My Profile

@Evwatkins

Meridian, MS Raving since 2017 50 states aspirant/finisher, Marathon Maniac, Half Fanatic, Ironman active 20 hours, 55 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Bonita Running Club

  • Rave race:

    Mount Desert Island Marathon & Grand Island Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Crater Lake Marathon

  • I run because:

My races

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

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50 Miler Ovett, MS 2013 11:37:13
Marathon Fargo, ND May 20, 2017 3:54:06
Half Marathon Talladega, AL 2012 1:52:32

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Hurricane, UT Mar 10, 2018

Past Races (71)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Lake Village, AR Feb 10, 2018 4:59:28
Marathon Jekyll Island, GA Jan 14, 2018 4:52:42
Marathon Northfield, MN Jan 7, 2018 4:18:00
Marathon Pass Christian, MS Dec 10, 2017 4:37:00
Marathon Panama City Beach, FL Dec 2, 2017 4:54:45
Marathon Bar Harbor, ME Oct 15, 2017 4:34:44
Marathon Newport, RI Oct 8, 2017 4:39:23
Sprint Columbus, MS Aug 19, 2017
Marathon Rachel, NV Aug 6, 2017 5:18:58
Marathon Waitsfield, VT Jul 9, 2017
Marathon Allenstown, NH Jul 8, 2017
Marathon Deadwood, SD Jun 4, 2017 4:51:05
Marathon Fargo, ND May 20, 2017 3:54:06
Marathon Lincoln, NE May 7, 2017 4:10:06
Half Marathon Hattiesburg, MS Apr 1, 2017 1:56:28
Marathon White Sands, NM Mar 19, 2017 7:11:59
Marathon Hyannis, MA Feb 26, 2017
Marathon Sedona, AZ Feb 4, 2017
Marathon Honolulu, HI Dec 11, 2016
Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Oct 23, 2016 5:12:46
Marathon Dover, DE Oct 22, 2016 4:58:57
Marathon Boise, ID Oct 9, 2016
Marathon Cumberland, MD Sep 25, 2016
Marathon Palmer Lake, CO Sep 5, 2016
Marathon Jackson Hole, WY Sep 3, 2016
Marathon Munising, MI Jul 23, 2016 5:10:51
Marathon Philadelphia, PA Jun 4, 2016 5:05:22
Marathon Nisswa, MN Apr 30, 2016 4:07:55
Half Marathon Mobile, AL Jan 10, 2016
Marathon Jackson, MS Jan 9, 2016
Sprint Columbus, MS 2016
Half Ironman Chattanooga, TN 2016 6:55:54
Half Marathon Meridian, MS Nov 21, 2015 2:06:31
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 25, 2015 5:42:37
Marathon Beckley, WV Sep 19, 2015 4:29:35
Marathon Marion, IA Jun 14, 2015 4:59:24
Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 3, 2015 6:41:10
Marathon Todd, NC May 2, 2015 5:14:01
Marathon Oklahoma City, OK Apr 26, 2015 5:34:35
Marathon St Louis, MO Apr 12, 2015 5:24:20
Marathon Abilene, KS Apr 11, 2015 5:25:46
Marathon Columbia, SC Mar 7, 2015 5:14:50
Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 1, 2015 5:09:51
Marathon Blaine, WA Feb 15, 2015 4:23:16
Sprint Columbus, MS 2015
Marathon Pensacola, FL Nov 9, 2014 4:43:16
Marathon Bowling Green, KY Nov 2, 2014 4:04:50
Sprint Columbus, MS Aug 16, 2014
Marathon Mobile, AL Jan 12, 2014
Marathon Baton Rouge, LA 2014 6:13:35
Sprint Columbus, MS Aug 17, 2013
50 Miler Ovett, MS 2013 11:37:13
Half Marathon Hattiesburg, MS 2013
Half Marathon Arcola, MS 2013
Marathon Atlanta, GA 2013 4:50:13
Sprint Columbus, MS 2012
Half Marathon Arcola, MS 2012
Marathon New Orleans, LA 2012
Half Marathon Talladega, AL 2012 1:52:32
Half Marathon Jackson, MS 2012
Half Marathon Baton Rouge, LA 2011 2:01:43
Half Marathon Tupelo, MS 2011
10K Charleston, SC 2011
Marathon Staten Island, NY 2010
10K Vicksburg, MS 2010
Half Marathon Tupelo, MS 2010
5K Ridgeland, MS 2010
Marathon Memphis, TN 2009
10K Charleston, SC 2009
10K Charleston, SC 2008
10K Charleston, SC 2007

My Raves

Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon

Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon

I ran as a pacer. This is a low key, very well organized event. In 2018, it rained the entire race - so the scenery wasn't visible. The course follows … MORE

I ran as a pacer. This is a low key, very well organized event. In 2018, it rained the entire race – so the scenery wasn’t visible. The course follows Lake Chicot in Arkansas and the crosses the MS river into Greenville. Very flat except for the bridge. The rain cancelled the bands and outside finish line activities. Typically there is music and more food options in the park area near the finish.
Nice medal and 1/4 zip shirt.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K

Jekyll Island Marathon & 10K

Ran as a pacer for the inaugural race. I think they organizers don't want the race to be huge so they only offered a full & 10K. A half would … MORE

Ran as a pacer for the inaugural race. I think they organizers don’t want the race to be huge so they only offered a full & 10K. A half would be ideal. The course was nice – basically an out & back plus some. Ran along the road and then bike/walking path as well. Lots of sections of wiggling between trees. Pretty but a bit dizzying. (I’m not a big beach person so that’s the reason for the 4 for scenery.)
Nice Medal. Very well organized for an inaugural event. The pre race pasta dinner was Friday night (race was Sunday). Not sure how many people participated in that.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon

Zoom! Yah! Yah! Indoor Marathon

This race was on my bucket list for a few years. A local marathon was always the same weekend until this year so I took advantage. The GOOD: Dick Daymont … MORE

This race was on my bucket list for a few years. A local marathon was always the same weekend until this year so I took advantage.
The GOOD: Dick Daymont does a great job with this race! The pre-race dinner is great! Lots of options (you are given a meal ticket to eat in the school’s cafeteria). The lap counters (XC team at St. Olaf’s) are enthusiastic. Every lap you are encouraged. Having tables at each corner of the track is great. You can stash your stuff in one corner or have it spread out. Your personal lap counter is attentive and will help you in whatever way you want. I gave her my phone and the passcode and she recorded videos/pictures and posted them for me as well.
THE (kinda) BAD: It’s freaking COLD in Minnesota in January!!! 3 degrees the day before the race. I was worried about flight delays getting there. I was delayed getting home but I didn’t so much care.
WHAT I LEARNED: I ran a few training runs on the local track to prepare for the race. Be prepared for some sore IT, knees, hips with those turns. (you change direction every 30 minutes-this helps but I was pretty sore after…)
OVERALL – I will definitely do this one again! A fun, personalized experience.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

This would have been my 55th marathon had the course been laid out correctly. Unfortunately, the turnaround point on the interstate (which wasn't smart to begin with) was in the … MORE

This would have been my 55th marathon had the course been laid out correctly. Unfortunately, the turnaround point on the interstate (which wasn’t smart to begin with) was in the wrong place, causing the marathon (only) course to be .3 short. The RD later apologized and has offered discounts/incentives to make up for it.
This is the race’s 2nd year. The course is a straight point to point along the beach highway. You can basically see the Beau Rivage Casino/Hotel (near the finish) the entire race. Unless you live in a land locked state and rarely see a beach, then it isn’t that impressive. (Full disclosure-I’m not really a beach person either.) The course was changed to include a short out and back that ran along the interstate on ramp and up the interstate to a turnaround and then back down the off ramp then left to the park to finish. This section was AWFUL! The on-ramp is a very sharp curve. There were also bridge connector grates all along that section that were separated enough for someone to break an ankle/leg in. Two were so spread out that we had to literally jump over them. A small person could have easily slid right through!
There were plenty of water stops, police and volunteers. My favorite part was the section where we ran through the downtown/historic streets in Pass Christian – the only section (besides the interstate) where you weren’t on the beach road.
Finish line food was sufficient – however I am Vegan so there wasn’t much I could eat besides the white rice at the gumbo tent. Not a big deal though as I am used to that.
Overall, not a bad one, just not one that I will likely repeat.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Panama City Beach Marathon

Panama City Beach Marathon

I ran this race for the first time in 2017. It's within driving distance for me. The marathon was much smaller than I expected for a beach race. Being in … MORE

I ran this race for the first time in 2017. It’s within driving distance for me.
The marathon was much smaller than I expected for a beach race. Being in December, the beach was empty but most shops/restaurants were also closed for the season.
COURSE: First off, I’m not a fan of flat courses. This is a pancake flat course with about a 25 foot gain/loss according to my Garmin. It’s basically an out & back with a few out & backs inside a state park. The road was partially under construction (for 2017) and traffic was not halted. There were several instances where cars came frighteningly close to runners. Police were at major intersections. The water stations were at each mile which is great giving the heat that day. The high temp on race day was in the high 70s. However, several were running out of cups and sports drink was rare! This was a major problem for a lot of runners! The stations were also manned by volunteers who clearly had no desire to be there and had no experience with races. At one station I passed – the guys were sitting in their car on their phones and didn’t notice that we had even passed and walked up to pick up a cup. Then there were one or two manned by older individuals (there was a group of older ladies) who were very enthusiastic.
The course was also poorly marked. A local who was familiar with the course was running with me and he is the only reason I went the correct way on several intersections. More arrows and volunteers are needed at turns & turnarounds. As far as the scenery, it was so-so. There was only one section where you could see the beach. May 2-3 miles worth. The rest was the busy Front Beach Blvd (with traffic) and then neighborhoods. The neighborhoods were nice, but being a beach race, It would have been nice to see the actual beach for more than a few miles.
FINISH LINE: They had water & oranges. That’s it. (Margaritaville was giving out free beer & gumbo.) There were a lot of people finishing dehydrated and overheated (from lack of sports drink on the course!). There was no ambulance or medical staff present either. This is a major problem!

Overall – With a race that claims “Run through Paradise,” they have some serious cleaning up to do. I wouldn’t pay to run this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
2
SWAG
1

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Magnolia Marathon & Half Marathon

Magnolia Marathon & Half Marathon

I have been involved with the planning committee every year for this event. I served as Race Director for 2017. This race is small and intends to stay a small … MORE

I have been involved with the planning committee every year for this event. I served as Race Director for 2017.
This race is small and intends to stay a small town race. The original course start and finish was at Northeast Park. A NEW COURSE was implemented beginning in 2017! The new downtown double loop course begins at Meridian City Hall and winds through most Historic Districts of Meridian as well as through some historic neighborhoods. It is USATF Certified.
MEDALS: The finisher medals are made of Magnolia wood and stamped with the race logo. The Magnolia tree is the state Tree of Mississippi. The magnolia tree(s) used were cut from local private land owners (by permission). They are handmade by the RD’s father. The medals are different each year – For the past 3 years the number of sides has indicated the year (2017 was the 6th Anniversary – the medallions had 6 sides). The overall and age group awards are also made of magnolia wood and are in the shape of Mississippi. A local artist painted the overall awards.
Photos and videos are on the website, along with course maps.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Mount Desert Island Marathon

Mount Desert Island Marathon

This is definitely one of my top five favorite races of all time (50+ marathons). MDI is beautiful. The race is small and easy to navigate. The start was right … MORE

This is definitely one of my top five favorite races of all time (50+ marathons). MDI is beautiful. The race is small and easy to navigate. The start was right outside our hotel (Bar Harbor Villager – cheap rates!). I literally had 50 steps from hotel to start! My husband followed the spectator guide and was able to see me at several areas along the course. He enjoyed driving around the island and seeing all the quaint little villages and areas. The course is not difficult (hilly – but not difficult).
Take a few extra days and visit Acadia National Park.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Possum Town Triathlon

Possum Town Triathlon

This race is put on by local bike shop owners. They do a great job with it. It's my favorite sprint triathlon. The lake is an easy swim. The bike … MORE

This race is put on by local bike shop owners. They do a great job with it. It’s my favorite sprint triathlon. The lake is an easy swim. The bike & Run are super flat and fast. Brad & Melissa to a great job with this race each year.
I’ve participated each year since the race started and plan to continue participating each year.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon/Half/10K/51K

ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon/Half/10K/51K

Starts at Midnight in the middle of nowhere along the Extra-terrestrial Highway! Busses are provided from Las Vegas. COURSE: It's pitch black on the course! All you can see are … MORE

Starts at Midnight in the middle of nowhere along the Extra-terrestrial Highway! Busses are provided from Las Vegas.
COURSE: It’s pitch black on the course! All you can see are the flashing lights of runners around you and up the road ahead of you. It was a bit scary at first, but you get used to it. We stayed together the whole race. Running alone would have been a little unnerving! No houses, no buildings, no power lines… NOTHING! At Mile 20, you pass the finish line and do a 10K out and back. We were having stomach issues (tried to eat dinner early, but when you are running instead of sleeping from midnight-5am, your stomach gets a little confused!) and had to take out time. So be prepared for that.
We finished around 5:15 am right before the sun began to come up.
FINISH LINE: Very basic (water, snacks, breakfast type items). The finish was at the Little Ale-inn bar & “hotel.” This was a neat little roadside stop with “alien” themed everything. Pretty cool place.
This was a fun experience. If you like races that are unique and adventurous, try this one out. My friend chose this race as her 50th state. This is a small race with no frills or extras.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

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Mad Marathon

Mad Marathon

This race is easily in my Top 5 favorites (out of 56 marathons to date). The scenery is amazing. Course: Yes- the hills are CRAZY! I would have enjoyed it … MORE

This race is easily in my Top 5 favorites (out of 56 marathons to date). The scenery is amazing.
Course: Yes- the hills are CRAZY! I would have enjoyed it more had I not run the Bear Brook trail Marathon the day before in New Hampshire – which was equally difficult!
Crew: The volunteers were very helpful and aid stations were very sufficient.

Would I return?: Definitely!! I wish I had planned more time to explore the area. Would definitely go back!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

A friend and I stayed in an AirBNB within a mile from the FargoDome. we walked to the race. I had been feeling pretty good about my runs lately so … MORE

A friend and I stayed in an AirBNB within a mile from the FargoDome. we walked to the race. I had been feeling pretty good about my runs lately so I attempted a PR at this race. The organization was phenomenal! I never questioned anything or worried about timing because all needs were met and questions were easily answered through the website or emails. The weather was perfect (for me). I started with the 4:00 pace group but quickly realized that he was several minutes ahead – so ahead that I could actually see the 3:55 pacer in front of us. I caught up with them and managed a sweet PR (my first sub-4!) The course was nice, although I was pretty focused on my pace that I didn’t do much sightseeing along the way. Not hilly at all for me to notice. Starting in the Dome was a bit chaotic (like herding cattle), but with larger races, that’s expected. Finishing in the dome was pretty cool. I hugged my pacer and grabbed some food (THEY HAD COOKIE DOUGH!!!) and waited for my friend to finish. There was plenty of room to hang out and watch the other runners finishing.
This race is definitely in my top 15 (50+ marathons), not for scenery but for organization. The race shirts & bags were very cool and functional (Both of which I wear/use often).

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Hyannis Marathon & Half Marathon

Hyannis Marathon & Half Marathon

I am not fast enough for Boston soooo... Hyannis was a good choice. We spent a day in Boston prior to driving down to Hyannis. It was chilly and windy … MORE

I am not fast enough for Boston soooo…
Hyannis was a good choice. We spent a day in Boston prior to driving down to Hyannis. It was chilly and windy the whole weekend.

We stayed at the Hyannis Travel Inn. VERY nice people and they had a Stay One Night, Get the 2nd Free deal!

Pros:
-Lengthy day of packet pickup & Expo (We did not rush to Saturday’s packet pickup which closed at 5pm)
-Race starts at 10am so we were able to sleep a full night and not rush breakfast or getting ready. Plus the temperature was a bit warmer at 10am, which helped me being from the south.
-Parking was easy – there were lots of volunteers directing parking traffic.
-Water stops were plentiful and well stocked.
-On my second loop – a family near a water station was giving out Girl scout cookies!
-The course was nice with a mixture of beach views and beautiful neighborhoods.

Cons:
-A few more toilets along the course would have been nice.
-Once short section of the course was along a busy road. During the second loop of the course, traffic was much heavier. Having the cones there to separate us was great, but in a few spots the pavement/curb was in really bad shape and you almost had to get in the road go around it.

Overall-The race was enjoyable. The area is beautiful and full of history and things to see. This time of year a lot of restaurants/stores are closed for the season, but this forces you to eat where the locals eat. You also get to explore the town without tons of vacationers.

Would I do it again – Yes.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Sedona Marathon

Sedona Marathon

This was my 34ths state and first time ever in Arizona (2 hour drive from Phoenix airport). I stayed in an AirBNB with a very nice lady near one of … MORE

This was my 34ths state and first time ever in Arizona (2 hour drive from Phoenix airport). I stayed in an AirBNB with a very nice lady near one of the shuttle stops. Small but well stocked packet pickup with friendly volunteers and every question answered.

Pros:
Race morning-Walked to the shuttle and got on within 10 minutes.

Course: VERY HILLY! Beautiful scenery 100% of the race.
Plenty of well stocked water stations and toilets along course.
Plenty of message therapists and water at the finish.

Cons:
– ‘Food’ was for purchase from a whole foods tent. It would have been nice to have something other than water and bananas, cookies that was offered to runners (like a sandwich or pizza).
– Course signage was small and several mile markers were either missing or had been removed (I was a pacer and was relying on MM signs!)
– A section of the last mile was on the main highway and was NOT marked. Luckily it was an out&back course and I knew which way to go. The highway was very busy by that time so we had to run on the sidewalk. POLICE & VOLUNTEERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE! (As I was walking back post-race, I directed several runners where to go when they approached that intersection and then told a spectator to stand there and continue.)
– SHUTTLES: The shuttles were supposed to run until 4pm. But post race it appeared only 1 bus was running. We got a ride from a local good Samaritan because we had been waiting for over 30 minutes.

Overall I loved the race! Very hilly and this year it was pretty warm as well.

WOULD I RETURN: Yes!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Bear Brook Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

Bear Brook Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

This race ate me for lunch! I have done a couple of "trail marathons" and one 50 mile trail race before. This one was B-R-U-T-A-L! First off - the website … MORE

This race ate me for lunch! I have done a couple of “trail marathons” and one 50 mile trail race before. This one was B-R-U-T-A-L!
First off – the website says the race is “longer than a marathon.” It typically is between 27-30 miles. That was ok with me (I ran this for my state so as long as it was 26.2 or longer, I was fine with it.)
After 20 miles or so, my legs were shot! You run on everything from dirt trail to very technical trails to climbing up and over mounds of boulders (mountains!) and a very short section on a paved road through a campground. The race is 100% trail and through the state park. The course is marked with pink marking flags and there were several times where I didn’t see a flag for a concerning amount of time. I was alone for the last 15-18 miles and literally had to call my mother to have someone to talk to because I was beginning to question my sanity. At the checkin points, I kept asking how many miles were left. (NOTE the aid stations/check in points were about 4 miles apart.) The last 4 check in points ALL told me “It’s about 6 miles away.” When my watch hit 28 miles it started to rain (HARD!). When my watch hit 30 miles, I was concerned I had gone the wrong way. Then a group of bikers came passed me and I asked them if they had seen other runners with bibs. They said yes.
The finish finally “appeared” like Heaven at mile 33!
The best part: I love small trail races!
The worst part: Not knowing when (or where) the finish is! This race is a total Mental game! If I can survive this-I can survive anything!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon

This race is a big cluster if you ask me. I chose this race out of sheer convenience (I have family in Honolulu and we found really cheap flights. We … MORE

This race is a big cluster if you ask me. I chose this race out of sheer convenience (I have family in Honolulu and we found really cheap flights. We also spend some time attending 75th anniversary Pearl Harbor activities.)

The Pros: It’s Hawaii. Whatever that means to you. The medal was big and solid. The shirt was ok but there were opportunities to purchase others if wanted.

The Cons: 30+ thousand runners. Majority of them are Japanese. And most of them had never ran or even knew the length of a marathon. The start was at 5am (which meant that the first 8-10 miles were in the dark – which means yes you run past Wikiki beach, but you can’t see it.) Most of the runners who were right under the start line had no business being there. I lined up behind the first corral (2-3 hours) because it was clear the corrals were not serving their purpose. When the gun went off – no one moved. More than half of the people in front of me (which should have been elite runners by the corral system) stood still and videoed the fireworks. I had to weave around probably 2000 runners before I could finally run in a straight line without avoiding walkers/gawkers. The course was so-so. Some nice views but not as scenic as I expected (like I said – the first 9 miles were in the dark.) I did enjoy some of the translated aid stations signs (one said “Vaseline – Do not Eat!).

I was glad when the race was over. I would not run this race again. I’ve been to Hawaii 3 times now and likely wouldn’t return to Oahu again. Next time, I’ll visit the other islands.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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City of Trees Marathon

City of Trees Marathon

Boise isnt really known for any historical significance, at least not to us southerners. I expected this to be a weekend where I wouldnt be glad to check off the … MORE

Boise isnt really known for any historical significance, at least not to us southerners. I expected this to be a weekend where I wouldnt be glad to check off the state and get home. I was already a little frustrated because Packet Pickup ended at 3 or 4 pm (the website & emails were different.) My flight landed at 2:30. But the minute I landed at the airport, my attitude changed.

-Host hotel (Spring Hill Suites) has free 24hr shuttle so I didn’t need to rent a car (YEAH!) The hotel employees were super nice and accommodating. Our room was much larger than I expected for the price. The hotel was a block from the start/finish and walking distance to several restaurants. Plus if you wanted to go farther, the hotel shuttle would take you! (We went to Trader Joes)

-I was a pacer for this race so I got one of the local pacers to get my bib & shirt. We did make it to PP (it ended at 4). Quick and easy-no frills. The local running store was there with last minute supplies if needed.
-Race morning was easy. A 5 minute walk to the start area. Very low key. Volunteers were super friendly!

-The course was 2 out/backs (one NE, one SW). The greenbelt is a great place to run! If I were a local, this likely would be where I would regularly run/bike, so racing there year after year would get old. But for those of us coming to check off the state, it was great! I would’ve enjoyed some downtown scenery, but I wasnt disappointed. The path followed the river and passed several nice city parks (I was amazed at all the green space and bike lanes!!), behind the zoo (we saw the giraffes!) and through Boise State University. While the mile markers seemed a bit off, they were clear and easy to spot from a distance. The course was well-marked. I got a little confused at one turn through a small traffic circle-a few more arrows/people there would have been good). I ran with a local Maniac for about 14 miles who played tour guide for me. I also ran with several other locals who were super nice and were more than willing to answer my tourist questions. I never heard a negative comment about Boise! I was totally sold! After finishing, the park was easy to navigate with a food tent and lots of space to sit and relax. The running store was holding a raffle. I ran up last minute and got a ticket and ended up winning a pair of trail shoes!

Having little to no knowledge about the city and expecting nothing but farm and industry (you know - Idaho potatoes), I was pleasantly surprised with the city and the race.

A definite option for 50 staters to consider!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Cumberland C&O Towpath Marathon & Half Marathon

Cumberland C&O Towpath Marathon & Half Marathon

Ran this race with a friend to check off Maryland from my map. The race director was super nice. Very low key - no frills race. This race is the … MORE

Ran this race with a friend to check off Maryland from my map. The race director was super nice. Very low key – no frills race. This race is the last of a series.
The course is 4 out-backs on the trail. The trail is quiet and scenic. I saw several deer and other wildlife. Close to the turnaround, there’s a large sewer plant. It smells…. :/ You pass it 8 times. You get used to it.
That’s my only complaint.

While you’re there, visit the Charis Winery, in the small shopping center right next to the towpath. Excellent wine.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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American Discovery Trail Marathon

American Discovery Trail Marathon

-I doubled this race with Jackson Hole Marathon (a Saturday race), as recommended by a friend. -It's my understanding that the course used to be a point to point. In … MORE

-I doubled this race with Jackson Hole Marathon (a Saturday race), as recommended by a friend.
-It’s my understanding that the course used to be a point to point. In 2016 – it was an out/back.
-The course was a nice cement/gravel mixed trail along the small river starting from America the Beautiful Park.
-The volunteers were awesome! I got a nice massage afterwards.

The Negatives:
-The trail was home to several homeless camps, abandoned camps and hangout spots. There was also a good amount of trash along the trail in some areas (especially under the bridges). While I never felt unsafe, I would likely not run the trail on my own if I were a local.
-The shirts are a disappointment. Compared to the 2015 shirts they were giving away at PP, the 2016 shirts were just blah. I got a small (what I normally get and rarely have size issues), but realized quickly, that it was WAY too small. I asked about exchanging but had to wait until after the race. I didn’t bother honestly, because I would never wear it. (I only kept it to be used in my quilt-in hindsight, I should have grabbed a 2015 shirt for my quilt and cut out the date).

Bottom line: Compared to Jackson Hole, this race failed to live up to my expectations. But I checked off the state and got to spend a great weekend with family in the area!

Would I go back? Not to this race. CO Springs is beautiful but this race was a disappointment.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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Jackson Hole Marathon & Half Marathon

Jackson Hole Marathon & Half Marathon

I doubled this race with American Discovery Trail in Colorado Springs, CO (Labor day). This is the ultimate small-town - scenic race. I loved the Low-key start. We took the … MORE

I doubled this race with American Discovery Trail in Colorado Springs, CO (Labor day).

This is the ultimate small-town – scenic race. I loved the Low-key start. We took the bus from Teton Village. No issues involved in transportation or parking. The website is very detailed and helpful.

The course started at the square and we stayed mostly on the bike trail. I was holding out hope that this Mississippi girl might actually get to see her first Moose, but I didn’t get lucky this time. :/ Scenery was otherwise beautiful! I never got bored.
The only negative is the last few miles of the race if on a busy highway with a small shoulder. Lots of traffic.
Bottom line: A must!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Grand Island Trail Run

Grand Island Trail Run

This race is without a doubt a contender for my all-time favorite marathon. This race takes place on a small island in Lake Michigan near Munising. A small ferry boat … MORE

This race is without a doubt a contender for my all-time favorite marathon.
This race takes place on a small island in Lake Michigan near Munising. A small ferry boat takes you to the island (the island is a National Recreation Area, managed by the National Parks Service). There are no paved roads, no vehicles (except for a spectator bus) no crowds/buildings/etc. This is a very small race.
COURSE: The course mostly circles the islands’ shore with one section that runs literally in the water along the beach. (the “beach” was maybe 2 feet of sand with small waves crashing on your feet.) All dirt or gravel roads. Sections of soft mud to. It’s not at all technical so trail shoes aren’t necessary. There were some hills but nothing difficult. The views throughout the course were spectacular. You could see a nice view of Lake Michigan and the shoreline.
The aid stations were well placed and well stocked. The finish line had several “natural” choices for snacks. (Granola, fruit, etc. No pizza or sandwiches-this is a “leave no trace” race. You are required to carry a bottle to refill. No cups at aid stations).
THE BEST PART: Is was warm that day. The lake water is crystal clear and was VERY REFRESHING to sit in and cool off. We probably sat in the water for an hour watching other runners finish and watching the ferry take finishers back to the mainland.
We did the Pictured Rocks boat tour the day before. The UP is a very beautiful area. I had no idea!
Definitely a race and an area that I will be back to!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Mississippi Blues Marathon & Half Marathon

Mississippi Blues Marathon & Half Marathon

I'm a regular pacer for this race. I've completed this race 4 times (2016 would've been my 5th time had it not been cancelled) and the half once. It's a … MORE

I’m a regular pacer for this race. I’ve completed this race 4 times (2016 would’ve been my 5th time had it not been cancelled) and the half once. It’s a great race for those completing 50 states. You can now double it with Big Beach marathon or if you’re brave – Miami Marathon. I’ve doubled it three times with First Light in Mobile – however the Blues date was changed for 2018 and now it doubles with Big Beach.
The course is a bit tough – not the hills but the road conditions. Jackson is known for having horrible roads.
I planned to pace the 2018 race but was injured.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Little Rock Marathon

Little Rock Marathon

I ran this race two years in a row as a pacer. First off: I am not a fan of big blingy party races. (Only ran to check off the … MORE

I ran this race two years in a row as a pacer. First off: I am not a fan of big blingy party races. (Only ran to check off the state and to visit family in the area). This race is over the top if you like the party race scene.
COURSE: Forgettable. There’s a long out/back along the park that is nice, but nothing to write home about. They do offer a good amount of food/drinks at aid stations. One year it was freezing cold-they had hot chicken broth. That was nice.
SWAG: Ridiculous. If all you care about is getting the biggest/gaudiest/shiniest medal, then this is the race for you.
If you enjoy feeling like just a number – go for it. If you want to enjoy a more personalized, scenic race, choose something else.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
1
SWAG
2

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First Light Marathon & Half Marathon

First Light Marathon & Half Marathon

*I've run this race 3 times (2014, 2015 & the half in 2016) I love this race. The course is through beautiful downtown Mobile, several universities and the Botanical gardens. … MORE

*I’ve run this race 3 times (2014, 2015 & the half in 2016)
I love this race. The course is through beautiful downtown Mobile, several universities and the Botanical gardens. BEWARE of the crazy hill around mile 19. But the aid station there is stocked with lots of goodies to keep your mind of it.
The medal is simple but perfect. It is handmade by residents of the Le Arche home for adults with disabilities. Before Blues changed it date, you could run both in one weekend and receive a handmade plague made by a resident.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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