My Profile

@GwenWest

Allendale, MI Raving since 2022 50 States hopeful/finisher Active 3 days, 23 hours ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Trail Point Running Club

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:
  • I run because:

    I am an ICU RN and I understand very well that life is fragile, and every moment should be celebrated.

    I set a goal to run all 50 states as a way to celebrate life and keep physically and mentally healthy. I fully intend to see this through and explore this beautiful country as I go.

    Don’t be afraid of chasing your dreams!!!!!

My Races

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

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

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 18, 2023 2:08:00
15K Chicago, IL Nov 5, 2022 1:30:41

Future Races (3)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR Mar 3, 2024
Half Marathon Honolulu, HI Apr 14, 2024
Half Marathon Pittsburgh, PA May 5, 2024

Past Races (10)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Dallas, TX Dec 10, 2023 2:15:47
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 15, 2023 2:17:33
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN May 6, 2023 2:17:00
Half Marathon St Louis, MO Apr 2, 2023 2:14:00
Half Marathon Virginia Beach, VA Mar 18, 2023 2:08:00
Half Marathon Monterey, CA Nov 12, 2022 2:13:10
15K Chicago, IL Nov 5, 2022 1:30:41
Half Marathon Madison, WI Jul 23, 2022 2:25:00
Half Marathon Cincinnati, OH May 1, 2022 2:18:13
Half Marathon Charlevoix, MI Jun 18, 2021 2:09:50

My Raves

BMW Dallas was #11/50 1/2 marathon races for me. It has easily tied Flying Pig as my favorite. Communication from the race directors was the best I've ever had so … MORE

BMW Dallas was #11/50 1/2 marathon races for me. It has easily tied Flying Pig as my favorite. Communication from the race directors was the best I’ve ever had so I felt very informed going into the race. The expo was good sized, so we were able to shop for extra merch and pick up any last-minute things from vendors that we needed. I did the weekend series with a 5K on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday. The Weekend Series swag was amazing, and I loved it. The finisher jacket is beautiful, and I’ve been already wearing it around. Not super crazy about the T-shirts but I need another T-shirt like I need a hole in my head so no big deal. The production for these races was top-notch with great organization. Wonderful volunteers. They did an awesome job hyping up the runners at the start and even had fireworks.
The course for the 1/2 marathon went through some beautiful neighborhoods with the homeowners coming out to cheer you on. There were many “extra” stations from the neighbors. I saw whisky, beer, jello shots, and much more. The spectators were phenomenal. Very few parts of the course were empty of support. It was very motivating. One house even had a giant inflatable snowman with fake snow shooting all over. There are quite a lot of hills but for the most part they were gentle rolling. I trained moderate hills, so they didn’t feel like anything much to me.
The after party and post-race had 2 free beers, plenty of snacks and even a warm breakfast burrito that was delicious. Lots of space for people to hang around and watch the finish line with a huge screen.
We also managed to somehow be invited into the BMW VIP tent which was absolutely amazing. The runner’s lounge was very similar, and I would highly recommend spending the extra money. They have food and a warm tent. Love. My only con for this race was that it was sold out and kind of crowded. Most races thin out after a few miles but here I found myself navigating around people for the entire race. I found that annoying.
Dallas itself is a wonderful little downtown with lots of things you can wander around and do for the weekend. Unfortunately, they have quite a large homeless population which made walking around at night feel uncomfortable. It gets dark t 5:20 so it made for early nights, but we were so tired it wasn’t big deal.

I would highly recommend this race!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I did enjoy this race and I especially enjoyed Des Moine. Des Moine is a great town with lots of bars and restaurants to enjoy. The city was very clean, … MORE

I did enjoy this race and I especially enjoyed Des Moine. Des Moine is a great town with lots of bars and restaurants to enjoy. The city was very clean, and the river added a beautiful background. We were able to find a VRBO about a 1/2 mile from the start which is always a goal for me when I travel to races. The expo was pretty small with minimal things available for purchase. It was outside so just be prepared for that with the right clothing. The race started almost 15 minutes late which was annoying because they didn’t corral the runners, and everyone was crammed very tightly together. Once we started people thinned out within about 0.5 miles. I really enjoyed the course which spent a lot of time by the river and on paved trails. I was disappointed we didn’t go by the capital building. Lots of crowd support cheering the entire time which was encouraging. After party had a band and some snacks. The snacks were not at the finish line you had to go into the afterparty area to find them which I found odd. Gear check was easy. Overall, I had a great time and thought it was a nice race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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This was a fun race to do for Indiana. Getting to run through the speedway was pretty unique. PROS: Crowd support was great, lots of porta-potties on the course, great … MORE

This was a fun race to do for Indiana. Getting to run through the speedway was pretty unique.
PROS: Crowd support was great, lots of porta-potties on the course, great expo, very well-run and organized race. Indianapolis is a fun town with lots of hotels right at the start/finish, great restaurants, and the medal was really nice. I also loved the “Golden Mile” which honored fallen soldiers. I wore a soldier’s name on my back (which they were handing out at the expo) and their family member found me on the course and thanked me. That was the highlight of my race for sure.
CONS: I didn’t love the post race party. The free beer was VERY small and they ran out of chocolate milk. There were food trucks with food available for purchase. Other than the speedway, the race ran through neighborhoods which weren’t very exciting, so that was a little disappointing. I would much rather have gotten to run through downtown. There is A LOT of people at this race (>20,000) so it was also quite congested.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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This race was just ok. The expo was something different with the outdoor expo instead of just running stuff. I enjoyed that bc it was different. There were lots of … MORE

This race was just ok. The expo was something different with the outdoor expo instead of just running stuff. I enjoyed that bc it was different. There were lots of vendors and people were super friendly. Having the race be point to point was kind of a pain. Plenty of parking in forest park but parking downtown after for my family was a pain and then we were stuck with all the roads being closed and it took forever to get out. The course itself was just ok. Lots of cool buildings to look at but the roads were in rough shape with lots of potholes and old bricks which are ankle breakers so I spent most of the time looking down so I wouldn’t fall. Bought myself a sore neck. Quite a lot of hills. Most of them were rolling and not horrible but there were a few big ones. My hill training wasn’t up to par I guess so I ended up walking a bit. The medal was beautiful and I loved St. Louis. Definitely spend some time at the Arch if you have time.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3
My Media

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Wow. This race was a lot of fun. I did the Dolphin challenge which included an 8K on Saturday and the 1/2 on Sunday and then you get an extra … MORE

Wow. This race was a lot of fun. I did the Dolphin challenge which included an 8K on Saturday and the 1/2 on Sunday and then you get an extra medal. The 8K was very congested the whole time because there were a lot of walkers. I found it very annoying to navigate around people the entire race. The 1/2 marathon was great. The race was exceptionally run by J&A and I had a blast. The course was interesting and there was plenty to look at the entire course, so you didn’t get bored. Bonus that it was nearly entirely flat. I hate hills. The swag at the end was the best I’ve ever received at a race by far. The medals were great also. I will say I absolutely hated the shirts but I have plenty of shirts, so I just bought one that I liked and called it good. The expo was nice size and there were plenty of vendors to purchase any last-minute things you may have forgotten. The post-race party was absolutely epic with live band, stew and plenty of beer. It was my favorite part for sure. The only thing I was really disappointed about was the crappy weather, but that is out of anyone’s control. Dress in layers!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This was a great race! It was well organized, and the volunteers were great. The scenery was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to seals bark when I was waiting … MORE

This was a great race! It was well organized, and the volunteers were great. The scenery was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to seals bark when I was waiting at the start. The start and finish lines were close (within walking distance) to many local hotels. The city of Monterey was fun to explore, and the restaurants had excellent food with great service. The afterparty was decent and there was a medium sized expo with some sponsors. It was very cold so make sure you bring enough warm clothes. They don’t heat the buildings. The last night we ate out, our server was wearing a winter coat. My only disappointment was the medal. I absolutely hated it as did the 3 people I traveled with. I was very bummed to travel so far, and work hard and then get such a terrible medal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I did enjoy this race, but it was not my favorite, and I probably wouldn't do it again. Unfortunately, it was VERY hot the day of the race, which one … MORE

I did enjoy this race, but it was not my favorite, and I probably wouldn’t do it again. Unfortunately, it was VERY hot the day of the race, which one should expect in July (87 degrees by the time we finished). The course was hilly and of course the worse hill was in the last mile. I didn’t see anyone running up that hill.

There was no expo, which isn’t a big deal as long as you aren’t expecting that. Just a spot to pick up your bib and T-shirt and not really much extra swag to buy.

The race was well organized and well put together. Not much community spectating and no live music or bands on the course. I always really appreciate that support. Much of the course was shaded which was nice.

The town of Madison was fun and there are some fun things to do while you are there so be sure to explore.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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I absolutely loved this race and would qualify it as my favorite race ever. It was a challenging course definitely because of the hills. But the expo was amazing, and … MORE

I absolutely loved this race and would qualify it as my favorite race ever. It was a challenging course definitely because of the hills. But the expo was amazing, and the atmosphere was also amazing. Lots and lots of spectators cheering everyone on and the after-race party was tons of fun. If I was able, I would do this race every year for sure. It was well organized and well run. Cincinatti was also a blast and be sure to ride the electric scooters around to explore the town.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?