My Profile

@Joerobe

Raleigh, IL Raving since 2017 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs #13469 Keith Roberts 50/50 Challenge active 5 days, 19 hours ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Marathon Maniacs

  • Rave race:
  • Race that's calling my name:

    Keys 100

  • I run because:

    one of these days, I will suddenly stop… I wouldn’t want to miss anything (:

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

Future Races

Personal Bests (8)

Race Distance Location Date Result
24 hr Canal Fulton, OH Jun 8, 2019 62 mi
100 Miler Custer, SD Aug 16, 2019 29:02:47
100K Huntsville, TX Feb 2, 2019 15:31:27
50 Miler Manhattan, KS Apr 21, 2018 11:04:57
55K Estes Park, CO Sep 1, 2019 10:25:33
50K Libertyville, IL Dec 14, 2019 5:52:27
Marathon Newport, OR Jun 2, 2018 4:22:53
Half Marathon Carrier Mills, IL Oct 5, 2019 2:05:36

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
Marathon Panama City Beach, FL Dec 4, 2021

Past Races (90)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Vienna, IL Nov 14, 2021 4:29:09
Marathon Harrisburg, IL Oct 2, 2021 4:40:14
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 25, 2021 4:25:01
Marathon Grand Island, NE Aug 28, 2021 4:37:11
Marathon Cape Girardeau, MO May 1, 2021 4:36:09
Marathon St Louis, MO Apr 11, 2021 4:31:04
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 26, 2020 5:51:44
100 Miler Cheney, KS Jul 11, 2020 33:58:31
Marathon Shiprock, NM May 1, 2020 6:13:35
50K Libertyville, IL Dec 14, 2019 5:52:27
50 Miler Vienna, IL Nov 9, 2019 11:51:12
Marathon Harrisburg, IL Oct 26, 2019 5:07:18
Half Marathon Carrier Mills, IL Oct 5, 2019 2:05:36
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 28, 2019 4:58:30
55K Estes Park, CO Sep 1, 2019 10:25:33
100 Miler Custer, SD Aug 16, 2019 29:02:47
50K Wichita, KS Jul 27, 2019 6:22:31
24 hr Canal Fulton, OH Jun 8, 2019 62 mi
100K Raphine, VA May 11, 2019 16:10:14
50K Loudonville, OH Apr 6, 2019 8:00:39
Marathon Hilo, HI Mar 17, 2019 5:13:40
100K Bend, TX Mar 2, 2019 17:40:12
100K Huntsville, TX Feb 2, 2019 15:31:27
100K Bandera, TX Jan 5, 2019 16:50:00
Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 1, 2018 5:58:55
50 Miler Vienna, IL Nov 10, 2018 11:07:49
Marathon Harrisburg, IL Oct 27, 2018 5:03:39
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 29, 2018 4:39:05
50K Ozark, IL Aug 25, 2018 8:40:00
50K Kansas City, KS Jul 21, 2018 6:51:40
Marathon Anchorage, AK Jun 23, 2018 5:05:36
Marathon Port Angeles, WA Jun 3, 2018 4:52:45
Marathon Newport, OR Jun 2, 2018 4:22:53
Marathon Ojai, CA May 27, 2018 4:54:17
Marathon Warwick, RI May 19, 2018 7:10:19
Marathon Hartford, CT May 18, 2018 6:11:17
Marathon Westfield, MA May 17, 2018 5:22:18
Marathon Fairlee, VT May 16, 2018 5:33:06
Marathon Nashua, NH May 15, 2018 5:32:36
Marathon Portland, ME May 14, 2018 5:22:14
Marathon Kennebunk, ME May 13, 2018 4:54:33
Marathon Rhinebeck, NY May 12, 2018 4:35:40
50 Miler Manhattan, KS Apr 21, 2018 11:04:57
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 24, 2018 5:59:33
50K Milton, FL Feb 17, 2018 7:05:08
50K Tulsa, OK Jan 20, 2018 6:19:32
Marathon Little Rock, AR Dec 16, 2017 4:48:07
Marathon Oljato-Monument Valley, AZ Nov 18, 2017 5:40:22
Marathon Harrisburg, IL Oct 28, 2017 4:24:35
Marathon Atlantic City, NJ Oct 22, 2017
Marathon Dover, DE Oct 21, 2017
Marathon Carolina Beach, NC Oct 8, 2017 5:26:30
Marathon Bluefield, VA Oct 7, 2017 4:55:52
Marathon Commerce, OK Oct 1, 2017 5:05:20
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 30, 2017 4:33:20
Marathon Sundance, WY Sep 14, 2017 5:18:35
Marathon Baker, MT Sep 11, 2017 5:38:33
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Sep 10, 2017 5:00:58
Marathon Detroit Lakes, MN Sep 9, 2017 4:54:35
Marathon Titusville, PA Aug 6, 2017 4:42:34
Marathon Aspen, CO Jul 15, 2017 4:58:31
Marathon South Williamson, WV Jun 10, 2017 5:03:24
Marathon Traverse City, MI May 27, 2017 4:44:06
Marathon Green Bay, WI May 21, 2017 5:24:50
Marathon Fargo, ND May 20, 2017 4:48:14
Marathon Olathe, KS Apr 22, 2017 5:26:25
Marathon Xenia, OH Apr 9, 2017 6:20:31
Marathon Cumberland, MD Apr 8, 2017 4:54:52
Marathon Grand Rivers, KY Mar 11, 2017 5:29:19
Marathon Columbia, SC Mar 4, 2017 4:28:30
Marathon Rockmart, GA Feb 25, 2017 4:51:37
Marathon Greenville, MS Feb 11, 2017 4:33:08
Marathon New Orleans, LA Feb 5, 2017 4:59:42
Marathon Surfside Beach, TX Feb 4, 2017 4:55:28
Marathon Phoenix, AZ Jan 15, 2017 4:42:53
Marathon Boulder City, NV Jan 14, 2017 4:37:51
Marathon Huntsville, AL Dec 10, 2016 4:29:55
Marathon Nashville, TN Nov 12, 2016 4:28:54
Marathon Wynne, AR Nov 5, 2016 4:28:00
50K Apalachicola, FL Oct 23, 2016 6:14:10
Marathon St. Charles, MO Oct 2, 2016 4:29:15
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 24, 2016 4:45:57
50K Hooper, NE Aug 20, 2016 6:22:34
Marathon Firth, ID Jul 30, 2016 4:44:33
Marathon Salt Lake City, UT Jul 25, 2016 4:47:47
Marathon Dyersville, IA Jun 25, 2016 4:57:41
Marathon New Harmony, IN May 28, 2016 5:05:32
Marathon Shiprock, NM May 7, 2016 4:57:35
Half Marathon Harrisburg, IL 2014 2:12:31
Half Marathon Harrisburg, IL 2013 2:17:38

My Raves

Overall Rating: Average course with excellent production and potential for fast times. Course Difficulty: Long slow ups and downs (think 15 miles at 1%) on a crushed limestone surface. Really … MORE

Overall Rating: Average course with excellent production and potential for fast times.

Course Difficulty: Long slow ups and downs (think 15 miles at 1%) on a crushed limestone surface. Really easy course.

Course Scenery: Good southern Illinois scenery, 100% rural running.

Race Production: Outstanding! These folks always do a fantastic job and you can have about anything you want at aid stations.

Race Swag: High quality custom medal and nice thin cotton hoodie.

My Performance: It was an average run, not great – not terrible.

Final notes: I’ve run a couple of 50 milers here, and I certainly never enjoy the weather at this race, however if it were a few weeks or a month earlier, it may be one of my favorite runs. I participated this year as a way to log some miles toward my 1000 mile goal, and so I was pleasantly surprised with my time. Always good production with this group!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Tough race with rainy conditions then heat. Course Difficulty: Lots of big hills at the beginning and flattening out after halfway. A couple of unsupported major highway crossings. … MORE

Overall Rating: Tough race with rainy conditions then heat.

Course Difficulty: Lots of big hills at the beginning and flattening out after halfway. A couple of unsupported major highway crossings. Nice course.

Course Scenery: About as good as it gets for southern Illinois. Start at Garden of the Gods SP and ends downtown Harrisburg.

Race Production: Not great this year. I give a lot of grace to RD’s, especially during COVID season. The aid stations/volunteers were lacking, as was course support. At the end of the race, runners had to snake their way through the stage area of a local festival to get to finish line. I think there could have been a little better option logistically, but I was happy to see this race happen.

Race Swag: Had a repeat medal and shirts from a previous year. Not casting any stones, as each participant received two long sleeve tech shirts and it is a nice medal…just expected it to be different as a repeat runner.

My Performance: Not awesome. Started off on a PR pace running in a nice warm rain, then the rain stopped and the leg cramps started (only my second race with leg cramps), which I credit partly to the lack of salty foods, drinks, or GU at aid stations. All in all not a terrible day.

Final notes: I make an intentional effort not to blame others for my outcomes. At the end of the day, I am thrilled that this race happened and love the work that the RD is doing! If anything, I should have shown up with more than a water bottle…so all good!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Good run on a nice day. Course Difficulty: The course changed from previous years due to covid restrictions imposed by the city, so it was a more challenging … MORE

Overall Rating: Good run on a nice day.

Course Difficulty: The course changed from previous years due to covid restrictions imposed by the city, so it was a more challenging course, particularly on the hilly second half. All but about 2 miles of the course was run on the Metro rail trail which runs alongside the public rail system, and 100% paved.

Course Scenery: Not great, it was really just the backside of buildings, rail lines, and a local college campus’ parking lots, but it was fine. The one reprieve was a nice wooded shady area that went for 5 or 6 miles.

Race Production: Good. Packet pickup was easy, the aid stations were as expected, and there were plenty of volunteers.

Race Swag: This one is a little odd. The quality of the shirt and medal were good, I just didn’t (still don’t understand what they are). Maybe because I’m not from the community, or its an inside kind of knowledge…but I don’t get it.

My Performance: Surprisingly good, much in part to the weather I suspect.

Final notes: Didn’t think this race was going to happen, but the team was able to pull it off. Really happy about that.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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The Nebraska State Fair marathon was wonderfully organized with outstanding volunteers. We had no issues with packet pick up, race start, or direction on the course. The volunteers were very … MORE

The Nebraska State Fair marathon was wonderfully organized with outstanding volunteers. We had no issues with packet pick up, race start, or direction on the course.

The volunteers were very friendly, and always eager to help. I am sincerely thankful for the neighbors who faced their lawn sprinklers toward the road, those little burst of cold were a lifesaver.

This race was as advertised – flat and fast. I was expecting to be about 5:15 – 5:30 with my injured leg, so imagine my surprise when it was a 4:37…what???

The day was hot, and I expect it will probably always be that way in Nebraska in August, but there was plenty of Gatorade and water, along with GU’s, fruit snacks and cuties. The aid stations were every 2 miles on the mark, we’ll done!

The swag was pretty decent; a nice custom medal and a long sleeve tech shirt.

The one thing I didn’t love, is that there were no really salty electrolytes on course. I usually bring my own, but forgot them at the hotel…the day was hot enough that the Gatorade wasn’t doing the trick and many people were cramping up on course. I don’t blame the race for this, just caution future runners not to forget yours.

All in all, a wonderful race to cross Nebraska off of your state list or to simply cross a marathon off of your bucket list.

Happy running!!!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Excellent. Hosted by a locally known ultra runner who got it right! Course Difficulty: A few rolling hills to keep the legs and mind challenged, all paved and … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. Hosted by a locally known ultra runner who got it right!

Course Difficulty: A few rolling hills to keep the legs and mind challenged, all paved and good course support,

Course Scenery: Not amazing, but it was a good foot tour of Cape Girardeau, MO.

Race Production: Again, really good. Shuttle buses to and from parking area, excellent finish line support, and wonderful aid stations.

Race Swag: Nice medal, 1/4 zip pullover, and some sweet running socks!

My Performance: I was just getting back into the swing of running, and was going through some ups and downs in my personal life; pleased with the outcome.

Final notes: Well produced race. Considering making this one of my yearly runs.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Good. No issues, started on time. Course was crazy windy. Course Difficulty: This course was really flat and fast. A few rollers here and there, but overall easy. … MORE

Overall Rating: Good. No issues, started on time. Course was crazy windy.

Course Difficulty: This course was really flat and fast. A few rollers here and there, but overall easy. The downside is probably that you are completely exposed to the elements, so anything other than perfect conditions would affect you.

Course Scenery: The first 2 miles are pretty cool as you are going over old bridges on Rt 66, the next 8ish mile are on a levee (pretty boring), back over the bridges, 10 more pretty boring miles, and then it gets interesting running in front of the arch and some historic riverfront and old town.

Race Production: Really good. The only issue I had was coming into town as on Sat, and no available packet pickup that afternoon/evening. I was planning to be dropped off at the start, but the race was 100% in on packet pickup at the finish and take the shuttle bus. Ended up having my son pick up the packet earlier in the week (which he had no issues with). Not a big deal, but definitely needs to be planned for.

Race Swag: Good medal, nice long sleeve shirt, and commemorative mug.

My Performance: Good, probably would have gotten a PR, just ran out of steam after fighting the wind.

This was a good race that was pretty close to home. I generally don’t do city races, and didn’t love fighting the post race (Cardinal’s game) traffic when it was over, but I was super thrilled to get back into an actual in person race.

If you’re looking for a race that is fast and well run in the StL area, this will do.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Virtual run with my wife to support the RD and Belleville Main Street team during the COVID downturn. Nice to be able to run a marathon with Debbie! MORE

Virtual run with my wife to support the RD and Belleville Main Street team during the COVID downturn. Nice to be able to run a marathon with Debbie!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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This race was a crazy challenge for me. I wanted to do a 100 this year, and most were cancelled, but in the true spirit of the Honey Badger Race...this … MORE

This race was a crazy challenge for me. I wanted to do a 100 this year, and most were cancelled, but in the true spirit of the Honey Badger Race…this one went on.

I am going to make this a short review and say the race production, and course were excellent, my performance stunk.

All was going according to plan (13 min/mi pace) until I blistered the bottom of both feet and rubbed the skin off of the inside of my legs at about mile 55. That’s right, you can chafe that bad. At mile 67 I threw in the towel, but my crew wouldn’t accept that. They coned me out, tossed me in the shower (ouch!!!), stuck me on a cot with a fan blowing on my unmentionables for about 5 hours, then took my whiny butt back to the course. That next part was a brutal 50k, but it’s what hundred mile races are…raw – gritty – determination.

I will be forever grateful for my crew for pushing me through that, no way I would have made it without them.

At the end of the day (and a half), if you want to try a hundred miler, this is a great one. It’s hard, not in mountain or trail sense, but in a cooking eggs on the pavement sense. BTW, there were only 13 finishers, so that will tell a little about how hard it was.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Virtual run with my wife to support the RD and the Navajo Nation Marathon Planning team during the COVID downturn. Nice to be able to run a marathon with Debbie! MORE

Virtual run with my wife to support the RD and the Navajo Nation Marathon Planning team during the COVID downturn. Nice to be able to run a marathon with Debbie!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good cold weather run. Course Difficulty: A few rolling hills to keep the legs and mind challenged, but wide and flat asphalt or cinder the entire time. … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good cold weather run.

Course Difficulty: A few rolling hills to keep the legs and mind challenged, but wide and flat asphalt or cinder the entire time.

Course Scenery: Nice northern landscape. The four loops get a little old, but the scenery around the lake and river is enough to keep it interesting.

Race Production: Good. There were some aid stations called out on the race documentation that weren’t there, and some of the AS food and drink was different, but all in all, no major hiccups or blunders…definitely a solid organization.

Race Swag: The real reason I was here. I needed that 12th buckle for the year and this is a nice one! Other features were a well designed long sleeve tee, a race sticker, and an aluminum water bottle – all high quality stuff.

My Performance: Better than expected. I picked up some new friends on the way, stopped to help a couple of people in need (which ate up about 10 minutes), and still managed a PR; needless to say, I’m good with that.

Final notes: I don’t love cold, so this will never be my favorite race, however, it is a fantastic race and a really good organization; I can certainly put my stamp of approval on it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Really good first time or PR race. Course Difficulty: I think this is about as easy as a fifty miler gets; enough scenery to keep it interesting, but … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good first time or PR race.

Course Difficulty: I think this is about as easy as a fifty miler gets; enough scenery to keep it interesting, but no elevation or challenging terrain to speak of. The cold sort of hurts, but it is November.

Course Scenery: Nice southern Illinois scenery with wetlands, hardwood forests, creeks and rail trestles.

Race Production: Always good. DRM does a great job with the aid stations, volunteers, and general race coordination. No surprises, so all good.

Race Swag: One of the best buckles you’ll ever get, and a pretty sweet hoodie and hat to go along with it – free race pic downloads.

My Performance: I ran this entire race with a friend for her first 50 miler, and she beat her 12 hour goal…she said anything less than 12 was a win, so we won!

Final notes: TH100/50 is a great race. Be prepared for the cold, and spend some time training for repetitive foot strikes and you can definitely get this one done.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

In speaking with the RD, due to complications with local municipalities, this is likely the last year for this race in its current form. The Shawnee Marathon has been a … MORE

In speaking with the RD, due to complications with local municipalities, this is likely the last year for this race in its current form.

The Shawnee Marathon has been a true representation of Southern Illinois scenery, and has provided local runners with an outstanding opportunity to gain access to a quality marathon without breaking the bank. This years medal is one of the best I have received at any race to date, and the volunteers willingness to stand in the wind and rain, shows some serious dedication to the runners.

I’m a little sad to see this one go, as it was my hometown marathon and the first race that I ran with any of my kids; but looking forward to the next iteration and the continued chance to give runners access to some of southern Illinois’ hidden scenery.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

I don't generally do half marathons...unless they're training runs, but I couldn't pass this one up. An old friend was diagnosed with cancer and I was a privileged to go … MORE

I don’t generally do half marathons…unless they’re training runs, but I couldn’t pass this one up. An old friend was diagnosed with cancer and I was a privileged to go and support her.

This was a beautiful two loop course through Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife area, and a perfect 50 degree morning.

Couldn’t have asked for a better run close to home…oh, and I got a half marathon PR, so there’s that!

Wishing Teresa the very best recovery.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Excellent. Good. Course Difficulty: Just enough uphill and downhill to keep it interesting. Course Scenery: Nice city main street and tour of local neighborhoods. Race Production: Really good. … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. Good.

Course Difficulty: Just enough uphill and downhill to keep it interesting.

Course Scenery: Nice city main street and tour of local neighborhoods.

Race Production: Really good. Aid stations had water, electrolytes, and fruit, plenty of restrooms, lots of course marshals and local PD to give direction.

Race Swag: Gloves for the streakers this year, good race medal and ultra soft tee.

My Performance: Was shooting for 5hrs and got 4:58…so slow, but predictable.

Just a straightforward, good run. No issues and no surprises. This is a marathon only, so no other races to cause any kind of confusion.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good...and hard...and high! Course Difficulty: I wasn't completely recovered (whatever that means) from the 100 mile a couple of weeks ago, so hard became harder. If you're … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good…and hard…and high!

Course Difficulty: I wasn’t completely recovered (whatever that means) from the 100 mile a couple of weeks ago, so hard became harder. If you’re not from higher altitude, you will struggle with this one a little. There is about 2500′ of elevation gain each way, and the altitude makes it that much more difficult. The terrain was about 24 miles of paved, gravel, or dirt roads-and about 10 miles of double and single track trail.

Course Scenery: Nothing like the mountain views. This course wound through the Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park, which is simply breathtaking.

Race Production: It was good. The race was a fundraiser for a local HS cross country team, and many of the students were working the aid stations-they did fantastic. Course was marked really well, and no issues with packet pick-up, start, or finish.

Race Swag: Cool buckle with the starting elevation and a nice comfort tee.

My Performance: I had a hard time with the altitude. Three of my middle miles were 45 minutes or more, simply because I couldn’t stand up; it was just bad. My stomach wasn’t happy. So, even if it was my first DFL, I finished my first mountain ultra.

Final notes: As far as races go, this one had everything; including a 12hr time limit, which is the only reason I could finish. If you aren’t up for a 100 miler over 11000′ mountains, but still want to try your hand in higher altitude, this is a great run to participate in.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Outstanding course and volunteers...maybe the best aid station workers anywhere! Course Difficulty: I struggle with rail trails, and this was no exception. The course was smooth with crushed … MORE

Overall Rating: Outstanding course and volunteers…maybe the best aid station workers anywhere!

Course Difficulty: I struggle with rail trails, and this was no exception. The course was smooth with crushed limestone (typical rail trail) with really long drawn out ups and downs. I’m pretty sure we were never on flat ground and we only went over a total of three hills in the entire 100 miles…so yes, there was one 18.5 mile uphill. Up to about 50 miles I was on track for a 22-24hr finish…then the incessant pounding of my feet got the best of me and I limped the rest of it and made just over 29 hours.

Course Scenery: Absolutely gorgeous. Since I was walking a lot, it was nice to be surrounded by forest, rock formations, creeks with amazing rapids, and some beautiful skies.

Race Production: Perhaps the best part of the entire race. The people working at the aid stations treat you like family (the good side), and there were no surprises along the way. Packet pick up and finish line were pretty low key, but got the job done.

Race Swag: Shiny new buckle, super soft cotton tee, and hammer collapsible cup.

My Performance: As mentioned earlier, I struggle on rail trails; there just isn’t enough variability in the terrain, so my performance was not great. I think I would just sum it up by saying, “I didn’t quit”.

Final notes: This was a hard run for me, and I’m not sure I have any more 100 milers in my future. I don’t want this review to reflect negatively on the course or volunteers in any way…both were outstanding; I think I probably just don’t have the time to put in the necessary amount of miles to thrive at this distance. Of course, it has only been 1 day since I completed the race, it could just be my aching feet talking…I suppose time will tell.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Great race, excellent venue. Course Difficulty: Flat and fast. Very easy course, as it is 2 laps on a 100% paved path, excellent for PR or first timer. … MORE

Overall Rating: Great race, excellent venue.

Course Difficulty: Flat and fast. Very easy course, as it is 2 laps on a 100% paved path, excellent for PR or first timer. There were a couple of sketchy areas where you ended up under bridges with some homeless folks, I may just be a little paranoid because I’m a country boy, but it’s part of the course, so giving a heads up.

Course Scenery: It was dark, so it wasn’t the normal running scenery, but lit area of the the path ran along the river and it was just a very pretty laid back run. There was a section that ran along a pretty busy road (moderately scary) next to the interstate, which wasn’t very scenic, but it was only about 1/2 mile of the course.

Race Production: Fantastic. Aid stations were as promised, staff was kind and helpful, and no hitches in the packet pick up.

Race Swag: Nice buckle and comfy tee.

My Performance: Not great, but not terrible. I was sick for about 10 miles of it (which kept me from getting a PR), and thought maybe it was the late night run…truth is, you can’t consume PB&J, pickle juice, Oreos, Gatorade, Pringles, and Vanilla wafers in one setting and be ok…who knew??? If I had been a little wiser with my fueling, it would have been a very strong 50k.

Final notes: First time back out since my mental crash at Eagle Up, and it went well. Had my wife and youngest son on the course with me, and there is nothing better to lift the spirits. This is a fantastic race with a great organization. If you’re in Wichita, or looking for a Kansas race, I can wholeheartedly endorse this one.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Really good. Big RWB event with camping and rucking. Course Difficulty: Flat and fast, although I had a lot of trouble with the "flatness" of the course making … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good. Big RWB event with camping and rucking.

Course Difficulty: Flat and fast, although I had a lot of trouble with the “flatness” of the course making my feet hurt. I suppose over the last few months my feet have gotten used to ups and downs with a lot of movement over small obstacles. This course was a 5 mile loop on rail trail with very slight grade.

Course Scenery: I was on the course for nearly 16 hours and I didn’t really get bored. The out path is run next to a canal, over a bridge, and then back along a river. Nice mid-western scenery.

Race Production: Really good. No surprises at all. Everything started on time, and the volunteers were great. One large aid station at the start finish and a few smaller ones along the way. All aid stations were as advertised, and the course needed no marking. Pre-race information was timely and accurate. Registration was a breeze.

Race Swag: Awesome buckle and moisture wicking tee.

My Performance: I went into this race thinking it would be an easy run, but there are no easy 100k’s…period! I had a breakdown somewhere around mile 15, and if my son hadn’t paced me for 15 miles throughout the race, I am certain that I would have quit early.

Final notes: I’m not sure why this course was so hard for me, other than I think I broke something psychological during the UROC 100k in May and haven’t recovered yet. This is an excellent course for first time or experienced ultra runners. The RD was on course all day, and really tries to take care of his runners. If you’re looking to PR or break into the Ultra world, this would be a great place to do it!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Excellent! Course Difficulty: 10 out of 10. This one had everything: mountains, streams, quad crushing downhills, 12000' of elevation gain, miles of ankle busting technical rocks, and a … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent!

Course Difficulty: 10 out of 10. This one had everything: mountains, streams, quad crushing downhills, 12000′ of elevation gain, miles of ankle busting technical rocks, and a bear that was a little too curious for my comfort. It was tough.

Course Scenery: Amazing. Most of the course was run along the ridgelines of some of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the vistas were gorgeous. Add in the sweet fragrance of blooming flowers, pine trees, and the mountain mist…nice.

Race Production: Really good. No surprises at all. Everything started on time, and the volunteers were great. All aid stations were as advertised, and the course was marked well enough that I never felt lost. Pre-race information was timely and accurate.

Race Swag: Awesome buckle and dry-fit tee.

My Performance: I had a hard goal of “don’t DNF” and a soft goal of 18 hours; needless to say, I’m thrilled with my finish time.

Final notes: This is a tough course meant to test your body and brain. The field is fast, as this is a race, and not just a run. Definitely not a first timers race for the 100k, but if you feel you’re up to a challenge…go get that buckle!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Overall Rating: Outstanding. Tough course. Great Organization. Course Difficulty: Although it wasn't the most technical trail you will ever run, the elevation gain more than makes up for it. The … MORE

Overall Rating: Outstanding. Tough course. Great Organization.

Course Difficulty: Although it wasn’t the most technical trail you will ever run, the elevation gain more than makes up for it. The uphills, especially B.A.H. (the fact that they named it should tell you something), will leave you gasping for air, and the downhills will set your quads and knees on fire. It is a different kind of difficult than some other races, as this one will make you work for it all day.

Course Scenery: Really good. Views of several waterfalls, runs that trace the river, and some overlooks. The trees weren’t in bloom quite yet, but still very nice.

Race Production: I am very impressed with this race organization. The running community in this part of the world is very tight knit, and so the production team and it seems most of the runners were very close and constantly talking. Course markings were excellent, so I was never afraid that I was lost, and communication was good. Aid stations and volunteers were second to none. RD’s were on the course throughout the day cheering runners on and taking feedback. Just really good.

Race Swag: Yes please! Headsweats technical trucker, cotton blended tech shirt, and the Forget the PR buckle I’ve been chasing. Other runners got a second 5 year or 10 year buckle that was little fancier.

My Performance: My goal was 8 hours, and I finished in 8 hrs 39 seconds…so I performed as expected. I didn’t push really hard in this race, as it was, in large part, training for the UROC 100k. I am certainly happy with this finish time.

Final notes: I think the number of runners I spoke with on the course, who have done this race 5-10 times, and are also doing the 100 miler in June speak well enough for the organization and quality of the run. It was exactly as hard as I expected it to be, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the other “little extras”. If you plan to go and run this one, get ready for a couple of monster hills, and enjoy your time in the woods.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Overall Rating: Middle of the road. It was a good balance of all the marathons I’ve run up to this point. Course Difficulty: It was pretty tough. Other reviews that … MORE

Overall Rating: Middle of the road. It was a good balance of all the marathons I’ve run up to this point.

Course Difficulty: It was pretty tough. Other reviews that I read said there were some challenging hills…I would say this is in the top five most challenging runs that I’ve done as far as hills go. Plan on going up or down, sometimes steep for the first 16 miles, and then slight grades for the last 10. The first 12 miles are pretty shaded, but be ready for full sun and warm temps for the end of the race. This race is also run on open roads, some with narrow shoulders, and can be a little dangerous. I almost got hit by a tractor trailer, and ran into another runner trying to get out of this guys way; he was going way too fast, but still, something to keep in mind.

Course Scenery: Amazing for the first 20 miles, not so much after that. You will get an excellent representation of the big island on this run. Waterfalls, surfers, rainforest, lava beaches, sea spray, etc.

Race Production: It was ok. After doing ultras for a while, I have forgotten the difference between ultra aid stations and marathon aid stations. There were three places that had hammer gels, and water/Gatorade every two miles. Volunteers were excellent, the race started on time, and timing mats worked throughout the course. Packet pickup was fine and pretty smooth. I really don’t have any complaints, but I also don’t have that “overwhelmed by how good it was” feeling either, so like I said at the beginning, it was ok.

Race Swag: Good medal, nice short sleeve tech shirt.

My Performance: Awesome…uh…I mean, average. I just don’t have enough self control to go to Hawaii and not hike six miles in to see the green sand beach, or hike down to the black sand on the north coast, so I was tired at the start. Add to that the three 100k’s I’ve done this year, and my severe underestimation of the hills and heat, and I’m ok with average. I don’t think we need to spend too much time on that though, I mean c’mon, I’m in Hawaii running my 50th state marathon; the whole thing was a celebration!

Final notes: This Marathon was the perfect end to my KR 50/50 Challenge! It was a good representation of all the runs that I completed to get to this point, and it made me earn the medal. I’m happy with the choice, and getting this state crossed off of the list.

If you’re looking to run this course, bring a few of you’re own gels, some salt, and a little sunscreen; you’ll be good to go!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Easier than Bandera, harder than Rocky Raccoon; slower than both. Course Difficulty: It was tough. The course was two 31 mile loops with five creek crossings in the … MORE

Overall Rating: Easier than Bandera, harder than Rocky Raccoon; slower than both.

Course Difficulty: It was tough. The course was two 31 mile loops with five creek crossings in the first two miles, so wet feet the whole race. Lots of hills, rocks, and roots, but many more sections that could be run than Bandera at Camp Eagle. There was a very technical portion from about mile 17 to mile 20, made more so by the constant drizzle. Somewhere between mile 20 and 25 there is a nice long flat boring stretch, which would normally be agony, but by this point your legs will be begging for it.

Course Scenery: Beautiful. Had some vistas overlooking the Colorado River (the Texas one), and surrounded by waterfalls and rock formations all day.

Race Production: Very good. Race started and continued with no problem and course was marked really frequently so there was no fear of getting lost. No big fanfare or aid station support on this one, it was self supported, and at times lonely, but the race company did everything they said they would. Had a self sign in at each aid station and scenic overlook. I had my two oldest kids crewing for me, and I would not have made it to the finish without them; if you attempt this race, either take a crew, or be prepared to confront the deepest darkest parts of your soul, no free passes on this run.

Race Swag: Awesome buckle, questionable shirt. I’ve loved the other shirts that I received from this organization, but this sleeveless tee thing, I just don’t know…

My Performance: Not great, but it was the third brutal 100k in three months, so I’ll take the finish. In hindsight, if I had known these three races were going to be as hard as they were, I wouldn’t have done them all in one season (picture me raising my glass to a lesson learned).

Final notes: Tejas Trails intends to test your will, and they get it done. They want you to finish, but they are going to make you earn it. If you see someone with one of their buckles, just know it was a fight to get it and a little of that persons soul was left in those Texas Hills.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Overall Rating: Somewhere between "Way harder than I thought it was going to be" and "oh, my aching feet". WOW! Course Difficulty: Definitely not as hard as Bandera at Camp … MORE

Overall Rating: Somewhere between “Way harder than I thought it was going to be” and “oh, my aching feet”. WOW!

Course Difficulty: Definitely not as hard as Bandera at Camp Eagle, but it was tough and technical. During the day, I repeated this line thousands of times “don’t get distracted”. If you take your eyes off of the trail for a second, you’re going down…there are just that many roots. I was expecting a “few rollers” for hills, when in reality, there are a few flat spots-the rest is up and down. My Garmin showed about 4100′ of elevation gain.

Course Scenery: It was nice. Huntsville State Park is a pretty place, and a runner will get several views of the lake, swamp, sand washes, and backwoods. It was true to the area.

Race Production: Very good. Race started and continued with no problems, aid stations were well staffed and stocked, and course was marked really frequently so there was no fear of getting lost.

Race Swag: Good. Shiny new 100k buckle and nice long sleeve tee.

My Performance: Well…it’s complicated. The run started out ok, but then my feet began to ache. Not sure what was going on, maybe the water, the mud, the super soft ground, or all the roots, but they were killing me. So, I slowed down, walked a lot, enjoyed some good conversation with other runners and got my finish. Not great, but still a PR, so I’m good with it.

Final notes: There is one particular part of this race that is absolutely demoralizing. At mile 50 you come in to the starting line aid station for the 2nd time…trying to muster the strength to go out for that last 12 miles is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; and I wasn’t alone. I spoke with and encouraged several other people who had decided they couldn’t do it, helped get them out of that dark place and back on the course. I remember telling one guy in particular “just imagine that you do quit, you go to the car, sleep for 8 hours, get back up and realize you still have 8 hours to finish the race; you’ll really regret doing that”. Apparently it was enough, because he finished.

Anyway, just because the race ads say “great first time ultramarathon” doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. This course nearly beat me.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: She don’t love you, but she’s going to make sure you remember her name... Before the review: I am thoroughly impressed with this organization. On Monday before the … MORE

Overall Rating: She don’t love you, but she’s going to make sure you remember her name…

Before the review:
I am thoroughly impressed with this organization. On Monday before the event, the venue where the race was to be held cancelled, saying they could not allow this event to happen due to the recent rains. Instead of cancelling, this team went to work, found a different venue (Camp Eagle), cleared and marked trails, and made a plan. As an out of stater, I cannot express my gratitude that Tejas Trails did this. Outstanding!

This Rave is for the Camp Eagle location, as I did not run any at the Texas Hill Country State Park.

Course Difficulty: Really hard. Don’t underestimate this course. Very few runnable sections, lots of steep climbs, and rocks…oh, the rocks. On a scale of 1-10, I give this one an 8, to be a ten I would have had to cross a mountain and a river. I am thankful it was only an 8.

Course Scenery: Really good. Great high views of the Texas Hill country, several dry creek crossings, and lots of white limestone single track. As a bonus, on my 100k I was able to see sunrise, high noon, and sunset…lol.

Race Production: Volunteers were off the charts good, started on time (delayed an hour for the venue change, but well publicized), aid station were well stocked and right where they should be, course markings were outstanding. I have one complaint, but it’s minor; there was no service to deliver drop bags back to the start…for those of us that needed to get on the road, that was an issue. I muled my second one after the last time at that aid station, and packed them both back with me for the last 5.5 mile segment, which did keep me from running, it’s a minor complaint, but that’s why the 4 stars instead of 5, all else was great.

Race Swag: Good, solid 100k buckle and nice short sleeve tee.

My Performance: This was my first 100k, so I didn’t really have expectations; I thought maybe 14-16 hours. When I walked across the finish line at nearly 17 hours, I was really just happy I hadn’t quit…it was that hard. Needless to say, I am happy with my performance, simply being able to finish something that 3 years ago would have been impossible. Oh, and I beat the Western States qualifying time…so, there’s that.

Final notes: This race is a beast. Plan for it, train hard, and don’t underestimate it, the marketing definitely doesn’t do the difficulty justice. If you’re looking to test your mettle, give this girl a whirl; she’ll make you laugh, cry, and laugh at yourself for crying…then she’ll hand you a shiny new buckle and make you want to do it all over again.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
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Overall Rating: It was average. Course Difficulty: Mild rolling hills throughout the course made for a nice mix of muscles being used. Heat and wind were definitely a factor in … MORE

Overall Rating: It was average.

Course Difficulty: Mild rolling hills throughout the course made for a nice mix of muscles being used. Heat and wind were definitely a factor in this race, although I would take the warm over the cold any day.

Course Scenery: This course takes you on a foot tour of the best sights in Memphis. I was never bored for something to look at.

Race Production: For the number of people there, production was pretty smooth. My #1 complaint is that there were no gu packs where they were supposed to be, an obvious result of starting 10000 or so half marathoners with a few thousand full marathoners. It’s not that big of a complaint, but by the time I took the pop tarts from the kid in her front yard at mile 16, I was starving. The race was delayed twice for lighting, but there were plenty of notifications, and communication was very good. No pizza when I got to the finish, but whatever, I was ready to leave anyway.

Race Swag: It was a good medal and long sleeve tech shirt.

My Performance: Slow for me, but I had chosen the night before to stay with a couple of friends and see them across the finish line. If I had run my normal pace, this would have been a better than average race for me.

Final notes: I signed up to run this with a family member, and when she couldn’t make it, I made the best of a situation. I was able to run the entire race with three good friends, one a first timer; and enjoy a warm and sunny winter day. Despite my indifference toward the race in general, St Jude is a great organization. While I am not a huge fundraising type of person, and I don’t love the “big” race scene, it was still good to be able to raise a part of the $11 million that went to St Jude as a result of this weekend.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Great race with a lot of great people. Course Difficulty: All rail trail-non technical course. I thought I may just skate through this one, but with the cold … MORE

Overall Rating: Great race with a lot of great people.

Course Difficulty: All rail trail-non technical course. I thought I may just skate through this one, but with the cold and the really long uphill, it turned out to be more challenging than I thought. Really wanted a sub ten hour run, but realized about 25 miles in that wasn’t going to happen.

Course Scenery: It was good. Course runs through the Cache River wetlands and quite a few outcroppings on the way back to the tunnel.

Race Production: Packet pickup was a little confusing, but ended up not being any problem. Aid stations and volunteers were excellent. Food was good at the end.

Race Swag: Outstanding buckle for 50 and 100 milers, nice thin cotton hoodie, choice of several hats.

My Performance: Not great, but I just don’t do well in cold weather. All in all I’m satisfied.

Final notes: This was a good 50 miler that was close to home, so I wanted to give it a try. I’m flirting with the idea of trying this as my first 100 miler, but may try for a warmer climate instead. Will just have to see. This course is obviously fast for those runners looking to PR or set a record, for the rest of us, it’s a large enough race that you have people to talk to the entire run. Worth it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: Much more challenging with the new course. Several large hills over the first 6 miles Course Scenery: Much nicer than the previous course, a … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: Much more challenging with the new course. Several large hills over the first 6 miles

Course Scenery: Much nicer than the previous course, a good view of Southern Illinois.

Race Production: It was ok. Not super crazy about the pre-race info stream, and there was an issue with a long distance between aid stations…I’m sure they’ll get that worked out. All else was good; packet pickup was smooth, shuttles were no problem.

Race Swag: Meh…didn’t love the designs, but it was a quality medal and shirt…just personal preference.

My Performance: All good. Ran the race with some friends and adjusted to their pace.

Final notes: I plan to run this race every year as it is my hometown marathon. It’s a small race (50 in the marathon), but the course is improving and overall seems to become more credible each year.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: Easy. A few rolling hills, but overall very easy. There is one section (about 6 miles) that is really long, hot, and lonely...you'll just … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: Easy. A few rolling hills, but overall very easy. There is one section (about 6 miles) that is really long, hot, and lonely…you’ll just have to struggle through it; otherwise a super easy run.

Course Scenery: As expected, a foot tour of Belleville, IL. Better than inner city industrial parks, not as good as the mountains of Colorado.

Race Production: Outstanding. Race day packet pickup was a breeze, race started on time, all aid stations were exactly as advertised, and post race food was excellent.

Race Swag: Medal was much better this year, and long sleeve shirt was a great color and design.

My Performance: I struggled for the first 7 miles, my legs just haven’t ever recovered from the New England races this summer, after that I probably ran the fastest 10 miles I’ve ever done, and then I hit a wall at mile 18 that just wouldn’t let go. It was ok, I would have liked a PR, but wasn’t willing to get injured to get it.

Final notes: I plan to run this race every year. It is a close race for me, and I definitely want to support the hometown races. Enjoy seeing it get better and better. Hats off to the Belleville Running Club and Toolen’s Running Start.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Correction: This course *has* rocks...everywhere...except where there's a giant mudhole, or a tree across the path, or a creek. Sometimes the rocks are combined with these entities, or neatly arranged … MORE

Correction: This course *has* rocks…everywhere…except where there’s a giant mudhole, or a tree across the path, or a creek. Sometimes the rocks are combined with these entities, or neatly arranged up the side of a super steep hill…yay!

All that being said, I think I’ve discovered why I’m so terrible at trail runs; after stopping every 20-40 strides for a hundred or so intervals, dodging mud, crawling over trees, or picking my way through the landmines (rocks and roots), and still only covering about 11 miles, my legs finally say “screw you buddy, you’ve lost your mind…we’re taking over” and instead of pushing through the wall, I walk for the next 15 or so miles.

At this moment at this race I realized I was going to be close to missing the 9 hour cutoff (I know right, 9 hrs on a 50k…absurd). So what did I do…no, not run, I walked faster…remember, the legs were still in control and they just didn’t trust my judgement anymore.

8 hours and 40 minutes later…I finished, still asking myself what just happened? Here’s the summary:

Overall Rating: No idea how to rate this.

Course Difficulty: Hardest race I have ever done. Saw on a post race email that there was a 26% finish rate -interpretation- 74% of people who signed up either overestimated themselves or underestimated the course…I’m going with the latter.

Course Scenery: As good as it gets for Southern Illinois. You are literally in the middle of waterfalls and geological wonders. Unfortunately, if you take your eyes off of the trail for very long…you die (or hit your toe on a rock and wish you had died).

Race Production: The race started on time, and the aid stations were phenomenal! There was an 8.5 mile span with no aid station, which I think is too long for this course. I stopped and filled a water bottle for another runner out of my hydration pack, and sat on a rock for a five minute rest to recover a little during that segment. The correspondence and overall presentation of the race organization lacked the kindness of the people of southern Illinois; not mean, just blunt and straightforward. I didn’t love that.

Race Swag: This race, because of the difficulty, should give buckles for all distances. The medal is nice, but wow, if you finish this race in a decent time, you’ve done something.

My Performance: I thought about dropping, I was just exhausted, then my buddy Joel (who I met on the course) reminded me it’s just as far to walk to the truck as it is to finish. I’m happy with just completing it before the cutoff.

Final notes: This is not a beginners course, do not underestimate it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Outstanding!!! Course Difficulty: Hard. Horse trails for a portion and a lot of technical single track. I found myself carefully choosing each footstep along this course, seldom even … MORE

Overall Rating: Outstanding!!!

Course Difficulty: Hard. Horse trails for a portion and a lot of technical single track. I found myself carefully choosing each footstep along this course, seldom even raising my head to look around.

Course Scenery: Probably about as good as it gets for Kansas. I was never bored for something to look at. Course was shaded at least 80% of the way with a lot of rock outcroppings and lake views.

Race Production: Great. Registration and packet pickup were a breeze, start went off with no problems, aid stations were off the charts good. The Trail Nerds are an excellent organization.

Race Swag: Nice medal, finishers hat and choice of mug or glass, chip timing. I signed up too late to get a shirt, which is a bummer, but I’m not going to hold that against them since I was fully aware going in.

My Performance: I’m fully satisfied with a 6:52 on this course. It was tough, and warm…and tough…and warm.

Final notes: This is not a course for someone who only loves road running, but it is awesome for someone who wants an intro into technical trail running-doable, but not easy. I think we may have gotten the best trail conditions possible, improving the experience for me; I can see how the trail could get messy fast. Loved this race, highly recommend.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Good. Course Difficulty: Moderate. Definitely not flat, but not hilly the whole time either. There was a fairly long stretch of gravel, which my feet welcomed, and a … MORE

Overall Rating: Good.

Course Difficulty: Moderate. Definitely not flat, but not hilly the whole time either. There was a fairly long stretch of gravel, which my feet welcomed, and a short stretch of single track, non technical.

Course Scenery: It was good, but not exactly what I thought it may be in Alaska. Had views of mountains for much of it, but there are probably better runs in AK if scenery is your thing.

Race Production: Really good. Shuttles were flawless, started on time, good start and finish chutes, and aid stations were excellent. No gels at this race, only pretzels, red twists, and oranges. Packet pickup was a breeze.

Race Swag: Nice medal, and long sleeve tech finisher’s shirt.

My Performance: I think I could have finished this race a little faster (maybe 4:45), but I found some folks who were running a little slower to hang out with, and that was better for me than finishing 20 minutes faster.

Final notes: Alaska is a long way away, even by plane…just be ready for that.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: This course has some challenging hills, and on the day I ran it, a pretty stiff head wind and some rain. That aside, it … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: This course has some challenging hills, and on the day I ran it, a pretty stiff head wind and some rain. That aside, it is about average for races I run. 98% paved trail or road, with one small section of hard packed cinders.

Course Scenery: Awesome at times, boring at others. There was a section of the race that had a sign that said “twilight zone”, I thought it was a reference to the movie, but as it turns out, it was just a long boring stretch. I wasn’t really expecting that, but compared to the mountain views, the bay, and the dense forest, it was a small and insignificant portion of the run.

Race Production: Excellent! Good communication, outstanding volunteers, and timely starts. The RD was willing to let me pick my bib up on race morning if I needed, an important note for anyone doing a double or maniacs.

Race Swag: Awesome. Nice medal, drop bag, and a 1/4 zip tech pullover.

My Performance: Not great. My finish time doesn’t really reflect it, but when I woke up, I just didn’t want to run a marathon that day. I think maybe I had just been on the road too long and had lost motivation. I spent much of the run just trying to convince myself to keep going. Happy that I pushed through and got state 48 crossed off the list.

This is not the easiest race to get to. You are going to have to drive 100 miles through slow traffic to get here, but once you arrive, it is a good run. At one point on the trail, I followed an otter for about 100 yards, so you’re right in the middle of nature. If you don’t mind the drive, it’s a good run.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: Very easy course with a few hills. Course Scenery: Ran along the ocean for a few miles, through the old port, and the along … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: Very easy course with a few hills.

Course Scenery: Ran along the ocean for a few miles, through the old port, and the along bay for the rest of the run. There was a lot to look at and was a fantastic representation of this part of the world.

Race Production: Really good. The volunteers at this race were excellent. While I was walking to the early start at 5:30, there were already smiling faces at each of the intersections just waiting. Aid stations were well stocked, and packet pickup was no-frills/no problems. Course was well marked.

Race Swag: Good. Nice quality tech shirt and handmade glass medal.

My Performance: Odd. So this was my 10th marathon in 21 days and I got a PR??? I checked my watch a couple of times to make sure I didn’t cut a part of the course, and all was right. Somehow, I just felt really good running that day; not sure why, but I’ll take it.

Thoroughly enjoyed this part of the world, it is just beautiful, and the people are really friendly. The PR was a bonus. If you’re looking for a BQ, this is very likely a good place to make it happen.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Very good. Course Difficulty: Super easy. The course started with an uphill out and back, then downhill or flat the rest of the way. Course Scenery: Beautiful California … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good.

Course Difficulty: Super easy. The course started with an uphill out and back, then downhill or flat the rest of the way.

Course Scenery: Beautiful California mountain, agriculture and beach scenery. The smell of all the citrus blossoms and flowering plants was equal to or better than the scenery though.

Race Production: Great. The RD opened packet pickup a little early for me, the race started on time, excellent aid stations and volunteers, and perfect course markings. The only thing that I didn’t love (I get it, just didn’t love it), was that if you weren’t able to make packet pickup on time, there wasn’t a race day option, and your bib would be sold at the end of expo. Pretty tough for out-of-staters driving in, and a little extra stress before the race.

Race Swag: Loved the tech shirts and designs, and the medals were pretty fancy.

My Performance: Still recovering during this race, so I took it slow and easy. Managed to finish in less than 5 hours, and I was totally good with that.

My family and I walked from the finish to the beach (100 yds), where we relaxed for a little while after the race. Got to meet my Race Raves family on the way out, and then headed north for a week of camping along the coast. This is a very well produced and run event along a really pretty course; I can certainly recommend it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Very pretty course. Course Difficulty: On a normal day, I would have loved this course...with shin splints, I wanted to quit. Small rolling hills in beautiful scenery. Course … MORE

Overall Rating: Very pretty course.

Course Difficulty: On a normal day, I would have loved this course…with shin splints, I wanted to quit. Small rolling hills in beautiful scenery.

Course Scenery: Really pretty wooded run opening up to the bay.

Race Production: Excellent! Cannot compliment this crew enough. Outstanding job all 6 days.

Race Swag: Excellent! Received all 6 state shaped medals, and a giant 6 Marathons in 6 States in 6 Days Medal and a long sleeve tech shirt for completing the series.

My Performance: I wanted to quit, but I was too far from home. This is the most painful marathon I have ever completed. Glad that I was able to muster the endurance to finish…for a while I thought I may not have it in me.

This series as a whole was excellent, and if you’re looking to cross the New England States off of your 50 States list, this is a good way to do it.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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Overall Rating: Very good course, not such great performance. Course Difficulty: This one was tough for me, after running the first couple of loops, my shins really started to hurt … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good course, not such great performance.

Course Difficulty: This one was tough for me, after running the first couple of loops, my shins really started to hurt (shin splints), the downhills on this course were super painful. A somewhat steep rolling course.

Course Scenery: Nice. Well manicured golf course and lake.

Race Production: Good, JC and team did a great job.

Race Swag: Good. Nice state shaped medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: Not too good, but all in all, happy to still be moving forward on day 7.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good. Course Difficulty: Not too bad. This was a fairly flat course on a paved park trail and sidewalk. There was one section that I think caused … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good.

Course Difficulty: Not too bad. This was a fairly flat course on a paved park trail and sidewalk. There was one section that I think caused some issues, and that was the asphalt sidewalk that was about a quarter of the course; it was really uneven, and I think it contributed to the shin pain I had the next couple of days.

Course Scenery: Excellent. Beautiful Japanese Garden in the middle of the park made for nice eye candy along the run.

Race Production: Good, JC and team did a great job.

Race Swag: Good. Nice state shaped medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: I was pretty pleased for the 6th marathon in as many days. Wasn’t suffering too bad, and had an unexpectedly good finish time.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good. Course Difficulty: Really challenging. This was my 5th marathon in 5 days, and was a 3.3ish mile loop. We did 2-1 intervals to try and save … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good.

Course Difficulty: Really challenging. This was my 5th marathon in 5 days, and was a 3.3ish mile loop. We did 2-1 intervals to try and save some steam for the rest of the week, but it wore us out anyway. Constantly rolling hills, and a dirt/gravel path. Loving the dirt paths, they are really gentle on the feet.

Course Scenery: Excellent. Good representation of VT and some nice views along the way.

Race Production: Good, JC and team are doing a great job.

Race Swag: Good. Nice state shaped medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: Wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was the first time I had done 5 back to back marathons. All in all it was ok. I didn’t push really hard, but I didn’t walk the whole thing either. Definitely a little tender in the knees. (same as yesterday)

Met a friend that I’ve been running with on Monday, and today she got her 50th marathon. JC and crew had a cake, plaque, and balloon waiting for her. Very nice gesture.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Excellent. I’m not a huge fan of loop courses, but this one was outstanding. Course Difficulty: Not bad. It was a moderately hilly dirt/cinder trail along the Nashua … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. I’m not a huge fan of loop courses, but this one was outstanding.

Course Difficulty: Not bad. It was a moderately hilly dirt/cinder trail along the Nashua river. There were a few land mines (aka rocks and roots) but the majority of the course felt really good underfoot.

Course Scenery: Perfect. Good representation of NH and I was never bored because of the terrain.

Race Production: There was a little confusion at the beginning over the short out and back, but otherwise, flawless. This crew does a really good job with aid stations and accommodating the runners.

Race Swag: Good. Nice state shaped medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: Wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was the first time I had done 4 back to back marathons. All in all it was ok. I didn’t push really hard, but I didn’t walk the whole thing either. Definitely a little tender in the knees.

I had a great running friend along the way who kept me going in the low spots. The loop trail length (4.8ish miles) was perfect.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good. Enjoyed the longer loops (3.5ish miles). Course Difficulty: Flat except for one highway bridge. Pleasant view across a city retention pond. Course Scenery: Not a lot … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good. Enjoyed the longer loops (3.5ish miles).

Course Difficulty: Flat except for one highway bridge. Pleasant view across a city retention pond.

Course Scenery: Not a lot to look at, it a couple of friends and I did see different things every time we went around, so it kept things interesting.

Race Production: Great. Excellent food, and plenty of it at the one aid station. No frills bob pickup and start.

Race Swag: Good. Nice state shaped medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: It was ok for the third of 8 in a row. No complaints.

I had initially planned this as a day off, but the RD happened to be running at NY earlier in the week and talked me into it (you other runners know how hard that was). Glad I decided to do it, there is something about taking on an entire Challenge and completing it.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Really good, with room to improve. Course Difficulty: constant rolling hills and all paved surfaces. Fairly challenging. Course Scenery: Off the charts. Outstanding! Race Production: You’ll have to … MORE

Overall Rating: Really good, with room to improve.

Course Difficulty: constant rolling hills and all paved surfaces. Fairly challenging.

Course Scenery: Off the charts. Outstanding!

Race Production: You’ll have to decide: no shirt with race purchase, packet pickup was a breeze, lots of pre race info, tracking app that didn’t work for many people on the course, first announcement at the start line was that there would be no aid stations for the first 8 miles, aid stations didn’t really have any type of fuel, aid station volunteers were really good. Some really major issues, but also some gold stars.

Race Swag: Nice medal, but again, no shirt with entry.

My Performance: It was ok. About what I expected for the second day of a double.

A really beautiful course with lots of support. There is room for improvement, but if I needed a check mark by Maine, I would definitely consider this one.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

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Overall Rating: Pretty good small race. Course Difficulty: Fairly constant rolling hills and rain for most of this race made this one a little tough. Several folks had a dream … MORE

Overall Rating: Pretty good small race.

Course Difficulty: Fairly constant rolling hills and rain for most of this race made this one a little tough. Several folks had a dream chafe going on, and the others were waiting for it. Without the rain it is probably a 3 out of 5.

Course Scenery: The Hudson valley is a pretty place. After I left, I felt like I had seen the other New York, outside of the big city. It was nice.

Race Production: From my perspective everything was flawless. You knew exactly what was going to happen and when, and then it did.

Race Swag: Good. Decent medal, and a dry blend t shirt.

My Performance: It was fine, once it started raining I went into survival mode so I could get the finish.

Met some new friends along the way who I’d be running with the rest of the week, and an RD who sweet talked me into running all 6 of the New England Challenge Races. Glad he did.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Excellent. I wanted a 50 mile ultra, and I got it! Course Difficulty: Pretty tough. I would give the course itself a 6 out of 10 on difficulty, … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. I wanted a 50 mile ultra, and I got it!

Course Difficulty: Pretty tough. I would give the course itself a 6 out of 10 on difficulty, as it is constantly rolling hills. I would give the course plus rain a 7 out of 10, as you get the hills, the mud, and sloshing around in wet shoes. I would give the course plus the rain plus the wind plus the temperature an 8 out of ten on the most challenging things I have ever done.

Mostly gravel/dirt roads-as a side note if you plan to run this race, the traffic in this part of the world doesn’t slow down or move over for you. I wasn’t sure if the people didn’t like me, or runners being on the road in general, or if it’s just how people drive in that area…just something to know.

Course Scenery: Nice. I like rural terrain, and this is an epic view of real Kansas.

Race Production: Race production was perfect; everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. Manned aid stations every 9-10 miles, unmanned with water in between. Great volunteers who endured rough weather with smiles and a helpful attitude. Chili to eat at the end. Free pics. Excellent production!

Race Swag: Awesome race specific buckle (even for the marathon) and a sweet cotton poly blend shirt.

My Performance: I wasn’t sure what to expect, as this was my first 50 miler. My overall plan was to finish in under 10 hours, but I would be happy with a finish. I finished my first loop feeling good at about 4:40, so all was going as planned; the second loop is where things got tough.
It had rained all morning, not hard, but enough that I was soaked, I had a drop bag at mile 35, ten miles up the road, so I thought maybe once it quit raining I would change. Then came the hard rain and wind.
Long story short, by mile 35 my lips had turned blue, and fingers had started to turn blue…I was shivering uncontrollably, and thought I was going to have to drop. Chris (crewing) and Melanie (fellow runner), both my new heroes, saved my race. They gave me some boiled potatoes, a poncho, some hand warmers, and latex gloves; I put all of this on with a couple more layers of dry clothes and off I went.
I ended up walking about 15 total miles, and still finished right at 11 hours…I’m totally good with that.

I can’t ever say enough good things about my fellow runners, especially in ultras; it’s a community that goes way deeper than any event, and I am extremely grateful.

All in all, this race on a bad day is still a good memory, this race on a good day would be one of the best I have participated in. Really enjoyed it.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: I would rate this one above average. Course Difficulty: Easy-squeezy. Rail trail with low grade hills and crushed limestone surface that was really soft on the feet. It … MORE

Overall Rating: I would rate this one above average.

Course Difficulty: Easy-squeezy. Rail trail with low grade hills and crushed limestone surface that was really soft on the feet. It was an out and back and the 15 miles back in gave us 20mph sustained headwinds (ouch).

Course Scenery: Not really. It would probably be prettier in the late spring early summer, or if the sun was out, or if the wind wasn’t screaming (lol). I’m sure there are prettier places in Kansas.

Race Production: Race production was outstanding; no surprises at all-everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. Manned and unbelievably well stocked aid stations every 4-5 miles, unmanned with water in between. Super friendly volunteers who had obviously run before. Tons of good food at the pre-race and post-race meals. Free pics. Really good production!

Race Swag: Awesome Kansas shaped buckle (even for the 50k) and a sweet cotton poly blend shirt.

My Performance: I got to ring the PR bell on this one. I could have finished a little quicker than I did, but I came across a young guy (17) who was struggling a little, and turned out to be great company. He pushed me on my speed walking, and I kept him going for about the last 9 miles (for me the camaraderie is worth much more than a better finish time).

I wanted to complete another 50k before my 50 miler in April, and was previewing this course for a 100miler later in the year. It was a very good race with good people. If you’re into no frills and no surprises, this is your race. If you like big crowds, busy expo’s, and tons of epic scenery, you should prob look somewhere else. I personally loved this race!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5
My Media

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Overall Rating: Race production was good. Trail running is a different animal and a different crowd with different expectations, so...they didn't have the size shirt I ordered (bad), the race … MORE

Overall Rating: Race production was good. Trail running is a different animal and a different crowd with different expectations, so…they didn’t have the size shirt I ordered (bad), the race started right on time and was well marked (good), fed my wife and two of my kids after the race (great), aid stations were a long way between (normal), packet pickup was extremely easy (good). All in all more good than bad.

Course Difficulty: Rolling hills with lots of little land mines, a few water spots to cross (your feet will get wet), some wooden planks to traverse, some sand to run on.

Course Scenery: It was decent. A lot of running through previously prescribed burns, pine forests, along a river, and through marshes. I definitely didn’t get bored because there was nothing to look at.

Race Production: Good. Aid station were about 4-5 miles between, but were well stocked, and had great people working them.

Race Swag: Woodallions were not bad, but I always prefer metal (just personal preference), and as I mentioned earlier, they didn’t have the size shirt I ordered…bummer.

My Performance: This was a hard run. It was advertised as a good entry trail ultra, but in my experience, it was quite a bit beyond that. I suspect the weather (lots of previous rain) and the 80+ degree weather and high humidity had a lot to do with it.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1

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Overall Rating: Good production. Nice trail along the river. Everything was as expected. Course Difficulty: It was really flat, with one big hill in the middle, which on a double … MORE

Overall Rating: Good production. Nice trail along the river. Everything was as expected.

Course Difficulty: It was really flat, with one big hill in the middle, which on a double loop, we covered twice.

Course Scenery: Some was nice, other was oil refinery’s and factories. None of it was bad, but there were a couple of areas that were better just because we were looking out over the river.

Race Production: Good. 25k and 50k started well before the other races, so no real overlap. Aid stations were where they were supposed to be, and course was well marked. Food at the end was awesome. There weren’t enough porta-jons, but are there ever?? One nice bathroom about 4 miles in, so we passed it 4 times. Packet pickup was a breeze.

Race Swag: Good medal and nice long sleeve tech shirt.

My Performance: It was ok. I finished a lot slower than I thought, but mostly because we were fighting a 20 mph headwind for half of the race-blah…so I think I walked about 6-8 miles of this one.

If you are looking for a 50k, but aren’t ready to wade across creeks or go mudding, this one will do. I think there are probably better paved 50k’s out there, but for a super low price, on this weekend in Jan-it would be tough to beat.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Very good production. Nice trail along the river. Volunteer support was outstanding. Course Difficulty: I'm not sure how to rate this. The trail seemed very easy "aka flat", … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good production. Nice trail along the river. Volunteer support was outstanding.

Course Difficulty: I’m not sure how to rate this. The trail seemed very easy “aka flat”, but by the time I finished I was worn out, and fairly slow “ish”. So…the trail was great and didn’t seem difficult, but I wouldn’t go in expecting a PR.

Course Scenery: Really nice. I took the 5am early start, so I was running toward Little Rock while the city was lit up for Christmas, which was quite nice. I think the trail portion itself would be much prettier with foliage on the trees, but no complaints here. The entire trail followed the river which was great. Very nice scenery.

Race Production: Good. I was running toward the front of the early pack, and at one time around mile 9 that we thought we were lost…we weren’t…but we did have to take some time to pull up maps on the iphone to be sure. There were several other runners who I passed on the way back who asked if they were going the right direction, so I know this was a weak area for the production team. Not enough for me to ding the production for it though, because we weren’t actually lost. They also had a heated tent at the start/finish line that was the best I have been in…excellent. When I finished the race, there were no other runners around, so I walked over to the shuttle and asked how long until I could get a ride back up the hill…the driver replied “we’re here for you, honey, I can take you now if you’re ready”…so, I got a solo ride in the shuttle bus-Outstanding.

Race Swag: Good medal and nice long sleeve tech shirt. They also offered previous year(s) long sleeve shirts for $5, so I bought a couple.

My Performance: It was ok. I was the first one to cross the finish line, and came in first of the early starters, which was good, overall still finished dead center in the pack, I am the true definition of average…oh well, someone has to be in the middle. If you’re looking for a midwest run in December, I can give this one my stamp of approval.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Good. No issues, and started on time. Cold start, but warmed up nicely once into the canyon. Way more challenging than I thought it was going to be. … MORE

Overall Rating: Good. No issues, and started on time. Cold start, but warmed up nicely once into the canyon. Way more challenging than I thought it was going to be.

Course Difficulty: Really hard. Steep hills, lots of loose sand, about half trail and half packed dirt road.

Course Scenery: Some of the best in the US…made the challenge worth it.

Race Production: Good. A few things didn’t go as planned, but nothing to do with the race, just the extras.

Race Swag: Good medal and nice long sleeve tech shirt.

My Performance: I’m satisfied with it. I always have trouble running in high altitude, and combined with the demanding terrain, this one was pretty hard, so I’m happy with my performance.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Good. No issues, and started on time. Course was chilly, but nice. Course Difficulty: Rolling hills, and some gravel. This course had a little more traffic than I'm … MORE

Overall Rating: Good. No issues, and started on time. Course was chilly, but nice.

Course Difficulty: Rolling hills, and some gravel. This course had a little more traffic than I’m used to, but still very manageable.

Course Scenery: This is southern Illinois at it’s best. a nice scenic run through the hills while the leaves are changing. Very pretty.

Race Production: Ok. It seemed a little disorganized at times, but everything went as planned, so all in all it was fine.

Race Swag: Good medal, choice of this years or last, and nice long sleeve shirt.

My Performance: Good, managed a PR on a really cold and windy day; likely because it is my hometown and I got to sleep in my own bed the night before.

I’m usually out of town the weekend of this race, but happened to be here this year. Enjoyed running close to the house.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Instead of my usual format, I'm just going to tell the story... Drove in from running in Virginia the day before, missed packet pickup because of traffic, no problem, I'll … MORE

Instead of my usual format, I’m just going to tell the story…

Drove in from running in Virginia the day before, missed packet pickup because of traffic, no problem, I’ll just hit the race morning packet pickup. Went to campsite at the state park (which the race was running through) and was told that the gate would be locked until an hour after the race start, I’d have to “park outside the gate” a mile away. So, called the park ranger who gave me access to a side gate, and finally got settled in for the night.

Race morning I showed up a little earlier than they were ready, got my packet, and was asked if I could “stick around because there were some homeless guys trying to steal things”…I did, but I’m an old, tiny, 150 pounder, what the heck am I going to do…anyway-that was done.

Met the RD-nice enough guy-then the fun started. I don’t really study up before races, because the standard, even if low is usually ok for me, but I wasn’t really prepared for very few porta-jons, water only aid stations that weren’t always staffed, and a general feeling of you’re on your own…

I don’t want it to sound like I’m whining, I can run under those conditions, but even while on the course I kept hearing conversation about the weird cutoff times, the race being cancelled the night before-then back on-then off, then on…and then the one thing that sealed the deal…they closed the course early!!!

I had finished, but I had several friends-even Maniacs who have done several hundred races-who didn’t get to. We’re adults, we signed waivers, we know the risk…

I’m just sayin’, if you’re an RD, and I’ve paid you to run the course, and the course time limit isn’t up, and you try to pull me off the course; you are going to have a fight on your hands.

I’m getting upset just thinking about it…anyway, long story short…

If you’re looking for a race in NC, go somewhere else. My $.02

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: It was pretty standard for a Mainly Marathons run. Definitely nice to be able to save a trip to Virginia. Course Difficulty: Nearly constant hills with this 12 … MORE

Overall Rating: It was pretty standard for a Mainly Marathons run. Definitely nice to be able to save a trip to Virginia.

Course Difficulty: Nearly constant hills with this 12 loop course.

Course Scenery: Nice park with fall scenery.

Race Production: It was good. Early start was nice…no frills check in.

Race Swag: Fine, nothing extremely great or terrible.

My Performance: So-So. First run of a double weekend, so I took it easy and made time to visit with some friends.

Loops aren’t my preferred races, but I’m glad they are there as an option. The Mainly Marathon folks do a great job.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: This was a well organized, no frills, inaugural race. Has a unique option of being able to qualify for any of three states. Course Difficulty: Good course, a … MORE

Overall Rating: This was a well organized, no frills, inaugural race. Has a unique option of being able to qualify for any of three states.

Course Difficulty: Good course, a few hills at the end and some traffic along the roads.

Course Scenery: Nice mid-western scenery and historic towns along Rt 66.

Race Production: It was good. Easy check in, RD was on site, no frills expo in a central location. Started on time, good volunteers at aid stations, nice finish area.

Race Swag: Really nice medal and well designed cotton tee. Clear plastic Rt 66 drop bag.

My Performance: I was good with it. Fairly warm day and second run of the double weekend.

I think this will be even better next year, but still a really good inaugural run. If you’re looking to cross off MO or OK, this one will do.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Excellent. No issues whatsoever. Killer BBQ at the end. Course Difficulty: A few hills, but overall flat and fast. Course Scenery: Enough historic scenery to keep from getting … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. No issues whatsoever. Killer BBQ at the end.

Course Difficulty: A few hills, but overall flat and fast.

Course Scenery: Enough historic scenery to keep from getting bored.

Race Production: Perfect. Great aid stations, plenty of restrooms, lots of course marshals and local PD to give direction.

Race Swag: Didn’t like this years medal as well, but still good quality stuff. Also got socks, sunglasses, and shirt…

My Performance: Almost a PR, just couldn’t get my lazy rear in gear…

This was my first repeat race, and my home marathon (2 hrs away), so…excellent!!! Oh, and I got to sleep in my own bed the night before…even better!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Needed to get Montana and Wyoming done on the same trip, and that is what it was. Course Difficulty: Some courses are tough because of elevation or hills, … MORE

Overall Rating: Needed to get Montana and Wyoming done on the same trip, and that is what it was.

Course Difficulty: Some courses are tough because of elevation or hills, this one was tough because it was 22 laps around a fairground.

Course Scenery: Not really.

Race Production: It was good. Early start was nice…no frills check in. Showers afterward.

Race Swag: Fine, nothing extremely great or terrible.

My Performance: So-So. Fourth run of the week, so it was what it was.

Again, wouldn’t have chosen these as my destination races, just didn’t want to drive 3000 miles twice.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
1
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Needed to get Montana and Wyoming done on the same trip, and that is what it was. Course Difficulty: Easy 2 mile loop. Course Scenery: Not really. Might … MORE

Overall Rating: Needed to get Montana and Wyoming done on the same trip, and that is what it was.

Course Difficulty: Easy 2 mile loop.

Course Scenery: Not really. Might be nice when the lake is full, but it was drained.

Race Production: It was good. Early start was nice…no frills check in.

Race Swag: Fine, nothing extremely great or terrible.

My Performance: Ok. Third run of the week, so it was what it was.

Wouldn’t have chosen these as my destination races as they are just not my favorite style of running, just didn’t want to drive 3000 miles twice.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
1
SWAG
2

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Overall Rating: Very good. Nice run through the falls and historic parts of the city. Course Difficulty: A little challenging with the wind, but overall not bad. This was my … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good. Nice run through the falls and historic parts of the city.

Course Difficulty: A little challenging with the wind, but overall not bad. This was my second run of the week and I was trying for 5 hrs. Missing it by only 58 seconds should give some insight to the course difficulty.

Course Scenery: Nice sunny day running a loop around town. Got a little boring on the levee, but not terrible.

Race Production: Excellent. Nice expo, plenty of parking, easy packet pickup.

Race Swag: Excellent custom medal and 1/4 zip pullover

My Performance: Hit exactly the time I wanted so good.

Second run in a four run week. Happy with the finish.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Very good. Dick Beardsley greeted every runner as they came in and the race had a nice hometown feel. Course Difficulty: A little challenging with the wind, but … MORE

Overall Rating: Very good. Dick Beardsley greeted every runner as they came in and the race had a nice hometown feel.

Course Difficulty: A little challenging with the wind, but overall not bad. This was my first run of the week and I was trying for 5 hrs. Beating it by 6 min should give some insight to the course difficulty.

Course Scenery: Nice sunny day running around the lake.

Race Production: Excellent. No frills packet pickup/small expo. Good course support. Timely start.

Race Swag: Spinner medal and a hoodie-nice.

My Performance: Hit exactly the time I wanted so good.

Took the week to cross four states off and this was the starter race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Overall Rating: Pretty good run. Course Difficulty: The RD at this race did some things that are a little out of the ordinary, like a double loop at the beginning, … MORE

Overall Rating: Pretty good run.

Course Difficulty: The RD at this race did some things that are a little out of the ordinary, like a double loop at the beginning, but hey, I get it, having a run to come out to 26.2 exactly is tough. That being said, a pet peeve I have about other races is getting done with a nice trail portion only to do laps through a neighborhood. At this race, all of the neighborhood/city portions (which were still very nice) took place at the beginning, and the race only became more scenic as you went…exactly how it should be. Flat to low grade paved rail trails with a significantly long downhill and then back up to the finish. Note: some roads were pretty rough (potholes), and the trail had a steep crown in some places-didn’t bother me too bad, but if you require a treadmill smooth surface, this is not it.

Course Scenery: Excellent. Running through old “oil money” neighborhoods, through a historic college campus, along a beautiful creek in a dense hardwood forest. Just really good scenery.

Race Production: It was good. Clock start, chip finish. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, lots of parking near the start/finish, no expo packet pickup was a breeze. There may have been an issue where they ran out of medals due to late sign ups, but I wasn’t affected so not sure…just heard the RD making an announcement about it before the start. Aid stations were a little far apart for my liking, but I always carry water for that reason so not a big deal-they were every two miles.

Race Swag: Good, nice medal and well designed race/gender specific dri-fit shirt.

My Performance: So-So. I find myself taking miles slower than I used to just to visit with people and encourage other runners, so my time was ok, but the run was very enjoyable.

This is a very small race. For what you get it is a decent value. No major issues. They also had a first year trial kids program which shows me they are making effort to improve and accommodate. I anticipate it will grow for that reason. If your looking for a shady summer run in PA, this one will do.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

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Overall Rating: Average run. Bling wasn't great, but scenery was outstanding. Cost was high. Course Difficulty: This was a pretty tough course for me, mostly because of the elevation, but … MORE

Overall Rating: Average run. Bling wasn’t great, but scenery was outstanding. Cost was high.

Course Difficulty: This was a pretty tough course for me, mostly because of the elevation, but the consistent downhill was hard on the knees and ankles too (never thought I would say that). It was as advertised, a net downhill, and I had no surprises. I actually thought about taking a few pics of the signage directing half and full runners…this RD did an outstanding job letting us know where to go and I never once questioned if I was on the right path.

Course Scenery: Outstanding. Constant views of rivers, mountains, and beautiful mountain homes. Plenty of shade on the first half, pretty hot and sunny on the second.

Race Production: It was pretty good. No frills expo packet pick up with several freebies. Volunteers were excellent. races went off without any issues. Bus transportation was great. My one complaint would be trying to access packet pickup; we didn’t stay in Aspen, and it was a pain to get to when we rolled in at 4:30 Friday afternoon. Small issue, but an issue.

Race Swag: Meh. The t-shirt was standard dri-fit, and the medal was ok, but not great. For the $160 entry fee, I expected more.

My Performance: Ok. Got to visit with a friend for the first 8 or ten miles, and walk ran the rest simply due to the altitude. Overall I was ok with my 5hr finish at this race…

This is a small race, and the scenery was very good. After looking for almost a year, I just don’t think you’re going to find an inexpensive marathon in Colorado. For the value, I would probably look for a different race, for the scenery, it doesn’t get much better.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2
My Media

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Overall Rating: Excellent. Logistics were all good, course was nice, volunteers were fantastic. Course Difficulty: Pretty tough for a flatlander. Lots of hills and a mountain to cross in the … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. Logistics were all good, course was nice, volunteers were fantastic.

Course Difficulty: Pretty tough for a flatlander. Lots of hills and a mountain to cross in the middle; it’s West Virginia, and the course description was accurate.

Course Scenery: Nice. Constant views of the rolling hills, tons of shade the first half of the course, running along the river the second half.

Race Production: It was excellent. No frills expo (which I love), local girls club helping with packet pickup (excellent), volunteers everywhere who were knowledgeable and willing to help out. If I have one complaint, and it is tiny, the RD opened up a campground at a local community center which worked well, except there were no bathrooms…I was ok, but my wife didn’t love this…I’m sure, based on what I saw at the rest of the event, this will be corrected by next year.

Race Swag: Good. Unique medal, tech tee, branded Mason jar, and ear buds in the custom drop bag.

My Performance: Ok. The first eight miles were really good, but my knee started to soften on the downhill side of Blackberry Mountain (really steep), so the rest was a little slower and more painful. Eventually the knee won’t be a problem, but for now, still being cautious.

This is a small race, but really enjoyable, certainly one of my favorite runs to date. If you’re looking to cross KY or WV off this list, I can highly recommend this run.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Overall Rating: Excellent. One of the most scenic courses I've run. Very good support. Course Difficulty: Long, low grade hills, even injured and taking my time I came close to … MORE

Overall Rating: Excellent. One of the most scenic courses I’ve run. Very good support.

Course Difficulty: Long, low grade hills, even injured and taking my time I came close to my normal times.

Course Scenery: Outstanding. Looking out over the bay for sunrise and sailboats, blooming orchards and vineyards, just really pretty.

Race Production: It was good. I think it was good planning, although maybe just luck at times? I came into this run thinking it was just a small town run, and the pre-race media really didn’t lead me to believe any different, but when I got there and saw all the traffic and people, it was a little overwhelming…not a New York or Boston, but not a 300 person trail race either. I think there were around 1200 marathoners, 3500 halfers, and not sure about 10k. Anyway, no long lines at packet pickup, lots of happy volunteers, on time start, and accurate timing and results…all good in my book.

Race Swag: Good. Decent medal, tech tee, and performance socks.

My Performance: Ok. I was running along talking to people knowing that it wasn’t going to be great, and then at mile 22 I looked at my watch and was actually really close to a PR pace. The knee didn’t hold out for a PR, but this is definitely a BQ race if it’s cool and cloudy…maybe not if it’s sunny and 70.

The only downside to this race is the traffic, other than that it is a 5 shoe review. I wasn’t aware that Traverse City was a vacation destination for a lot of mid-westerners, so it was really crowded for Memorial Day, add to that the fact that there was only one road out of the race with no traffic control people there, and the result is waiting hour(s) to get out after the race…I partially blame myself for this, again, I was not prepared for the size of race it was.

All in all, a good race that I am happy to recommend; just be prepared for the logistic challenges. Stay close to the start/finish and walk off of the peninsula onto the main drag.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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Overall Rating: Ok, it was just a marathon. Course Difficulty: A few small hills, and a couple of rises for bridges, but a fairly easy course. Course Scenery: Neighborhoods and … MORE

Overall Rating: Ok, it was just a marathon.

Course Difficulty: A few small hills, and a couple of rises for bridges, but a fairly easy course.

Course Scenery: Neighborhoods and industrial areas…blah.

Race Production: It was fine-ish. I had to pay and extra $50 for race day picket pickup and couldn’t get anyone to give any real details. I arrived at 5am race morning to try and sort it out, but no one was around. At 6am (race started at 7) a random volunteer happened to walk by and those of us waiting sweet talked her into helping us…who knows if the person who was actually supposed to be there was going to show up…dumb.

Anyway, on the course, support was good, volunteers were kind, and if you’re a Packer’s fan (which I’m really not), you get to run a lap around Lambeau Field.

Race Swag: Good. I didn’t love the medal (it was the third piece of a three part), but it’s fine.

My Performance: Really sore after Fargo the day before, so I just took it easy…still had a 9 hour drive and back to work at 6:30 Monday morning.

Just know that this is a race seems to be about making money, not making runners love it. I needed a check mark by WI and this one fit the schedule. All said and done this very average race cost me $165 for entry, with no extras included…a far cry from the outstanding $35 race in Ohio.

If you’re schedule allows and you’re only running one in WI, I would look elsewhere.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
1
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My Media

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Overall Rating: Good, somewhat scenic, long drive to get there. Course Difficulty: Really flat, easy run. A few rough roads, but not too bad. Course Scenery: Ran through some local … MORE

Overall Rating: Good, somewhat scenic, long drive to get there.

Course Difficulty: Really flat, easy run. A few rough roads, but not too bad.

Course Scenery: Ran through some local communities, along the river, through a few college campuses in MN, and then back down Broadway in Fargo. The scenery wasn’t overwhelming, but it was good enough to keep you interested throughout the run.

Race Production: Good, but a little impersonal for my taste. Had no issues with packet pickup, race day parking, or post race showers (nice touch). Race start was on time and the course had excellent support. Super friendly volunteers along the way.

Race Swag: Really good. Excellent medal and cotton hoodie.

My Performance: The knee was still not good, so it was pretty slow. Happy to finish and cross ND off the state list.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

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Overall Rating: Pretty good with a couple of things I didn't love. Course Difficulty: Rolling hills on streets and in neighborhoods for the first half, nice flat rail trail for … MORE

Overall Rating: Pretty good with a couple of things I didn’t love.

Course Difficulty: Rolling hills on streets and in neighborhoods for the first half, nice flat rail trail for the second half.

Course Scenery: The first half was the local community; the second half was nice (running in the shade next to a creek).

Race Production: Good, for the biggest part. We rolled in at about 3am and the road crews were out in full force, slept a little and when we woke at 5am the parking guys were already in place and doing a great job. Race morning packet pick up was smooth. And then the things I didn’t love…at 6:35 we received an alert that the 6:45 start of the race was going to be delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems, it was cold and windy, and this made everyone who had planned correctly and gotten there on time a little grouchy…then, at 7am the announcer said we would have another delay for 10 minutes…WHAT??? I know I run more marathons than a lot of people, but come on, everyone (even newbies if they’re honest with themselves) know you need to get there 1-2 hours before the race start if you want to get parked and prepped, and if you’re a poor planner or just love to sleep in, then the race is going to start without you. It’s chip timed, so maybe it would have been better to leave the start mat in place a little longer.

I learned a couple of rules when I started working-If you’re early your on time, if you’re on time you’re late, and if you’re late your finished, or how about his one-poor planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part. I could go on, but why…

Any way, rant over… from my observation, the kiddie race was probably the main issue, and it is likely why most races move this and shorter distances (5k-10k) to the day before the marathon and half.

Race Swag: Really good. Nice spinner medal and good tech shirt.

My Performance: The knee was still not good, so it was pretty slow. Happy to finish and cross Kansas off the state list.

Even though it was a pretty slow run, the rain went away and it was a beautiful day, I met some great people who I will be seeing at future races, and I crossed Kansas off the list. Fix just a couple of issues, and this race will move from good to great.

I’ll take it.

DIFFICULTY
3
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