandise. The packet pick-up was at the Prague Hilton and there was a shuttle bus to the start line from this hotel. This is NOT the hotel my group stayed at, but we walked to/from the expo as well as the start/finish line.

The race course was nice, but I’ll admit that I expected a little more. Parts of the course weren’t that exciting (but I guess that is true for most races). A not insignificant amount of the course was on cobblestones. My feet definitely were sore after the race. That said – there were definitely sections that were amazing. The people were great.

It was not an expensive city – which was great. We did a food and drink walking tour the day after the race, which was a lot of fun. It is a nice vacation!

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This year (2022) race was on March 26th--definitely a bit late in the month to still be celebrating St. Patrick's Day - but I love a good theme! Manchester, NH … MORE

This year (2022) race was on March 26th–definitely a bit late in the month to still be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – but I love a good theme!

Manchester, NH is a nice place to visit. I generally don’t rent a car when I travel for races and this is definitely a race weekend that is easy to do without a car.

I took Uber from the airport right to the Millennium Running store to pick up my bib and race shirt (though you can pick up both race morning – which is great). There are multiple hotels that are close to the start/finish line. When I was in Manchester for the full marathon (November 2019), I stayed at the Hilton. This time I stayed at the Residence Inn. Lots of restaurants and bars in the area to choose from.

The weekend includes two races – the half marathon (or half marathon relay) on Saturday and a “two mile shuffle” on Sunday. I did both – and I would recommend doing both. If you run both races, rather than getting an additional medal, you receive the “golden shamrock” which you connect (with a magnet) to your half marathon medal. That was pretty cool. There is only one shirt–long sleeve and green to go with the theme.

The course keeps you on Elm Street for a good portion of the mileage. You run back and forth across a particular part several times. This part includes a hill–so you run that 3 times (uphill). That wasn’t my favorite. Also, and this was true for the November marathon), the course takes you by the finish line before you actually finish. I always find that particularly cruel!

Weather for the half marathon was great – 40s and cool. It was a bit colder on Sunday for the shuffle.

Good races, well run by the organizers, and a fun place to visit.

DIFFICULTY
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4

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This year (2022) it was rainy and windy--and the wind was worse than the rain. A friend warned me that it was hilly, but I was still shocked about the … MORE

This year (2022) it was rainy and windy–and the wind was worse than the rain. A friend warned me that it was hilly, but I was still shocked about the climb. There was a bagpiper at the top of the hill–apparently, he is there every year to welcome runners to the top of the hill.

There were multiple races happening on Sunday (5k, 8k, 15k, and half marathon). The race organizers did a great job managing the different distances and start times.

There were ample aid stations and port-o-potties on the course. It was also well marked and plenty of volunteers directing runners.

The finish area was fun – food (including oatmeal), beer, and a band.

The shirt was long sleeve and nice. The medal, not surprisingly, was a shamrock and cool.

Participants (plus up to 4 people, I believe) got access to the Adidas Employee Store – where all merchandise was 50% off. It was worth a visit – save room in your suitcase!

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It was a colder weekend than I imagined it was going to be, but that didn't impact my enjoyment of visiting Baton Rouge and running the 5k on Saturday and … MORE

It was a colder weekend than I imagined it was going to be, but that didn’t impact my enjoyment of visiting Baton Rouge and running the 5k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

It was a well run race. It was a nice course with a fantastic post race experience – beer, gumbo, and jambalaya plus music.

Over the weekend, we had beignets and visited a museum near the start/finish area. There are a lot of hotel options near the start/finish and the expo is a walkable distance, too.

Fun weekend – I would recommend this race!

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This review is from 2021 - the race was run in November this year instead of the normal March weekend. The medals, though, still have the March dates on them. … MORE

This review is from 2021 – the race was run in November this year instead of the normal March weekend. The medals, though, still have the March dates on them.

I ran the Little Rock Full Marathon back in 2016. It remains as the LARGEST race medal that I’ve ever received. When it came time to come back to Arkansas to run a half, the choice was easy. I came for the bling!

I stayed at the host hotel (Marriott). The Convention Center (where the expo is located) is attached to the hotel. The finish line area is also in the Convention Center, so this hotel is very convenient.

I did the 5k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday so that I could leave the weekend with 3 medals. The medals are great – even if they are smaller than the full marathon medal.

Every running of this race has a theme. This year’s theme was “Runderland”. The theme is carried through to the swag, the “decorations” (for lack of a better word) at the expo and throughout the weekend, and to the medal, of course. Additionally, many runners get into the theme and dress up.

The half course wasn’t very scenic and there were the occasional hills. Running across Broadway Bridge is a high point of the course (figuratively but not literally).

The finish area had plenty of food and drink options–pasta, bananas, cookies plus chocolate milk, soda, and beer. Food outside of the finish area was a little harder to get. I’m not sure if it is always like this or if it is do to staffing shortages, but lots of restaurants were closed or open limited hours. So there were waits wherever you wanted to go.

It’s a fun a weekend with great race swag. I highly recommend considering this race for those runners looking to knock Arkansas off their full or half marathon state list.

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I originally signed up for the 2020 Run Madtown Half Marathon. When that was cancelled again in 2021, one of the options was to transfer to this race. So this … MORE

I originally signed up for the 2020 Run Madtown Half Marathon. When that was cancelled again in 2021, one of the options was to transfer to this race. So this wasn’t actually the race I intended to run in Wisconsin!

Madison is a fun town and I definitely enjoyed the weekend. The weather (apparently) had just turned colder right before the weekend. There was snow the night before and some flurries during the race.

The expo was on the small side. I have no idea if that was due to COVID or if that was the typical size. It was an easy process. Every race (5k, 10k, half, and full) received the same shirt–which was long sleeve and cotton. I prefer technical running shirts that are unique by race length.

I stayed at a hotel (AC Marriott) that was just blocks from the start/finish area, which was great. Start area was okay. With multiple races starting at different times, it could have used some better signage and announcements. Also, there appeared to be no corral system. There were a few signs about pace per mile, but honor system for lining up in the right order. The finish area had several food options (including vegetarian stew and Mac & cheese – YUM) and cans of beer. Not many people were hanging out due to the weather, but I had the stew and a beer and was quite happy!

The course had some hills. A local runner told me that the full marathon had better scenery than the half marathon, but there were parts that were nice.

Nice finisher medal, too.

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After I ran the NYC Marathon for a second time in 2009 I swore I would never run it again. I'm a 50-stater and I have been focused on conquering … MORE

After I ran the NYC Marathon for a second time in 2009 I swore I would never run it again. I’m a 50-stater and I have been focused on conquering new states. This year, however, I really wanted the medal with a “50” on it (being this is my 50th birthday year). So I signed up. I forgot how special it is to run in your hometown. You get to see friends, co-workers, teammates, and runners you see all the time when training. And the crowds! They seemed extra pumped this year. Perhaps it was to make up for the cancellation of last year’s race (due to COVID), the enthusiasm from the crowd was contagious.

Due to COVID protocols, there were less runners (it ended up being less than 25k finishers). They did 5 waves instead of 4 waves. The final wave (mine) starting at noon. That was the only downside to the day for me, as it meant finishing in the dark. But with less runners, there were no lines at the port-o-potties! Something I never experienced at any race, let alone a NYC race!

Unique to this year: you had a select an expo / bib pick-up time. Not a lot of vendors, but there were some. I imagine (or hope!) that the expo will return to normal size and protocols next year.

Getting to the start: Ferry to Staten Island and then a bus to the start village. I’ve heard this has been mildly stressful other years, but it was super smooth this year.

Swag: Long sleeve technical shirt and the “50” medal.

Course: Not easy! Bridges and climbs. But the crowds! Can’t beat the experience.

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**NOTE THIS REVIEW IS FROM 2021 - RACE DID NOT GO INTO CANADA THIS YEAR.** I have planned to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon as my Michigan marathon ever … MORE

**NOTE THIS REVIEW IS FROM 2021 – RACE DID NOT GO INTO CANADA THIS YEAR.**

I have planned to run the Detroit Free Press Marathon as my Michigan marathon ever since I decided to run all 50 states (back in 2009). One of the reasons was that this race typically runs into Canada. Unfortunately, this year (2021) the course was altered because of COVID. I will definitely return to run the half marathon of this race weekend so that I can get the full “run into Canada” experience.

I remain extremely grateful for the race organizers who are putting together races during this time. Despite the alterations made to the course and the weekend, this was a well run event and I would definitely recommend.

I signed up for the “Supreme” – I ran the 1-miler and 5k races on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday. I came home with three medals, a long sleeve technical shirt, and a zipped up hoodie, so the swag was great!

I stayed at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center. This was sort of in the center of the weekend events (1-miler & 5k were in one direction and the expo and marathon start/finish was in the other).

The course was mostly flat–there were more speed bumps then hills. Of course, that all changed in the last mile. That is where there were two hills! Race directors must love putting hills in at the end.

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**Please note: This review is from 2021. I originally signed up for the May 2020, which was postponed due to COVID. In 2021 this race was run in September, not … MORE

**Please note: This review is from 2021. I originally signed up for the May 2020, which was postponed due to COVID. In 2021 this race was run in September, not May.**

The Fargo Marathon is now easily one of my top 10 favorite US marathons. It is advertised as flat – and it definitely is! Weather was perfect–cool, not too windy. Course was well marked and there was an adequate number of aid stations.

Due to shipping issues, the swag did not arrive in time for the expo. That will be sent to runners post race (so TBD on when I will receive). Thankfully, they did have the medals to give out at the finish line.

It was SO NICE to be able to wait inside at the Fargodome before the race. No waiting outside in the dark and in the elements/cold. Plenty of seats, so no sitting on the ground. Actual bathrooms! And lots of them.

The race starts and ends in the Fargodome, which was fun. Course was flat and there were more spectators than I thought there would be. Volunteers were great. There were shuttle buses for Saturday’s races that picked up runners at multiple Fargo hotels and brought them to the Fargodome. Getting to the expo and/or the Friday night 5k required walking (several miles), renting a car, or using a ride share app. Keep that in mind when booking your hotel.

I did the Friday night 5k. I’m sure that I’ve done other night before short races, but I don’t recall those races starting at 6:30 PM. I’ll admit that I was briefly thrown by that and trying to figure out when to have my pre-marathon race pasta dinner! After the 5k seemed too late. Too close to the start seemed bad, too. So I went with 4 PM and that worked fine.

I highly recommend this race.

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It is really hard to rate this rate. I'm incredibly grateful to all the race directors and organizations trying to put on races during this challenging time. I know that … MORE

It is really hard to rate this rate. I’m incredibly grateful to all the race directors and organizations trying to put on races during this challenging time. I know that no race director or organization wants chaos, but this race, this year, experienced more than its fair share of chaos!

The race moved from original April date to June (without a lot of notice). The start time change several times. The course changed several times (including just a few days before race day). The biggest deal, of course, was the changing of events. I originally signed up to run the 5k Saturday night and the half marathon on Sunday. They moved the 5k to the same time as the half marathon and didn’t offer refunds to runners who were now signed up for two races at the same time. So it became a $60 virtual race (ouch). Luckily, I was always signed up for the half this year as the full got cancelled a few days before race day. I felt bad for those runners.

Course was out and back mostly flat course. Only a couple of points where we had to cross an active road, but there were police and volunteers there to keep the runners safe.

Expo was outside and small. Easy bib up. Race shirt was a long sleeve technical tee. Nice race medal.

I stayed at the race host hotel, which was close to the start/finish. Everything is close to the Amtrak station so this is a very convenient race for travelers.

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I was happy to have a new (to me) hometown half marathon to run. And I'm a sucker for running along the water--especially when the path is flat. The course … MORE

I was happy to have a new (to me) hometown half marathon to run. And I’m a sucker for running along the water–especially when the path is flat.

The course goes along the southern edge of Brooklyn and runs under the Verrazano Bridge. There is a nice view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s an out and back course that is nice and flat.

NYCRuns is still mailing out bibs and shirts this year (2021) which is great. No doubt that will change back soon. The medal was nice. NYCRuns favors race shirts in loud colors that IMHO don’t look great on anyone, but they do standout!

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It was so great to run an actual live race again. I so missed the joy and anxiety and expectations at the starting line. This review, obviously, is for the … MORE

It was so great to run an actual live race again. I so missed the joy and anxiety and expectations at the starting line.

This review, obviously, is for the race as it was held in 2020, during the ongoing COVID crisis. My understanding is that some things (including the course) were different this year. So, some of these points may not be valid for the future running of this race.

I do have to start with how well the organizers and volunteers did managing this race during a pandemic. Race swag did include a branded face mask and all runners were required to wear a mask in the starting area (most runners followed this rule). There were no high fives; water & Gatorade were in bottles instead of cups and you grabbed them yourself as opposed to the volunteer handing to you; volunteers wore masks. These precautions in no way diminished the enjoyment of the race. It felt safe at all times.

There was a 20 minute delay at the start due to lightning. Cause…2020…am I right? Luckily, we were able to run the race as scheduled once it started. I’m not sure I’ve ever rated “course difficulty” a “1 shoe” before because every marathon course feels hard in its own way! But, this course was one of the flattest ones I’ve run (there was one bridge that we had to cross multiple times) and there were no elevation issues. The rain/thunder/lightning kept the morning cooler and overcast, which was great.

I stayed at the host hotel. The bib pick-up (that’s all it was–no expo) was also there. This was a mile and a half from the start/finish. Per normal, I didn’t have a car, so I had to walk this. Felt good pre-race, liked it less post-race.

Swag: As mentioned above, there was a branded face mask. Race shirt was long sleeve tech shirt in purple. Medal was disappointing in that it was rubbery plastic.

For those runners looking to tick Nebraska off their list, I would highly recommend this race.

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This was my 4th time running this particular race. No changes to past years. It was warmer than normal this year (2020), but it was the same course. Swag was … MORE

This was my 4th time running this particular race. No changes to past years. It was warmer than normal this year (2020), but it was the same course. Swag was a long sleeve tech t-shirt. Decent medal at the end. Race starts later than most half marathons (9am). The biggest change this year was moving bib pick up (there is no expo) to Brooklyn. NYCRuns allows for same day pick up, which I (along with a lot of other people) did.

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I participated in the Bermuda Triangle Half Marathon Challenge--3 races in 3 days (1-miler Friday night; 10k Saturday morning; and half marathon Sunday morning). Even though it was a particularly … MORE

I participated in the Bermuda Triangle Half Marathon Challenge–3 races in 3 days (1-miler Friday night; 10k Saturday morning; and half marathon Sunday morning). Even though it was a particularly windy weekend in Bermuda, it was still Bermuda! I very much enjoyed the weekend and would do the Challenge again.

I booked the trip through Marathon Tours–which took care of airport transfers, the bib, the pasta dinner, and the hotel (the start line for the half marathon was right out the front door of the hotel). I would highly recommend going this route for ease of trip planning.

The expo was bigger than I expected (I thought it would just be a bib pick up). Again, the expo (like the pasta dinner and the half marathon start) was in the hotel where I stayed (the Hamilton Princess).

The swag was great. A technical tee (one for the whole weekend, there wasn’t one per race), a jacket for those doing the Challenge. And the medals?!?! I received 4 medals–one for each event and one for completing the challenge. The medals magnetically connected to form one large triangle medal. Awesome.

The race course included some nasty hills. The worse part to me, though, was that for the 10k and the half marathon, the roads were open to traffic. Bermuda roads are quite narrow for cars normally, adding runners into the equation created some unsafe situations in my opinion.

I would highly recommend.

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I've run this race at least 4 times now. It's not the most exciting race--you do almost 3 laps of the upper portion of Central Park. But it is convenient, … MORE

I’ve run this race at least 4 times now. It’s not the most exciting race–you do almost 3 laps of the upper portion of Central Park. But it is convenient, well run, and a good way to get a training run in that ends with getting a medal!

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I'm sure that people PR'ed this weekend, but it is not an easy course. There are a lot of hills! And, it seems you can't go a mile without hitting … MORE

I’m sure that people PR’ed this weekend, but it is not an easy course. There are a lot of hills! And, it seems you can’t go a mile without hitting a boozy aid station (unofficial, of course). You by no means need to take part (I didn’t) but if you really wanted to party your way through a half or full, there were shots and beers along the route.

The race is well organized. Nice shirts (including a jacket) and medals. Food and beer at the finish. If possible, I do recommend doing the 5k on Saturday and then the half (or full) on Sunday.

I attended as a Half Fanatic and we received a unique medal. They also gave out medals for first timers, which is a nice touch.

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It's been awhile since I've run a fall marathon with fall foliage--I'd forgotten how much I enjoy seeing it. This year (2019) was quite chilly, but that only added to … MORE

It’s been awhile since I’ve run a fall marathon with fall foliage–I’d forgotten how much I enjoy seeing it.

This year (2019) was quite chilly, but that only added to the “fall-ness” of the race. I found the course to be hilly–and somehow, it always seemed to be uphill, never downhill. You pass by the finish line multiple times, which is especially cruel when it happens around mile 25.

This is a small race (less than 400 full marathoners), but they really take care of their runners. Special callout to race director John Mortimer. He personally made me feel welcomed and supported during the race. As a back of the pack-er, this is huge! This race also redefines “sweeper” in a way that I just love! Here, the sweeper is someone to avoid or stay in front of. Here, the sweeper stays with whomever is in the last position on the course (so this can change over 26.2 miles). The sweeper doesn’t threaten (“you’ll be taken off the course”), doesn’t say unhelpful things (“run faster”), but instead is there to encourage and to say “you will be allowed to finish no matter how much time it takes. I’m here to make sure you don’t get lost and that you have everything you need.” For several miles I was the last person and I am truly grateful for Esther who kept it real and kept me entertained.

Swag includes a long sleeve technical shirt (okay) and a big medal (nice). The hotel was mere steps from the start and finish line.

For 50-staters or anyone looking for a nice, small, fall New England race, I would definitely recommend this marathon.

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Most reviews of this race start by mentioning the hills. But I must have been completely distracted by the city (and the rain) to notice them as I didn't find … MORE

Most reviews of this race start by mentioning the hills. But I must have been completely distracted by the city (and the rain) to notice them as I didn’t find this course (I did the half) that hilly. I expect some hills over the course of 13.1 miles, and there were certainly a couple, but they didn’t seem that bad to me. So, don’t let the mention of hills discourage you from signing up for this race. It’s a great choice for anyone looking to knock Missouri off your race list OR for anyone looking for an early fall race in a charming area.

I stayed at the host hotel (the Westin). The expo and the start/finish lines were just steps away. I recommend staying there.

The expo was in Union Station, which was (yes, I’ll use the word again) charming. This was a reunion race for Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics, and the 50 State Marathon Clubs, so they had a presence (not sure if they are there every year or not). The amount of expo vendors seemed appropriate for the size of the race event (so neither big nor small). Official merchandise for purchase was print on demand right there –a first for me. While I didn’t love the race shirt (though, happily, it is in black and not some neon color), I did like the exclusive Goodr sunglasses. Additionally, I liked the medal a lot.

The finish area included beer and BBQ, which was great.

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Didn't realize until now that this was my 50th half marathon. This was my 2nd time running this race (see my recap from 2018). I put off for many years … MORE

Didn’t realize until now that this was my 50th half marathon. This was my 2nd time running this race (see my recap from 2018). I put off for many years running this race assuming it would be a hassle. Instead, I found that I enjoy the total experience–getting the start via the ferry, running in a borough I don’t spend a lot of time in, and the course itself.

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Let me begin with the positive: everyone involved with the race is very nice. Each person I encountered was very enthusiastic about the events and looked after all the runners. … MORE

Let me begin with the positive: everyone involved with the race is very nice. Each person I encountered was very enthusiastic about the events and looked after all the runners.

Some of my issues with the race are unique to runners like me (back of the pack) but some of the issues are regardless of whether you are 1st or last.

As a back of the pack runner, I should have hunted down course time limit information (it was not included on the site, and I used the prior year’s results as my guide). When I reached mile 14 I was informed that I would not have any more aid stations available to me (even though at that point, I was maintaining the course time limit pace). Fortunately, the above mentioned race volunteers/staff did ride by often to offer water. As I got to mile 25, the course was being broken down (working backwards from the finish line). So, that meant that I had no idea on the final turns of the course. There was no course map on the website, so I had to guess. I went a little out of my way, “felt” I had gone wrong and double backed and completed the course on the correct route.

Issues that would apply to all runners:
*The website was lacking in complete and accurate information:
–Course time limit (not included)
–Detailed course map (not included)
–Incorrectly states that you must drive to the shuttle buses that take all runners to the starting area (the limited emails received prior to the race stated that people who stay at the host hotel will be able to get a shuttle at the hotel).
*Be aware that it is not all downhill. There are at least 3 uphill sections.
*Seriously lacking in swag. Both the t-shirt and the medal lack both the race name and date. They just say “Run NMX.” The t-shirt is an odd material, too.

This is only the 2nd year for the race. I think they can work on improving, but as it is now, I wouldn’t recommend.

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[Full disclosure: my trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) was planned by Marathon Tours.] You've probably seen the pictures of the "statues" (Moai). You might have a vague idea of … MORE

[Full disclosure: my trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) was planned by Marathon Tours.]

You’ve probably seen the pictures of the “statues” (Moai). You might have a vague idea of where the island is. You know it will take some work to get there–and it does! But that is what really makes this small marathon special. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is incredibly unique and it will definitely be a memorable race.

As part of the Marathon Tours trip, we began the trip in Santiago, Chile for a couple of days. We then flew to Rapa Nui. [Prior to the trip I was warned that air travel is often unreliable–over the course of the trip it was about 50/50 in terms of on-time and delays. So, don’t plan tight connections. ] We had a snafu with our hotel [still unclear why]. There appeared to be limited hotel options and I would personally rate most of them 2 to 3 stars, so be prepared for that. Definitely plan for a couple of days of exploring the island. It is beautiful and the people are nice. There are lots of wild dogs–though they are mostly friendly. There are wild horses and I had a moment mid-marathon that I had to wait for a group of cows to get out of my way!

In theory there is an opening ceremony to the race weekend, though what we attended in 2019 wasn’t as elaborate as it had been in year’s past, so things might have changed. There is a pasta dinner, but our group did not attend that. You can find pasta in most of the restaurants on the island [The food overall was quite good. Spectators in your group should go to Oheho for the best empanadas and a great view of the race finish line.] Swag includes a race shirt, a race jacket, and a great medal. There was a mass race morning that many runners attended. It was in Spanish and Rapa Nui and it was a nice start to the day. This did mean, however, that the race start was 10:15am–which in my opinion is quite late for a marathon. There are multiple races over several days (in order): triathlon, mountain bike, 5k (for kids only), 10k, half marathon, and marathon.

The marathon course is basically 13.1 miles out and then 13.1 miles back. There is a killer hill. Part of the course (not all of it, though) has beautiful scenery. There is very little shade. The aids stops are every 5k, so I carried a water bottle with me (something I don’t normally do). There are very few spectators (beyond the wild dogs and horses and the roving cows). All the running races start the same time/location and with the out and back route, you do see other participants, which is nice. The roads are still open for traffic.

Post race there is an awards ceremony. With less than 100 runners and 3 award winners per gender per age group many people left with a 2nd medal. If it has always been your dream to stand on a winner’s podium, this might be your chance!

As a group of about 50 in a race weekend with around 250 participants, I was shocked by the lack of attention from the race organizers. Something was definitely off this particular year and will hopefully be corrected in future years.

Despite some snafus and the killer hill, I had a blast on Rapa Nui due to the uniqueness of the island and the wonderful people I was with. I would recommend. And, if you go through Marathon Tours, I highly recommend doing the Machu Picchu extension.

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This is a race with purpose. You never forget why the race is held. The starting line is near the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum (which looks beautiful in the … MORE

This is a race with purpose. You never forget why the race is held. The starting line is near the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum (which looks beautiful in the early morning light). Throughout the course, you see banners with the names of all 168 people (including over two dozen children) who died in the OKC bombing. I went to the Memorial and Museum after the race and many runners had left their bibs and/or medals on the Memorial chairs–it was a powerful sight.

This was my first time running this race, but apparently this was a new course. The organizers did an excellent job of highlighting that they made changes this year and they were up front that there might be some hiccups, but they wanted to knock out the kinks this year before next year’s 20th anniversary of the run. The weekend seemed to run smoothly for me, so I’m not sure if there were any hiccups. Talking with some veterans, it seems like there were less spectators this year perhaps because people in the new parts of the course weren’t yet aware of all the runners that would be coming through their neighborhoods.

I found the course to be mostly flat. Yes, there were some hills, but I feel that is to be expected over the course of 26.2 miles! None were crazy big or long, though.

Expo was smooth. Participants receive a nice medal and two shirts (the 2nd after crossing the finish line).

There are several hotels in the vicinity of the start and finish areas, so getting around was easy. In addition to visiting the Memorial and Museum (free for runners, if you show your bib), I’d also recommend visiting the American Banjo Museum.

I would definitely recommend this race for runners looking to cross Oklahoma off their list–and those runners who like to run races with a greater purpose.

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Last time I ran the NYC Half, it was all in Manhattan (started in Central Park, ran through Times Square over to the West Side Highway and finished at the … MORE

Last time I ran the NYC Half, it was all in Manhattan (started in Central Park, ran through Times Square over to the West Side Highway and finished at the tip of the island). New course starts in Brooklyn and ends in Central Park. I mostly liked the new route. No matter how many races I’ve done in Prospect Park, I just don’t find my way to the start there very easily!

I am so grateful for all that NYRR does week in and week out. They put on great local (short) races. This race was a bit rocky from my perspective. The expo is a very small space for the number of runners, so bib pick up was a bit chaotic.

As I stated above, getting the start was a bit challenging for me, and I somewhat know Prospect Park. I can imagine it would be even more confusing for travelers who come to NYC just for the race.

There are some hills, but it’s NYC! There aren’t many races here that don’t involve some hills. There are good sights and lots of energy, so that can distract you from the hills.

Biggest bummer for me was that I didn’t receive a medal at the finish line! When I crossed they were out of medals and Myler blankets. Apparently they (the medals) were just missing. I was able to pick it up later. That was annoying for me, a local. It would be very disappointing for travelers, though NYRR promised to mail them to everyone who didn’t get one, including international runners.

I love my city and I love racing here, so despite the hiccups I experienced this year (and a slower time due to several months of injuries), I would still recommend this race.

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This is my third time running this particular race. It's a decent race to finish out the year. Central Park is hilly (this route has you going up Cat Hill … MORE

This is my third time running this particular race. It’s a decent race to finish out the year. Central Park is hilly (this route has you going up Cat Hill 3x and Harlem Hill 2x). NYCRuns races are smaller in scale than NYRR. The race production has definitely improved over the years (it was not uncommon for NYCRuns races to start late and to be a bit chaotic). Long sleeve white technical shirt and decent medal are the swag. Packet pick-up is only 6 hours long on Friday in a store near Union Square. Other options are to pick up on race day and/or have the bib mailed to you (for a fee. The t-shirt would need to be picked up on race day). There is plenty of water and Gatorade and a decent number of port-o-potties.

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If you enjoy visiting new places for marathon, this race absolutely should be on your bucket list. Queenstown is absolutely beautiful and a fun place to visit. Traveling to New … MORE

If you enjoy visiting new places for marathon, this race absolutely should be on your bucket list. Queenstown is absolutely beautiful and a fun place to visit.

Traveling to New Zealand isn’t easy (or rather, it takes a long time to get there). Don’t let that scare you off. It isn’t that bad. Most likely, you will need to fly into Auckland first. Not a bad idea to spend a day or two there before coming to Queenstown.

Queenstown is an absolutely place with lots of options for active travelers. You can bungee jump off the bridge where bungee jumping was born. There is zip lining, rafting, luge, and gondolas plus wine tours and visits to beautiful locations used in Lord of the Rings, Mission Impossible, and other movies. You should visit Fergburger–well known for their burgers–it is worth the wait.

The expo is small (and a bit disorganized). The medal was better than I expected. Race morning there is a shuttle to the start. The start area (for bag drop, port-o-potties, etc) was surprisingly a bit away from the start line. I wish the race would have started earlier (the marathon goes off at 8:30am, after the 10k and half marathon start). The course is beautiful, but hilly. Don’t let the “flat out beautiful” slogan of the race deceive you! Decent finish area, though they were out of some things (including the beer I wanted!) but the time I finished.

It really was a spectacular running vacation. I enjoyed myself immensely and I would highly recommend this adventure for any runners who love traveling to new places.

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Manhattan and Brooklyn Half Marathons get a lot of attention. Visit one of the other NYC boroughs-Staten Island-to mix things up. The best way to get to and from the … MORE

Manhattan and Brooklyn Half Marathons get a lot of attention. Visit one of the other NYC boroughs-Staten Island-to mix things up. The best way to get to and from the race is the (free) Staten Island Ferry. NYRR knows how to put on a race. Things run smoothly.

The course has some rolling hills, but nothing too awful. You get some nice views of the Bridge, Manhattan, and Governors Island.

Long sleeve technical shirt and a decent medal are the swag.

The Staten Island is one of the races you can do to get guaranteed entry into the NYC Half in March (you have to do 4 borough races).

Bottom line: I used to be wary of the effort to get to this race. It wasn’t that bad and it was an enjoyable day.

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It's hard to write just about the race. This is a week long cruise with multiple events on four different Hawaiian islands. There were two 5ks, an Amazing Race style … MORE

It’s hard to write just about the race. This is a week long cruise with multiple events on four different Hawaiian islands. There were two 5ks, an Amazing Race style event that was a little over a 5k, plus a beautiful hike. On this particular race day, there were three race options–5k, 10k, and half marathon.

It was a hot day, with very little shade along the course. This covered part of the Iron Man course and it was beautiful. It was hilly at parts.

It was a blast running with a group of people that you had spent the week getting to know. The group was on hand for the final finishers and created a human archway for them to run through, cheering them along as if they were the runners to come across first. It was truly a special day.

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The first thing to note is that this race is raced on Pioneer's Day, which is always July 24th. So this year (2018) the race was held on a Tuesday. … MORE

The first thing to note is that this race is raced on Pioneer’s Day, which is always July 24th. So this year (2018) the race was held on a Tuesday.

Pre-race:
-Small expo, but nice volunteers
-Wasn’t easy to find a pasta dinner the night before (I actually skipped pasta for this race).

Race day:
-Early morning meet up for buses to the start (~4am).
-You wait at the start for a bit of time (one hour or more) so be prepared: something to sit on, extra layer (as it is a bit chiller), and if you have something with a light it helps (it was VERY dark and the buses were driving through the crowd in the pitch dark–it’s amazing there were no problems!)
-The course is mostly downhill and beautiful
-Roughly 1 mile is actually on the parade route. People are lined up on both sides of the street for the parade. For the back of the packers (like me) the crowds were a little bored by the time I came by! There were a few floats that went by–literally right next to me.
-Roads are open, but traffic wasn’t heavy so it wasn’t bad.

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First, I should note that this was a tough race for me--but that was because of an injury I was dealing with. So, my finish time doesn't reflect my opinion … MORE

First, I should note that this was a tough race for me–but that was because of an injury I was dealing with. So, my finish time doesn’t reflect my opinion of the race.

This was a three race weekend–a 3 mile (untimed) beer run on Friday night, a 5k race on Saturday, and then the main event (marathon and half marathon) on Sunday. This schedule provided an opportunity for fans of various distances and for families to participate in the events of the weekend. (Baby joggers/strollers were allowed on Friday night and Saturday’s 5k.)

The Missoula area is breathtaking and the area was more “hip” than I had anticipated (big farmer’s market, lots of craft beers, etc). Not easy (or cheap) to get there–took me 2 flights to get there. I’d recommend staying in the downtown area, which is near where the events of the weekend take place.

The expo is outdoors. Race shirts were nice as were the medals. For Sunday’s races, they provided free photos (you could get your picture taken and then they would provide you a printed copy then and there).

It was warm (especially Friday night). I believe they are moving the date up to June next year as they are concerned about forest fires they sometimes have to deal with (luckily none this weekend).

For those runners looking to cross Montana off your list–or those looking for a fun/scenic summer race–I would highly recommend the Missoula Marathon.

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This was a fun race weekend. The race was held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (so that made it convenient for travel--didn't have to use up vacation days!). … MORE

This was a fun race weekend. The race was held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (so that made it convenient for travel–didn’t have to use up vacation days!). The weather can be unpredictable (it’s been cold and rainy and they also had to stop the race for heat a couple of years ago). This year was good weather.

There are some hills on the course, but they are mostly out of the way by mile 15. From there it is mainly flat to downhill. There are plenty of spectators out and–due to the course design (multiple points of up and back)–friends can see you multiple times throughout the race.

The pasta dinner the night before was well attended and fun (though this is the first time I’ve experienced the pasta being in a cream sauce instead of tomato). The medal was a good size. The shirt design was just okay–but it was a good material and navy blue.

There are plenty of hotels near the start/finish. If you do, you can walk/run to the expo (it’s a couple of miles away).

I highly recommend bringing bug spray! I definitely got bit a lot during the race.

Burlington, VT is a fun town. Church Street-closed to car traffic-is filled with stores and restaurants. You can barely walk 10 feet with hitting another craft brewery! The people are very nice and the area is very pretty. It’s a nice weekend away for you and any non-runners you might be traveling with.

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This is a mostly flat course. Right before mile 12 is the only significant hill. Other than that, it was pretty much flat. A decent amount of the course is … MORE

This is a mostly flat course. Right before mile 12 is the only significant hill. Other than that, it was pretty much flat. A decent amount of the course is shaded, which helps on a sunny day.

Part of the race goes through Churchill Downs, which is really cool. I wish we had more of an unobstructed view of the track, but it was still pretty amazing.

Plenty of water and aid stops. Lots of nice volunteers and spectators. Several of the mile markers seemed off (I would swear there were two signs for mile 9 and miles 11 was definitely off).

Small-ish expo. Okay shirt. Great medal.

There was a shuttle that ran to/from the expo, which was great. Lots of hotels to choose from. Limited options (in my opinion) for pasta the night before–so the one place (Old Spaghetti House) was quite crowded! Lots of pubs to enjoy a post race beer (or bourbon).

For 50 staters, I would highly recommend this race for Kentucky.

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This is a small NYC half marathon (~1,000 runners in 2018). Central Park has rolling hills, and for this race, you go over most of those hills 3 times. There … MORE

This is a small NYC half marathon (~1,000 runners in 2018). Central Park has rolling hills, and for this race, you go over most of those hills 3 times.

There isn’t an expo, but a bib pick up at a sporting store (just one day-five hours) or you can pick up race morning.

The race starts later than most half marathons so–9am. NYCRuns has gotten much better about starting on time (I think they were actually early this year).

Blue long sleeve running shirt and a nice medal for swag.

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I was signed up to run the 2017 race, which was cancelled due to the weather. It was a good (though I'm sure tough) decision made by the Race Director--the … MORE

I was signed up to run the 2017 race, which was cancelled due to the weather. It was a good (though I’m sure tough) decision made by the Race Director–the roads were incredibly icy and unsafe to run. The team did a good job of providing options to those of us signed up for 2017.

A new sponsor–Continental–took over this year. I’m glad that the organizers were able to carry on the race. Even though I didn’t get to run last year, I was able to see the finisher jacket and HUGE medal, so I was disappointed this year with the basic white race shirt (long sleeve, though) and a tiny medal.

EXPO: Located in the host hotel, which is convenient if you are staying there. They had live music, which was a bit much for such a small space (hard to hear anyone!).

RACES: There are multiple races that all start at the same time: Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, Quarter Note, and 5k. The course starts to thin out as each of the shorter distance groups peeled off [some of the distances seemed off–especially the 5k which was definitely closer to 3.5 or more]. The course was narrow at many points, made even more narrow by the rain which caused large puddles everywhere. The Jackson, MS roads have lots of potholes, which filled up with the rain water. The course wasn’t closed to traffic. At parts, there really wasn’t an obvious path for the runners, we just had to hope that the cars would slow and go around us.

I didn’t have a car, but it would have helped to have one. There aren’t a lot of restaurant options for pre-race pasta near the hotels.

I realize the review above slants negative, which is not the intention! Anyone looking to run the 50 states, I would still recommend this race for Mississippi.

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If you live and run in NYC, you are quite used to races in Central Park--rolling hills, multiple loops, some scenery and some spectators. NYRR knows how to put on … MORE

If you live and run in NYC, you are quite used to races in Central Park–rolling hills, multiple loops, some scenery and some spectators. NYRR knows how to put on a race, so it is quite organized. Because the course involves two 5 mile loops and one ~3 mile loop, there is some bunching up of runners (faster runners looping the slower runners). That can be frustrating for all, but it didn’t seem as bad this year as it was last year.

Rather than a race shirt, we got a winter hat this year. Similar medal as last year.

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My birthday fell on the MLK 3 day weekend this year, and I wanted to go somewhere to run a race. I ran the Rock N Roll Marathon back in … MORE

My birthday fell on the MLK 3 day weekend this year, and I wanted to go somewhere to run a race. I ran the Rock N Roll Marathon back in 2011 and I liked leaving the NY winter to enjoy the Arizona weather, so I went back for the half marathon. I actually did 3 races this weekend–the 1-miler on Friday night, the 5k on Saturday, and the half on Sunday. It was a great weekend. The courses are almost entirely flat. The weather was perfect.

The expo was smaller than I remembered. I feel like RnR have gone astray with the shirt designs (I think they used to be MUCH better). The medals were fine–not the best RnR, but fine.

I stayed in Tempe which worked out really well–I could walk to the start/finish lines for all 3 races.

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Mother Nature added to the scenery for this year's race. Snowfall the day before the race added some beauty and holiday magic to the day. It was cold. And Central … MORE

Mother Nature added to the scenery for this year’s race. Snowfall the day before the race added some beauty and holiday magic to the day. It was cold. And Central Park is hilly. But it was a good day.

NYCRuns has been getting more organized–which is nice to see. They almost started EARLY this year (I feel like the often start late). The medal matched the name–it was a big apple.

The shirt was a long sleeve technical shirt in blue–which I like.

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This is a flat course. Even though the race starts in the afternoon, it is pretty much dark within the first couple of miles. It is cool to run the … MORE

This is a flat course. Even though the race starts in the afternoon, it is pretty much dark within the first couple of miles. It is cool to run the Strip–and you get a chance to see a brief glimpse of the old Vegas–but there are parts that are boring. Not a lot of music on the course (considering it is Rock N Roll).

It was a bit of a mess getting to the start. I’m willing to give it a bit of a pass as they had to change things (including the course) because of the horrible shooting a few weeks ago. It was moving to see all of the “Vegas Strong” signs during my weekend in Vegas.

There is a 5k the night before, which I would recommend (even though it wasn’t scenic at all).

The medals were fun and Las Vegas themed. The shirts weren’t great (though I’ve felt that about most of the Rock N Roll shirts this year).

This was my 10th Rock N Roll event of 2017, so I received the big Gold Record medal at the end, which was cool.

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I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll full marathon (in 2010), and went back this year (2017) to run the half marathon. This year I also ran the 5k and … MORE

I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll full marathon (in 2010), and went back this year (2017) to run the half marathon. This year I also ran the 5k and 1-miler the next day (with my Mom). So lots of medals this weekend!

Rock N Roll knows how to do this. It is organized. The expo is medium size (no doubt many vendors go to the larger NYC Marathon, happening the same weekend). And they got decent swag – medals and shirts.

The course is mostly flat. I found the 5k course to be more scenic than the half marathon. Not a lot of spectators, but those that are out are enthusiastic and fun.

It was warm, but not too humid.

Savannah is a nice city to visit and it is an enjoyable weekend.

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The problems of the 1st year (2015) are long gone. This race now runs as smoothly as a typical Rock N Roll race. The expo is in Manhattan. Getting to/from … MORE

The problems of the 1st year (2015) are long gone. This race now runs as smoothly as a typical Rock N Roll race.

The expo is in Manhattan. Getting to/from the race (in Brooklyn) can be challenging (with subway changes, etc.). This is one of the few Rock N Roll weekends that is a single day–you can do either the half marathon or the 5-miler (both start at the same time). Rock N Roll gives a decent shirt and a fun medal. Finish line area is in Prospect Park–beer garden, finisher concert, hang out on the lawn.

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The big stress for 2017 was whether or not the even would even happen! The organizers kept saying, "Don't worry, it will be fine" while the city was saying, "You … MORE

The big stress for 2017 was whether or not the even would even happen! The organizers kept saying, “Don’t worry, it will be fine” while the city was saying, “You don’t have the permits.” It was only a few weeks before race day that everything was officially locked down.

I had never been to Portland, and I very much enjoyed the trip. Race day was perfect–cooler, overcast, occasional light mist–and the course is mostly flat (except for a crazy hill at mile 9). Despite all of that, I didn’t have a great race day. Might have been too soon (2 weeks) from last marathon.

I had heard it was a very scenic race, but I didn’t find it to be so. It’s possible that the course changes this year removed some of the scenic parts.

Expo is at the host hotel. On the smaller side.
The start and finish areas were well organized.
The race shirt is given after you complete the race. I didn’t like this year’s shirt, but I saw other years’ shirts and they were nicer.
In addition to the shirt and the medal, each finisher is given a coin and a small pendent. And, they give out seedlings, too.

Everyone involved with the race that I encountered was nice.

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The Berlin Marathon is known for being flat - and it is. This was my 4th of the 6 World Majors. I went through Marathon Tours for this trip and … MORE

The Berlin Marathon is known for being flat – and it is. This was my 4th of the 6 World Majors. I went through Marathon Tours for this trip and I was very happy with that/them.

The weekend starts with a 6k Breakfast Run on Saturday that was quite fun. It was great to see all the runners wearing their “country flair” and it was a blast to end in the Olympic Stadium. This is a non-timed event and once you get to the stadium everyone is walking. I highly recommend taking part in this fun, low-stress event.

The main event is on Sunday. For those 4:15+, the start time is 10am. I feel like they could have used one additional wave (4:15 and over is quite a mix of paces). While waiting for the start, there were several runners smoking, which was a new experience for me!

The course was flat, but crowded. I’m a back of the pack runner and it wasn’t too bad by me, but I can’t imagine being a 4:30-ish runner. They must have been squished. The course wasn’t as scenic as I had hoped. Nor did it have as many spectators as I was expecting.

The expo was a zoo! We went on Friday and wished we had gone the day before. I pre-ordered the jacket and shirt (which is NOT included in the race fee), which I was glad that I did.

I definitely enjoyed my time in Berlin. I don’t think this will be at the top of my list of my marathons (even my World Major races), but I would still recommend.

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This is my 2nd Rock N Roll Philadelphia race (and I've run the Philadelphia marathon once) and Philly is one of my favorite running towns. It is mostly flat. You … MORE

This is my 2nd Rock N Roll Philadelphia race (and I’ve run the Philadelphia marathon once) and Philly is one of my favorite running towns. It is mostly flat. You run near/through parks and the river.

RnR Philly has multiple events over the course of the weekend. 5k and 10k on Saturday and then the half marathon on Sunday. If you run one of the Saturday races plus the Sunday race you get an extra medal (the “Remix Challenge” medal).

RnR generally has good swag – nice shirts and medals. While I wouldn’t say these were the best RnR medals, they were nice.

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This race takes place Labor Day weekend - it is a great way to say celebrate the unofficial end of summer. This is one of the flatest courses I've run … MORE

This race takes place Labor Day weekend – it is a great way to say celebrate the unofficial end of summer.

This is one of the flatest courses I’ve run (only a bit of a hill-twice-at the bridge). You get to run on the boardwalk by the ocean, which I really enjoyed.

Rock N Roll knows how to suck you in with the promise of medals. If you run San Diego (I didn’t) and this race you get an extra medal. There are 3 races over the weekend, so there is the potential of 4 medals and a pin. I did all 3 races and would recommend doing so.

The 1st up, on Saturday, is the 5k. That is followed by the “Mile on the Sand”. They recommend NOT wearing shoes because it is soft sand [I wore shoes and walked the mile]. Sunday is the Half Marathon.

You get a shirt for each race. I didn’t think they were great designs this year, but I’ve seen other years and think this was just an “off” year.

After the races, the Finisher Zone is on the beach. I enjoyed my post race beer sitting on the sand and listening to the music.

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What is similar to other Rock N Roll races: -Multiple weekend events. I did the 5k on Saturday and the half on Sunday. The entire 5k was in a park, … MORE

What is similar to other Rock N Roll races:
-Multiple weekend events. I did the 5k on Saturday and the half on Sunday. The entire 5k was in a park, the half had different locations for the start and the finish.
-If you compete in two races, you get a “Remix” medal.
-If you’ve competed in an US race + this race, you get a “World Rocker” medal.
-All the medals were nice.
-The race shirts were great.
-Rock N Roll is a good organizer, so things are mostly smooth.

What is different than other Rock N Roll races:
-The Expo is non-existent. It is really just a bib pick-up.
-There is limited water. No water on the course for the 5k. For the half, they gave out bottles of water a few times during the race.
-It was a bit of a pain in the butt to get to the start/finish.
-This race (like other European races I’ve done) have urinal tents in addition to the regular port-o-potties – I wish US races would add this!! It speeds things up.
-I didn’t think that there were many bands along the course, but that didn’t bother me.
-Of all the races I’ve done, this is the only one that did non-alcoholic beer at the beer tent (no alcohol was available at all). That shocked me. For Ireland?

It’s great race weekend and a nice place to visit. I would definitely recommend.

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There aren't too many summer races (for good reasons), but this is one you should check out. I like races in Chicago - the area is relatively flat and the … MORE

There aren’t too many summer races (for good reasons), but this is one you should check out. I like races in Chicago – the area is relatively flat and the people are great. The weather is always a crap shoot. I found this year (2017) to be pleasant enough for a July race, but days before (and the days ahead) were going to be close to 90, which would have been brutal.

Rock N Roll, in my opinion, excels at the half marathon (they aren’t so great with the fulls). There is a decent size expo, nice shirts and medals. I do think, however, that they are under-delivering on their whole promise of course entertainment. I’m noticing less and less bands along the route. Doesn’t bother me so much, but I have noticed a change.

I did the 5k on Saturday and then the half on Sunday in order to get the “Remix Challenge” extra medal.

It’s never as cheap to fly to Chicago as you think (since when you DON’T want to go to Chicago, you get a layover there, but when you actually WANT to go there, the flights are expensive). There are plenty of hotel options – don’t be limited to just the hotels RnR recommends. Plenty of things to do while you are there, great places to eat. It’s an enjoyable weekend.

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I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon in 2009 and liked that course better (more scenic). If I remember correctly, in 2009 you HAD to take the shuttle … MORE

I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon in 2009 and liked that course better (more scenic). If I remember correctly, in 2009 you HAD to take the shuttle to the start. Transportation to the start in 2017 was a bit more chaotic. I took Uber, which was fine, but I would recommend either allowing more time than you think for driving or ride-sharing to the start or take the shuttle. Traffic was sort of bad. This created a scenario where the back corrals were packed because some of the faster runners arrived late and had to start with those of us that are a bit slower. That, in turn, causes some tension when things are crowded the first several miles.

This race had a blue mile mid-way through the half–which I always fine quite moving.

The expo was a decent size. I liked the medal and shirt.

The day before there was a 5k (I think it was the 1st time they had a 5k) and I would recommend it.

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The people involved with this race couldn't have been nicer. They really look out for the runners. There is a nice pasta dinner (same location as the bib pick-up) the … MORE

The people involved with this race couldn’t have been nicer. They really look out for the runners. There is a nice pasta dinner (same location as the bib pick-up) the night before the race. There is an after party in the afternoon / early evening after the race is over. The finish line had plenty of food, water, and beer regardless of when you finished (which, as a back of the packer, I greatly appreciated – as that is not always the case).

That said – this was probably my least favorite marathon of the 43 that I’ve found so far. The reasons were outside the race coordinators control – the combination of high altitude and high temperatures completely did me in and I was pretty miserable the back half of the race. It was my worst finishing time that didn’t involved slippery ice (Antarctica) or photos with characters (Disney).

I recommend staying at the host hotel. It wasn’t great, but everything is there (expo, pasta dinner, shuttle to start, finish line, and after party). I didn’t find too much to do in Casper, but the people I encountered were all nice.

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The Palisades cliffs make for beautiful scenery - and quite a bit of climbing. This race is in Fort Lee, NJ - just over the George Washington Bridge from NYC. … MORE

The Palisades cliffs make for beautiful scenery – and quite a bit of climbing. This race is in Fort Lee, NJ – just over the George Washington Bridge from NYC. Small race (less than 300 runners) with a nice community feel. Despite the challenge of the uphills, I really enjoyed this race. The course is out and back and run on both paths and trails. A decent number of water stations, not a lot of port-o-potties, though. Nice shirt and medal.

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