My Profile

@Joerobe

Raleigh, IL Raving since 2017 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs #13469 Keith Roberts 50/50 Challenge active 4 hours, 15 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Marathon Maniacs

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

    Tunnel Hill 100 Miler

  • I run because:

    as I push through the hurt and overcome the mind’s desire for laziness, my being is coaxed very near the ragged edge; at these times I discover my vulnerability, at these times I know myself.

My races

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

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (4)

Race Distance Location Date Result
50 Miler Manhattan, KS Apr 21, 2018 11:04:57
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 24, 2018 5:59:33
Marathon Newport, OR Jun 2, 2018 4:22:53
Half Marathon Harrisburg, IL 2014 2:12:31

Future Races (5)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
50K Ozark, IL Aug 25, 2018
Marathon Belleville, IL Sep 29, 2018
Marathon Harrisburg, IL Oct 27, 2018
50 Miler Vienna, IL Nov 10, 2018
Marathon Memphis, TN Dec 1, 2018

Past Races (61)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
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

Psycho Psummer Run Toto Run

Psycho Psummer Run Toto Run

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon & Half Marathon

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

North Olympic Discovery Marathon

North Olympic Discovery Marathon

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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Newport Marathon & Half Marathon (OR)

Newport Marathon & Half Marathon (OR)

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

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Mountains 2 Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

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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Red Island Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Six)

Red Island Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Six)

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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Nutmeg State Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Five)

Nutmeg State Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Five)

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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Old Colony Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Four)

Old Colony Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Four)

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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Maple Leaf Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Three)

Maple Leaf Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Three)

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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Granite State Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Two)

Granite State Marathon (The New England Challenge Day Two)

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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Pine Tree Marathon (The New England Challenge Day One)

Pine Tree Marathon (The New England Challenge Day One)

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

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Maine Coast Marathon

Maine Coast Marathon

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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Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Full & Half Marathon

Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Full & Half Marathon

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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Flint Hills 50 and Marathon

Flint Hills 50 and Marathon

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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Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Races

Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra Races

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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Blackwater 50K Ultra Trail Run Challenge – Race #3

Blackwater 50K Ultra Trail Run Challenge – Race #3

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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Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long

Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long

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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Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon

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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Monument Valley Marathon & Half Marathon

Monument Valley Marathon & Half Marathon

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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Shawnee Marathon & Half

Shawnee Marathon & Half

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

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Carolina Beach Half Marathon & 5K

Carolina Beach Half Marathon & 5K

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

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Mainly Marathons Appalachian Series – Day 1 (WV)

Mainly Marathons Appalachian Series – Day 1 (WV)

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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Mother Road Marathon

Mother Road Marathon

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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Belleville Main Street Marathon

Belleville Main Street Marathon

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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Mainly Marathons Center of the Nation Series – Day 4 (WY)

Mainly Marathons Center of the Nation Series – Day 4 (WY)

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

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Mainly Marathons Center of the Nation Series – Day 1 (MT)

Mainly Marathons Center of the Nation Series – Day 1 (MT)

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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Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

Sioux Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

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

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Dick Beardsley Races

Dick Beardsley Races

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

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Drake Well Marathon & Half

Drake Well Marathon & Half

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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Aspen Valley Marathon

Aspen Valley Marathon

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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Hatfield McCoy Marathon

Hatfield McCoy Marathon

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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Traverse City Track Club Bayshore Marathon

Traverse City Track Club Bayshore Marathon

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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Cellcom Green Bay Marathon & Half Marathon

Cellcom Green Bay Marathon & Half Marathon

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
SWAG
3
My Media

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Fargo Marathon

Fargo Marathon

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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Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz

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
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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ORRRC Marathon & Half Marathon

ORRRC Marathon & Half Marathon

Overall Rating: Outstanding...enough said! Course Difficulty: Flat and fast. Good mix of rural roads and paved rail trail. Course Scenery: Well, it's rural Ohio, so I wasn't expecting to see … MORE

Overall Rating: Outstanding…enough said!

Course Difficulty: Flat and fast. Good mix of rural roads and paved rail trail.

Course Scenery: Well, it’s rural Ohio, so I wasn’t expecting to see the Grand Canyon. They did the best they could with what they had.

Race Production: Flawless. I mean “WOW”, twice in one weekend. Started on time, race morning packet pick up was perfect, volunteers and aid stations were excellent, multiple course monitors and timing mats, free showers at YMCA afterward…just really impressive.

Race Swag: Great, sort of. Medal was really good, short sleeve race shirt was excellent, and there was a 50th anniversary finisher jacket for all marathon finishers (except they didn’t have my size, so my wife got a jacket this weekend…bummer for me).

My Performance: I have no idea. My knee was trashed from the day before, so I got to walk the whole thing (plenty of time to re-evaluate all of my life choices up to this point). I’ve always said that I would crawl across the finish line if I had to, but I said that thinking I would have run the 25 miles previous; walking an entire marathon was way harder than I gave credit for.

I could complain about the knee, or walking or a billion other things, but this was still a good day. I crossed the finish line with my son (who also completed the marathon) and a friend that we picked up along the way (who happened to be from a town I had visited in India), it was sunny and 70, and although there was a small number of racers and spectators, I experienced one of the best marathons I have participated in to date-and for only $35!

I said it while I was on the course, and I will say it here, this is a course I would love to run…I never really plan to repeat a race, but I am impressed!

I would encourage other RD’s to call this group and figure out how they did it…I’m pretty sure you can’t get all the stuff I received at wholesale prices for $35.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

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Queen City Marathon for Active Water

Queen City Marathon for Active Water

Overall Rating: Overall, I would give this race an excellent rating. The course was partially paved, and mostly crushed fines on rail trail. Course Difficulty: Somewhat difficult. There was a … MORE

Overall Rating: Overall, I would give this race an excellent rating. The course was partially paved, and mostly crushed fines on rail trail.

Course Difficulty: Somewhat difficult. There was a 2.5 mile out and back that was super flat and easy, and then a 10 mile up the side of a hill and then back down to the finish. I say somewhat difficult because where I’m from, we don’t have 10 mile of uphill at that grade, so no appropriate training. Should have been able to fly down the hill, but my legs were spent from climbing.

Course Scenery: Not bad, some good views, and a little different for a Southern IL flatlander.

Race Production: Very good. Packet pick up was super easy. The race director who I saw multiple times throughout the weekend really cares about the success of the race. It wasn’t fancy, and aid stations were pretty far apart at times, but this was well known coming into the event, so no surprises. I’m totally good with that.

Race Swag: This was probably the only downside, I didn’t love the medal. The shirt was outstanding. I’m divided on this, as the race is run as a true charity for Active Water, so I don’t want them wasting a lot of money on peripherals, however, I feel like more people show up for the swag-I would personally spend a little extra on the medal and attract a few more participants.

My Performance: Not great. Everything was awesome until I hit mile 21 where the knee that got twisted on the trail at Kentucky decided it was not ok (I also think this was partially due to the really long uphill and then really long downhill). I ended up limping the last 5 miles super slow, which tells me I may have had a PR at this course if I had been able to keep running. Anyway, I finished, so it’s ok.

At the end of the day, MD is crossed off of the list. I will not be running this race again, simply because it is out the way for me, however, if you’re looking for a well produced, surprisingly fast, small race in Maryland; this may be your run.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Land Between the Lakes Trail Runs

Land Between the Lakes Trail Runs

Overall Rating: Overall, I would give this race an excellent rating. The one thing that will hurt you the most on a trail run is also the one thing you … MORE

Overall Rating: Overall, I would give this race an excellent rating. The one thing that will hurt you the most on a trail run is also the one thing you can’t control-the weather. Other than that, this event is run as a well oiled machine.

Course Difficulty: Pretty difficult. With the really wet fresh snow, and a lot of runners, the trail quickly turned to mush, roots, and rocks. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a flat spot on the trail, and plenty of roots and rocks sticking up to kick. On the second loop, I was carrying quite a bit of sticky mud with me.

Course Scenery: I’m from about an hour away, so the scenery was nothing new for me. The fresh snow did make for a pretty run though. We spent nearly the whole time in a hardwood forest running along the edge of a lake.

Race Production: Flawless. These guys really have it down. I can’t give them enough credit for going on with the race, even though conditions weren’t optimal-after all, we’re all adults, if the weather is that bad, we’ll stay home. From the informational e-mails leading up to the race, to the guy inside the door at packet pickup directing us where to go, to trying on the shirts before you pick a size…just really outstanding production.

Race Swag: Great. I had to downgrade from the 50 miler to the marathon and the medals were just as good (and a lot better than some) as any other race I’ve done. Shirts were long sleeve cotton or cotton hoodie, hat and check bag were good.

My Performance: Not great. I got stuck in traffic on the first loop…think 200 person long tequila line…and did 12-13+ minute miles for the first 12 miles. The trail was pretty treacherous, and I could feel my knees and ankles getting ready for revolt. I decided at about mile 20 that I wanted to downgrade to a marathon, and the race had made it well known that this was an option. Even though I finished super slow, I actually thought for a while I may get a DNF, so I was happy to just cross the line.

As a side note, I’m probably done with single track trails in the midwest, at least during races, there just isn’t a lot of pleasure in not being able to run your own race, and on the two that I’ve done, you are definitely running someone else s race.

At the end of the day, Kentucky is crossed off of the 50 state list, and I can still make it to work on Monday and run my next race in Ohio at the beginning of April.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

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Run Hard Columbia Marathon & Half Marathon

Run Hard Columbia Marathon & Half Marathon

I know, it seems like a minor detail, but Run Hard is something I make myself do, and Hard Run is something the course imposes on me...anyway... I'm not sure … MORE

I know, it seems like a minor detail, but Run Hard is something I make myself do, and Hard Run is something the course imposes on me…anyway…

I’m not sure there was ever a more beautiful day for running, 38 degrees to start, and mid 50’s to end, with very little wind. Sunny day, and the course had a lot of shade…in short, great running weather.

Packet pick up was a breeze, lots of good hotels in the area, parked right next to the courthouse on race morning (meter parking is free on the weekends here), and was able to walk to the start line in 5 minutes.

The race was small, 275 marathon runners, about the same for half marathon, and 400 and some odd 5k runners…which was nice for a city run. The race started with no issues, and there was adequate police presence at intersections. Parts of this course were open to traffic, and some residential folks were not to happy we were there, but I’ve come to expect this in any city. The scenery was ok, some really nice southern homes, and other residential areas. All in all no major course issues.

Probably the biggest challenge of the course was the hills. I was running a great PR run until I got to the last few miles (which I knew were coming since this was the second loop), which are some massive hills, I can see how this would upset some folks, but for me it was just another training run for an upcoming 50 miler, so I just walked the hills and took an average finish time.

No real fanfare at the finish line, get your medal, get a bottle of water, get in the car, get a shower at the hotel, drive 10 hours home.

The swag was ok, but not the best ever.

At the end of the day, South Carolina was crossed off of the list, but if I had to do it over again, I would probably choose a different race. There was just nothing that really stood out about this one. It was kind of like running at home…you enjoy it because you’re out running, but not really something you would pay money to see and do.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3
My Media

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Rock the Comet Marathon and Half Marathon

Rock the Comet Marathon and Half Marathon

The good: Once the race started, it went pretty smooth. Volunteers were excellent. Swag was decent for an inaugural event. Met some people I had been wanting to talk to. … MORE

The good:
Once the race started, it went pretty smooth.
Volunteers were excellent.
Swag was decent for an inaugural event.
Met some people I had been wanting to talk to.

The bad:
Logistics surrounding this race were garbage.
Hotels in town were trash-smoking and non smoking rooms were the worst ever…bad enough that I took a refund on the first hotel, and if there had been a campground anywhere close would have gladly taken that option, there wasn’t, so me and the four boys locked ourselves in our room at a different hotel and hoped the thugs roaming around outside didn’t break into the car while we laid in bed and didn’t sleep.
There was a race morning option for packet pick up, but the RD strongly advised participants to pick up on Friday in Atlanta…dumb!!! Who drives into Atlanta on Friday afternoon? But I tried, and 23 miles outside of town was moving at 1 mph…literally…dumb. Needless to say, I was still sitting in traffic when the packet pickup time ended…dumb.

Note to any RD that may read this-if I sign up for a small marathon away from a city, I probably don’t want to drive into a city for packet pick up.

The course was originally intended to be an out and back, twice, but just before the start it was announced that marathoners wouldn’t come all the way back to the start line…unfortunately, my son was back at the car by then and had already made plans to meet me with Sustained Energy when I came back by the start line-long story short-I got to run this race without my standard race fuel or electrolytes…bummer.

I’m a project manager by trade, and occasionally a butthole, but I know how to get things done efficiently and effectively, and regularly fool myself into thinking other people are the same…most are not, and overlook the small things that really make an event shine. This event was the same, a few tweaks and it could be really good, but as it is, is not that good.

At the end of the day, Georgia was crossed off of the 50 state list, and chip times were finally posted three days later.

I was really glad to leave this event. I saw a Facebook posting that there were participants from 23 states…if some things don’t change, I anticipate this to be a local event at best in the future.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon

Mississippi River Marathon & Half Marathon

This race was advertised as flat and fast, and it was. Even though I wasn't fast, this was a great recovery run for me since it didn't require extreme effort … MORE

This race was advertised as flat and fast, and it was. Even though I wasn’t fast, this was a great recovery run for me since it didn’t require extreme effort to complete. Everyone else seemed to move along really quick with no major issues.
This organization offered a 5k free of charge to kids under the age of 18. I had three of mine with me, and they all ran it, and loved it…one even ran it barefoot, which I’m a little jealous of.
Back at the marathon, the mercury hit 81 degrees, and the wind was pretty gusty at times, which made the first (Arkansas) half a little more challenging, but the scenery along the lake and river more than made up for it. There was one pretty boring stretch (for me), just long flat fields, but I even saw some city folk taking pictures of that, so still relevant to the landscape we were running in.
The production at this race was excellent. Everything from pre-race information, packet pick up, to the buses at the start line, to volunteers and aid stations, free photography, finish line band and setup, and post race info…all of it was excellent!
The swag is outstanding, long sleeve 1/4 zip pullover and quality medal.
Overall, this is a race that others should strive to be like, maybe too small for some people that like huge crowds or a lot of spectators, but from a production standpoint, top notch!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

I want to say right at the beginning of this review that I ran a really tough marathon the day before this one, so my time definitely doesn't reflect the … MORE

I want to say right at the beginning of this review that I ran a really tough marathon the day before this one, so my time definitely doesn’t reflect the nature of the course.

The Rock and Roll series has been good to me, I’ve run two races with them, and both times I’ve had to pick up my packet race morning at the solutions tent as I was driving in from other marathons. They don’t advertise this service, but seem to give a lot of grace to runners who are running a marathon the day before.

To let you know how I started this race: worked all day Thursday then drove 13 hours to Surfside Beach, TX on Thursday night/Friday morning, camped on the beach Friday night, up at 4:30AM and started that marathon at 5:30 Saturday, after it was over, visited some friends in Louisiana and arrived at the hotel in New Orleans at about 11PM, up at 4AM Sunday to get to the parking garage and packet pick up by 5:30 (kind of a pain, but something I’ve come to expect in city races)…I say all that only to say this…I was really tired before I started this race.

There were somewhere around 20,000 people running this race, and it went off without a hitch. I was in corral 10 (the 4:30 estimated finish) and it took me roughly 10 minutes to get to the starting line; not bad for so many people.

One of the most important aspects of this course, there is so much to look at. Even though I was tired, I ran for 5 miles before I even felt the first thought of being worn out; the scenery is beautiful, the atmosphere is unique, and it takes your mind off of the normal things you think about at the start of the run.

I normally don’t run with a phone, but this time since I would return to the start by shuttle, I needed to have it with me. I was glad I did, I had started the race in a long sleeve tech shirt, but by mile 7 the sun had come out and it was pretty warm, so I was able to call my wife and girls who were eating beignets at Cafe du Monde, (about mile 9.5) and hand off some of my gear.

This course took us right through the French Quarter, the aid stations were plentiful and well stocked with great volunteers, the bands along the way were good, and the people who were running beside me were generally very happy to converse.

One thing I did notice about this race, it seemed like there were a lot more people who were just there running for pleasure than trying to conquer a goal; generally I find when I am in the 5 hour crowd there is a lot of justification for why everyone isn’t doing better, but not here, it just seemed like more people were content to run for the sake of running and not for setting a PR-that was nice.

I ran out of steam at about mile 20ish which coincided with the only real hill on the course, which I was happy to walk for a couple of miles, and then ran it in under the nice shady oaks in the park…beautiful.

The finish line had plenty of drinks and snacks, the line to get shirts and jackets was really quick, and then off to catch a shuttle back to the start line.

I didn’t love the shuttle part, but there was zero parking near the finish, so I was happy that the service was offered free to runners and friends/family. It took me about 10 minutes to walk to the shuttles, and about 15 minutes in line to catch one, about a 20 minute ride to the start line, and then about a mile walk from the start line to the parking garage.

Even though my time was pretty slow, in my opinion this course is fast, flat, and beautiful. I never fully push myself, because as in this race, I know that when I’m done it’s in the car for an 11 hour ride home, and back to the office by 6:30 Monday morning. Even with that being said, I finished a little faster than I thought I might after the challenging run on Saturday and I managed to put a check mark by Louisiana.

Like most RNR marathons, the swag was good, and the runner tracking/timing is nice for friends and family to be able to follow along.

I can definitely recommend this as a good Louisiana race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

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Surfside Beach Marathon and Half Marathon

Surfside Beach Marathon and Half Marathon

The title says it all, this was a tough run. Here are the details: This entire marathon is run on the beach, and although the sand is fairly hard packed, … MORE

The title says it all, this was a tough run. Here are the details:

This entire marathon is run on the beach, and although the sand is fairly hard packed, it is not an easy run. I had never run on sand, so I took the 5:30 early start. Thinking there would be enough ambient light to run without a headlamp, I left mine at the tent…there was not enough ambient light…it was really dark (my fault). We ran with the wind for a couple of miles and then turned back for 13 miles directly into 15-20mph non-stop, unrelenting, will sapping wind in the face. But no problem right, when you get to mile 15.5ish you get to turn around with the wind at your back and cruise down the open beach…wrong…at about mile 14 the tide started coming in and the nice wide flat beach disappeared and left hard packed wash outs or dry sand; aka ankle death trap. So what I thought would be a medium difficulty run turned into a tough run. Not a big deal. No complaints. Take what you get, and don’t throw a fit.

The swag at this race was sweet, a 1/4 zip pullover, nice medal, and cool little stone coasters, but that’s the best of it.

Please know that I’m not a complainer by nature, but if I’m going to write a review, I’m going to write the truth. I have never been an RD, so I don’t know the pain…but the production at this race was not great.

My wife and two daughters were volunteering at an aid station, and trying to get all of that sorted out was a mess…there was a seemingly large shortage of volunteers, and I suspect the organizational process was part of it.

Getting registered was a fairly chaotic ordeal, although I did wind up with the right stuff. Getting the race started was the same, it wasn’t really ready, perhaps because I was in the early bird section, but still seemed pretty disorganized-but, it did start, and the timing worked. There were a lot of unmanned aid stations, which is not a big deal for me since I carry my own stuff, but if you were depending on them, you may have to mix your own drink.

The finish was fine, and the RD (guy in charge) seemed like a nice guy.

All summed up, I would say this. This race is tough to run, and will get started and finished, but if you’re looking for a super smooth flow and flawless race management, this is not it. The swag was excellent and food delicious. It is a unique experience, and barring the relentless wind that just happened to be there that weekend, could be a much easier run.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon

As a disclaimer, I'm a country runner, so I'm never really thrilled to run in cities. That being said, I needed to start doing some back to back marathons and … MORE

As a disclaimer, I’m a country runner, so I’m never really thrilled to run in cities. That being said, I needed to start doing some back to back marathons and the Rock and Roll Arizona was a good fit after Lake Mead.
I travel with my family, so many times we opt to tent camp instead of staying in a hotel, in order to save money; this is not an option for this race. We found upon searching that hotels near the start line were pretty expensive, and hotels near the finish were non existent. The best we could do was the Best Western Inn of Tempe (which wanted to charge an extra day to extend checkout…uh, no thanks), but did take the room for the night for about $80.
The marathon organizers did allow me to pick up my packet at the solutions tent the morning of the race, which was awesome, as I couldn’t make it from Nevada to the expo in Phoenix in time. Waiting around for the race to start wasn’t bad, found some people to talk to and hear their stories.

There were a lot of people…repeat…there were a lot of people.

The start went ok, I’m kind of used to a slow start, so not a big deal for me, although I did hear some grumbling from other runners that they weren’t able to establish a pace. The course was fine, nothing really scenic, but if I hadn’t run a marathon the day before, would have definitely been a PR.
The finish line was smooth, getting food was smooth, getting the shirt and jacket was not as smooth, and then my wife broke the news that she had to park about a mile away because the lot we had planned to park in was roped off…bummer.
At the end of the day, this was a marathon, I didn’t get lost or mugged, and I crossed AZ off the list; so it was fine. If you need to cross AZ off the list and this fits the schedule, or are looking for a PR, this race fits the bill. If you are looking for scenery and camaraderie, this is probably not the race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5
My Media

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Lake Mead Marathon

Lake Mead Marathon

This race is run on a trail that is partially paved and partially screened fines. There was some confusion about the correct route, so about half of the marathon runners … MORE

This race is run on a trail that is partially paved and partially screened fines. There was some confusion about the correct route, so about half of the marathon runners took a wrong turn on the first loop. Aid stations were frequent and well stocked.

*A national park entry fee of $20 is required if you don’t have a pass, so be forewarned.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Rocket City Marathon

Rocket City Marathon

-Sweet medal -It was really cold and windy to start, so just be aware -Ran through the space museum, so the scenery is definitely unique -Aid stations were plentiful and … MORE

-Sweet medal
-It was really cold and windy to start, so just be aware
-Ran through the space museum, so the scenery is definitely unique
-Aid stations were plentiful and well stocked
-Finish line had excellent flow and a large assortment of post race food
-Parking was a pain, but I’m a country boy so the whole city parking thing doesn’t really make sense to me anyway

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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Nashville Marathon & Half Marathon

Nashville Marathon & Half Marathon

-Part city streets, part paved trail -Easy parking, although packet pickup was sort of a pain -Be prepared for Nashville traffic, not sure what's broken there, but we have an … MORE

-Part city streets, part paved trail
-Easy parking, although packet pickup was sort of a pain
-Be prepared for Nashville traffic, not sure what’s broken there, but we have an issue and have long slow waits every time we go through
-Aid stations were good, directions were good, and volunteers were friendly

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Midsouth Marathon & Half Marathon

Midsouth Marathon & Half Marathon

This was like running at home, you enjoy running, so it's nice to be outside, but sometimes you expect a little more...scenery or something. I'm not dissatisfied with this race, … MORE

This was like running at home, you enjoy running, so it’s nice to be outside, but sometimes you expect a little more…scenery or something. I’m not dissatisfied with this race, but I probably wouldn’t go back. If it fits the schedule, try it out, maybe even cross Arkansas off of the list, it is cheap.

For the record, I didn’t love the medal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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Running for the Bay Marathon

Running for the Bay Marathon

Seems like flat should equal easy, but not here. To be fair, I had been on the road with the band for 2 days with little sleep, drove through the … MORE

Seems like flat should equal easy, but not here. To be fair, I had been on the road with the band for 2 days with little sleep, drove through the night on the third day, and got out and started running; not ideal prep for a run. Still the wind made this course a beast, a 7 mile beast (bridge), with a little 5 mile beast (bridge) on it’s back…that we had to cross twice. I didn’t see anyone running who wasn’t struggling, so don’t get caught off guard. It’s flat, but not fast.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

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MO’ Cowbell Marathon

MO’ Cowbell Marathon

-Fairly crowded for the entirety of the course -This is just a personal thing, but I like to visit with people while I run (or at least say hi and … MORE

-Fairly crowded for the entirety of the course
-This is just a personal thing, but I like to visit with people while I run (or at least say hi and wish them well), and there were many miles of this race that were dead silent…creepily, eerily, hauntingly silent…just earbuds and footsteps…not sure what that was about, and I know it wasn’t planned, but out of 12 races in 2016, this is the only one that was this quiet. If you’re like me and enjoy conversing with other participants, this is a different culture of people, and it may be as confusing to you as it was to me.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Belleville Main Street Marathon

Belleville Main Street Marathon

-Aid stations plentiful and well stocked -Neighborhoods along course were full of encouraging spectators -Hot (typical for Southern Illinois in September) -Good run with relatively small crowd to get Illinois … MORE

-Aid stations plentiful and well stocked
-Neighborhoods along course were full of encouraging spectators
-Hot (typical for Southern Illinois in September)
-Good run with relatively small crowd to get Illinois checked off the list
-Swag was good, particularly for their first attempt

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Logan View Raider Run

Logan View Raider Run

-Don't eat chocolate GU at mile 20...but maybe that's just me (got sick and had to walk 10 miles mid race) -Volunteers and support were excellent -Benefits a local high … MORE

-Don’t eat chocolate GU at mile 20…but maybe that’s just me (got sick and had to walk 10 miles mid race)
-Volunteers and support were excellent
-Benefits a local high school and the students were there working it
-The last part of this course was the toughest, be forewarned
-Swag was good

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Idaho Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

Idaho Falls Marathon & Half Marathon

-It was 93 degrees the day I ran here, so it can get hot -Had a nice long uphill, not steep, but long -Well stacked aid stations at appropriate intervals … MORE

-It was 93 degrees the day I ran here, so it can get hot
-Had a nice long uphill, not steep, but long
-Well stacked aid stations at appropriate intervals
-Overall, an average run, if you need to cross Idaho off of the list and it fits the schedule, this race is as good as any

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Deseret News Marathon

Deseret News Marathon

-21 mile and fairly steep descent to start the run -Don't be fooled into thinking this is a guaranteed PR, it is a tough run -Can be hot, but aid … MORE

-21 mile and fairly steep descent to start the run
-Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a guaranteed PR, it is a tough run
-Can be hot, but aid stations were frequent and well stocked
-A lot of spectators present at the end of the run as it coincides with the Pioneer Day celebration

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Run4Troops Marathon

Run4Troops Marathon

-Nice to support local troops -Volunteers were good -Swag was ok -Trail was fairly flat -Decent run outside of the heat issue -Finish line area was excellent with ice and … MORE

-Nice to support local troops
-Volunteers were good
-Swag was ok
-Trail was fairly flat
-Decent run outside of the heat issue
-Finish line area was excellent with ice and cold drinks for runners

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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Harmonie Trail Race

Harmonie Trail Race

-Difficult, hot, hilly course -Beautiful hardwood scenery -Aid stations were unmanned and not well stocked -Swag was not great -We were told that someone had moved the tape and signs … MORE

-Difficult, hot, hilly course
-Beautiful hardwood scenery
-Aid stations were unmanned and not well stocked
-Swag was not great

-We were told that someone had moved the tape and signs on the trail as a prank, but overall, this was just a poorly managed run. I ended up running 31 miles and had to have someone come and find me.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2
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Shiprock Marathon

Shiprock Marathon

This marathon was freezing to start (blowing snow), and a dust storm to end...seriously. Here are some things to know. -Altitude will hurt you if you are a low level … MORE

This marathon was freezing to start (blowing snow), and a dust storm to end…seriously. Here are some things to know.
-Altitude will hurt you if you are a low level flat-lander like me, don’t discount it
-GU was not at the stations where it should have been
-Half marathoners consumed all gels at the end of race course before marathoners arrived
-Scenery is beautiful, actually, amazing!!!
-Swag is really good

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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