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@drmoll2011

Ironton, MO Raving since 2021 Active 6 days, 6 hours ago

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My Races

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

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Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Idaho Falls, ID Aug 28, 2021 6:18:00
Half Marathon St. Charles, MO Oct 2, 2022 2:40:32

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon St. Charles, MO Oct 2, 2022 2:40:32
Half Marathon Ashton, ID Jul 16, 2022 2:44:00
Marathon Idaho Falls, ID Aug 28, 2021 6:18:00

My Raves

This is one of my favorite halves because it’s not super difficult and the course support typically is fantastic. It’s an interesting route with lots of twists and turns, and … MORE

This is one of my favorite halves because it’s not super difficult and the course support typically is fantastic. It’s an interesting route with lots of twists and turns, and the section that goes through Newtown is always fun! This year there were enthusiastic spectators, the usual wonderful DJ, and just the beauty of the little community. You don’t spend miles and miles on any one stretch (the longest section without turns is the only significant hill at mile 10) and the scenery changes from quaint Frenchtown to cornfields to Newtown and back again. I never stay for after parties, so I can’t speak to the entertainment. Like most post-race parties, there was nothing gluten-free except fruit, and though I enjoy chocolate milk, it would’ve been better cold. But the medals are always fun and extra bling-y, so this race is usually on my calendar. Enjoy!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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First things first: this race had a change in race director this year, so some slack needs to be cut for that. Hopefully they will ask for/respond to feedback and … MORE

First things first: this race had a change in race director this year, so some slack needs to be cut for that. Hopefully they will ask for/respond to feedback and things will be better in the future.

I ran the full marathon last year and ADORED it. I was 100% ready to run it again this year, with lessons learned from 2021 and my free entry thanks to RaceRaves. 🙂

However, when I went to register, I found disappointment #1: The race date had changed, from the 4th Saturday in August to mid-July. The race personnel offered reasons for the change – to give the local track team a chance to participate, to avoid the grain harvest and thus trucks having to swerve to miss runners – but it was still a blow. Late August weather can be anything – last year the high was 66 – but here you’re kind of guaranteed hot weather mid-July. They did move the race times up an hour (the full started at 5:30 instead of 6:30). But I thought, okay, I’ll just suck it up and train for much hotter weather than last year.

Then, a few weeks before the race, I went to the website to review the course and found disappointment #2: the first 9 miles of the course had changed, from the lovely (to me) Forest Service road I ran on last year to 9 straight miles on highway 47. I know some people didn’t like the uneven nature of the Forest Service road, but this changed a race that was about half on unpaved roads or trail to 22 miles of road and 4 miles of trail. I drove the new start of the course and didn’t see it as scenic at all – it was just mile after mile of highway with the occasional patch of wildflowers on either side. This was the tipping point for me, and I decided to change to the half, which would start on the beautiful dirt trail before heading to the infamous hill.

Prior to the race, the only communication I received via email was an email about where to find my results. There was no email from the race personnel regarding details – I had to go to the website, and some of the information there had been outdated, so I was just hoping it was correct (turned out some of it was not).

On race day, the first buses for the half were due to leave at 5:30. After sitting on a bus for about 20 minutes, I asked the driver when we were going to leave. I and my fellow runners were startled when he said, “In about 25 minutes” (at 6:30 for a 7:00 start). Other runners also protested, saying the first bus was supposed to leave at 5:30 and the last one at 6:30, and they wanted to be there earlier to use the portapotties, warm up, etc. Fortunately, the driver listened to our plea and took us to the start.

The other not so pleasant surprise was that the bathroom on the bus was, as the driver said, “Non-functional.” And finally, when I tried to verify that I could leave my gear bag on the bus (which is what the website said), the driver at first said, no, he wasn’t going back. When I said I couldn’t run with it, he kindly agreed to take it to the finish line. After I disembarked, I saw a pickup truck with other gear bags in the back, and asked the race personnel on site about the confusion. He very kindly said he would text the driver and make sure my bag got taken to the finish line (and it was there, thank goodness).

The first 4 miles of the half course are the most perfect (in my opinion) – running on a gorgeous dirt trail next to the river. Heaven. As most who know this race know, this trail emerges into a campground, then wanders for a bit before going up a quite steep hill. Thank goodness I hit this portion relatively early (for me) and it was still in the shade.

Be aware that the last 6 miles of this course are on wide open country roads with extremely rare shade. There are some lovely views of the Tetons, and the course support is good. I appreciated not having to run for 2 miles on the very busy highway 47, as this year the course kept us on country roads other than a VERY brief stint on 47 near the high school. The finish line offerings were very nice, including melons in addition to the ubiquitous bananas. And, as always, I loved my medal.

In the week leading up and the day of the race, I was more and more grateful that I had elected to run the half (did I mention the high that day was 91 with nary a cloud in the sky?). A part of me wished I had gone ahead and done the full, but when I felt how warm it was by 10:00, I couldn’t imagine being out there for another 2 hours (and I would have been, given my typical pace).

All in all, I have gone from “I am so looking forward to running this again!” to “I’m honestly not sure I want to run either again.” However, I wish the new race directors all the best, and hope they will review what they know went awry and what runners tell them, and restore this race to its former glory.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

4 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Loved the early start (edited: by early start, I mean the regular start time of 6:30. They offer a 5:00 am start but that was TOO early for me, lol) … MORE

Loved the early start (edited: by early start, I mean the regular start time of 6:30. They offer a 5:00 am start but that was TOO early for me, lol) and the luxury bus ride to the start (with bathrooms, no less!). The start itself was quick and efficient, the course was CLEARLY marked with plenty of people to send you in the right direction. The scenery was positively gorgeous and we could not have had nicer weather…even the smoke cleared away for the day. As a slow marathoner (evidence above), I was particularly grateful that each and every aide station remained open and stocked – I have run marathons before where I was well ahead of the time cap but the end aid stations were abandoned. And the community was amazing – they cheered me on, offered to spray me (it was a warm late morning) and in general were just supportive as could be.

The first 9.6 miles of the course are not too bad, running on a nice gravel/dirt road with plenty of trees and cows for company. I was grateful that the photographer stayed at the first turnoff for us back of the packers – so often photographers only bother with the faster folks. The downhills! Wow!! I did not get to stop and look at Mesa Falls, but I’ll go back later when I’m not trying to meet my own time deadline.

The dirt trail portion also was great. It was nice to run on a soft surface and to see the river snaking along to my left. It was a little spooky at times since I was all alone and had heard reports of bears in the area, but it was still great.

THE HILL is as advertised. It was a brutal, brutal climb and it came when I bonked, so I confess I walked the whole thing. My biggest concern was the traffic, so I’ll have to consult with others for the next time I run it about which side of the road to run on. I ended up on the shoulder pretty much the whole time.

The last 6 miles were familiar to me as I had run on them as a training run. They are in the wide open and the sun, and I underestimated what I would need for electrolytes, so I hit the wall hard and did a lot of walking. But when I hit those last 2 miles into town, I was able to finally get back on a sidewalk and pick up my pace. Again, the community could not have been more supportive, with smiles, waves, and honks from passing cars/trucks.

Crossing the finish line was a moment of great emotion and happiness, and the huckleberry milkshake was also as advertised – DELICIOUS!!! I loved the medal and appreciated being able to leave my bag on the bus and pick it up afterward.

My only quibbles were the lack of response to questions on the event Facebook page (I had to call the race director to get information) and no portapotties at the start line. But I am already planning what I will do differently next year!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?